Datil Well Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"New Mexico is crisscrossed with historic trails from each of the major periods of its long history. Representative of the intense ranching era of the early twentieth century is the Magdalena Stock Driveway. Whenever a railroad pushed deeper into the interior of the state with a new branch line, cattlemen and sheep brokers instantly had new markets. Stock driveways developed so the ranchers could herd their stock to the railhead.
When the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway was extended to the tiny settlement of Magdalena in the northern San Mateo Mountains, the town became the shipping point for ranches on thousands of square miles in the northern Gila River watershed. Dozens of lesser trails were consolidated in 1918 with establishment of the Magdalena Stock Driveway. The driveway was routed to have water available every 10 miles between Springerville, Arizona, and Magdalena. As many as 150,000 sheep and 21,000 cattle made the journey over the trail in a single year. Datil Well was one of the water sources established to promote the use of the trail."