485. Middle Springs & Point of Rocks

Beware of rattlesnakes & watch where you walk.

Middle Spring was a vital water stop on the Cimarron Route, also called the Dry Route. This area, fed by natural springs, had water all year long. There were three springs: the lower, middle and upper springs. The lower spring was also known as Wagon Bed Spring. The upper spring was known as Flag Spring. Middle Spring had no other name. Because the Cimarron River usually had no water at this point (it runs underground in this area), the springs were essential to survival on this route of the Santa Fe Trail.

Point of Rocks is a landmark. There are several places on the Santa Fe Trail called the Point of Rocks. From the top of the Point of Rocks, there is a good view of the Cimarron River valley and the many ruts passing between the base of the bluff and the river. Notice the series of little hills called the Cimarron Breaks. There is a steep hiking trail leading down the face of the bluff. At the bottom is a DAR marker, which was rededicated in 1997. When travelers on the trail saw the Point of Rocks, they knew they were close to finding water at Middle Spring.