Just as mud along the Santa Fe Trail once hardened to record the movement of a turning wheel, hardened bronze captures a moment in a day not unlike countless others when people walked along this rutted way, tending their animals and dreaming of the end to a long and arduous journey.
Journey’s End, a collaborative artwork by sculpture Reynaldo “Sonny” Rivera and landscape architect Richard Borkovetz commemorates the struggle, drama and history that was and is the Santa Fe Trail. The monument portrays the lead wagon of a typical Santa Fe Trail caravan as it makes its final approach into Santa Fe.
The monument measures 56 feed from end to end. Forming a slight arc of approximately 16 feet, the monument’s wagon travels due north and slightly west on its way to the Santa Fe Plaza. At the tallest point the monument stands nine feet above grade. All the figures are cast in bronze. A low masonry wall obscures the wagon form the west side, making it visible only as the viewer moves around the monument. Trail ruts extend approximately 20 feet in front of and behind the wagon train, recreating actual Santa Fe Trail ruts.
Interpretative materials developed in partnership with the End of the Trail Chapter of the Old Santa Fe Trail Association, the National Park Service and Discovery Exhibits help the viewer understand not only the monument but also the Santa Fe Trail’s history and significance.