21. Santa Fe Trail Tracks (Dodge City Ruts)

Wooden sign with a painting of a covered wagon on it.  Sign is located adjacent to a road in a grass field.
Santa Fe Trail Tracks sign

Opened in 1821, the Santa Fe Trail served as a commercial road that connected the Mexican settlement of Santa Fe, NM with the growing American trade settlements in Missouri. Traders from both countries made huge profits hauling goods both ways. The road was a major link to the southwest until the Atchison-Topeka-Santa Fe Railroad reached Santa Fe in 1880. This Santa Fe Trail rut site is owned by boot hill museum and also contains the remains of the Eureka Irrigation Canal (Stool Canal). Built in the 1880s, the canal was intended to irrigate farmlands north of Dodge City.  The canal failed when a prolonged drought and similar projects lowered the Arkansas River’s water level.  

Exhibits at Dodge City Ruts/Boot Hill Ruts/Santa Fe Trail Tracks    

A series of ruts in the landscape as seen from a road.
Ruts seen from the road