Hydrogeology of central Jornada del Muerto: Implications for travel along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, Sierra and Doña Ana counties, New Mexico - Open-file Report 573

Between 1598 and the 1880s, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (El Camino Real) served as a 1,600 mile long trade route between Mexico City and San Juan Pueblo/Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico. El Camino Real transects the Jornada del Muerto, located in southern New Mexico. This stretch of the trail is thought to have been one of the most feared sections along El Camino Real due, primarily, to the scarcity of water. Archaeologists have hypothesized that water availability largely influenced the travel route and locations of parajes (campsites) in the Jornada del Muerto. This report describes a study in the Central Jornada del Muerto, conducted by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR). The study was funded the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) and is the fulfillment of one of the measures specified in a mitigation plan that identifies a series of measures specifically intended to mitigate adverse effects to El Camino Real. These measures include actions that “will result in compilation of additional information about the properties and function of the trail and associated resources,” and “that will result in increased public awareness and appreciation of the trail.”

Data and Resources


Field Value
Division Hydrogeology
Subdivision Aquifer Mapping Program
Contact Name Talon Newton
Contact Email [email protected]
Contact Phone 575-835-5490
Publication Date 2015-06-01
Data Collection Frequency One-time
Data Publishing Method website, print
Data Publishing Frequency One-time
Version 1.0
Geographic Location Sierra County, Doña Ana County
Data Source NMBGMR
Last Updated 26 November 2023
Published 17 May 2023