El Camino Real Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro served as the major route from Mexico City to the settlements in New Mexico in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Pioneered by colonizer Juan Oñate in 1598, the Royal Road to the Interior carried trade caravans with wagonloads of supplies that were the lifeblood of the early European towns in New Mexico.
The waterless 90-mile segment, known as the Jornada del Muerto (“journey of the dead man”), was the roughest passage on the 1,500-mile journey. It was named for the sad fate of German Bernard Gruber, who during his escape from imprisonment by the Inquisition near Santa Fe, died on the lonely plain in 1670."