La Bajada Historic Trails and Roads, Approximately 1 mile East/Northeast of intersection of State Highway 16 and Indian Service Road 841, La Bajada, Santa Fe County, NM
Significance: La Bajada is a prominent geologic and geographic landmark in central New Mexico, and includes trail and road traces that represents major cultural changes resulting from geopolitical activity, technology, and transportation. The four historically significant road alignments built to traverse La Bajada between 1598 and 1932 follow prehistorically and historically established pathways over the mesa. The alignments are: El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro dating to the Spanish Colonial era (1598) and used throughout the Mexican period (1821-1848); U.S. territorial wagon roads (ca. 1860); the NM 1/National Old Trails Road highway (1909); and the original U.S. Highway 66 built as a safer alternative to the switchbacks of the earlier auto route (1926). These routes are characterized by a variety of engineering techniques that used the tools and local materials available to create retaining walls, navigable grade changes, and drainage structures.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N1154
Survey number: HAER NM-15
Building/structure dates: 1598 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: ca. 1860 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1909 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1926 Subsequent Work