Rio Grande Gorge, New Mexico
Mimbres Black-on-White Bowl, New Mexico Lesser Prairie Chicken, New Mexico Rafting the Rio Grande, New Mexico Wild Horse, New Mexico Oil Rig, Oklahoma
New Mexico
BLM>New Mexico>National Conservation Lands>National Scenic and Historic Trails
Print Page

National Scenic and Historic Trails

National Scenic Trails Frequently Asked Questions

The BLM is one of several agencies responsible for management of National Historic or Scenic Trails.  In 1968, Congress established the National Trails System and designated the first national trails.

National Historic Trails are extended trails that closely follow a historic trail or route of travel of national significance.  Designation identifies and protects historic routes, historic remnants, and artifacts for public use and enjoyment.  The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for over 5,343 miles of 11 National Historic Trails.

National Scenic Trails are extended trails that provide maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of the various qualities – scenic, historical, natural, and cultural – of the areas they pass through. The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for over 668 miles of the Continental Divide, Pacific Crest, Potomac Heritage, Arizona, and Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trails.

Why are National Scenic and Historic Trails designated?
Designation identifies and protects significant scenic, historical, natural or cultural qualities.

What National Historic Trails run through New Mexico?
There are three National Trails in New Mexico managed by the BLM.

Continental Divide National Scenic TrailThe Continental Divide National Scenic Trail provides for high quality, scenic, primitive hiking and horseback-riding recreational experiences, while conserving natural, historic, and cultural resources along the Continental Divide.
Old Spanish TrailThe Old Spanish National Historic Trail links Santa Fe and Los Angeles across six states and 2,700 miles.  It traverses red rock mesas, passes below snow-capped peaks, and fords untamed rivers, avoiding the immense depths of the Grand Canyon and skirting the continent’s harshest deserts.
photo of El Camino Real National Historic Trail

El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the “Royal Road of the Interior,” is the earliest Euro-American trade route in the United States. Linking Spain’s colonial capital at Mexico City to its northern frontier in distant New Mexico, the route spans three centuries, two countries, and 1,600 miles. It was part of Spain’s Camino Real Intercontinental—a global network of roads and maritime routes. 

National Conservation Lands


National Conservation Lands in New Mexico

The NLCS: A Geography of Hope (video)

National Conservation Areas

National Scenic and Historic Trails

National Monuments

Wild and Scenic Rivers

Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas (WSA)

Map of National Conservation Lands in New Mexico

Implementing the National 
15-Year Strategy in New Mexico

National Conservation Lands Online Resources (maps, brochures, etc.)

National Conservation Lands National Page

Frequently Asked Questions