Old Spanish Trail Festival

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Saturday, September 14th, 2019

Event Summary

The Four Corners community can now experience the Old Spanish Trail the “old way” without having to join a pack train of burros and mules. Aztec Ruins National Monument will host the inaugural Old Spanish Trail Festival on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to commemorate the historic trade route from New Mexico to California. There is no admission fee.

Visitors can meet local burros and watch demonstrators outfit the burros with the traditional pack saddle systems used on the Old Spanish Trail from 1829 to 1848. Through hands-on experience, participants can also learn about the ropes, knots, hitches and specialized gear associated with pack trains.

Replicas of traded items such as woolen shawls, blankets and coverlets will be on display. Exhibitors will demonstrate wool spinning, dying and the colcha embroidery that brightened the fabrics back then.

Those wanting a short hike can join a ranger on a paved path in Aztec Ruins that leads to the Animas River. The path commemorates the Old Spanish Trail’s first commercial expedition, which forded the Animas River near the ruins.

There will also be an exhibit about rivers of the Old Spanish Trail and how the caravans forded the waterways.

“We’re excited about sharing this chapter of New Mexico history with our visitors,” said Nathan Hatfield, Chief of Interpretation at Aztec. “We will have a lot of talented exhibitors and educators who will bring the Old Spanish Trail alive.”

Several routes comprised the Old Spanish Trail. Caravans traveled between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California to trade New Mexican woolen goods for California mules and horses. Trade also included furs, hides, and even captives.

For more information go to www.facebook.com/azrunm, call 505-334-6174 x0 or email azru_information@nps.gov.

Price: free

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Aztec Ruins National Monument
Ruins Rd.

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The event runs from 10:00am to 3:30pm on the following dates.
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