The Santa Fe Trail Celebrates 200th Anniversary

by National Park Service; Adapted from Federal agency emails and news releases.

Two hundred years ago, a group of Americans ventured west from Franklin, Missouri to trade in Santa Fe (then Mexico). The route they forged would grow into a commercial highway within a web of trade routes that extended to the East coast, Mexico, and Europe. Now known as the Santa Fe Trail, the path brought together cultures in collaboration and conflict, forever changing lives and landscapes of the west. 

To commemorate the anniversary, a variety of activities hosted by National Park Service (NPS) partners are planned. More than 50 in-person and virtual events will occur along the length of the trail—from Missouri to New Mexico—throughout 2021. Visit the NPS bicentennial website ( and the Santa Fe Trail Association (SFTA) website ( to find a complete list of events, ranging from living history presentations to concerts, planned by SFTA and other NPS partner organizations. 

All in-person events are subject to change to accommodate Federal, State, and local health and safety guidance.

As part of the anniversary, the NPS National Trails Office has welcomed the inaugural cohort of the Santa Fe Trail NextGen Council, a group of young adults who will provide recommendations for engaging young, diverse audiences in stories, sites, and stewardship of the Santa Fe Trail.  

Throughout the year, you can virtually participate in anniversary activities, learn about trail stories, and engage in conversations with trail enthusiasts. 

 Join the commemoration virtually on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail website ( or on social media on Facebook (@SantaFeTrailNPS), Instagram (@nationaltrailsnps), and YouTube (@NationalTrailsNPS).