Butterfield Overland National Historic Trail

National Park Service, New Mexico.

In 1857, businessman and transportation entrepreneur John Butterfield was awarded a contract to establish an overland mail route between the eastern United States and growing populations in the Far West. What became known as the Butterfield Overland Trail made an arcing sweep across the southern rim of the country. Stagecoaches left twice a week carrying passengers, freight, and mail.


Those portions of the Butterfield Overland National Historic Trail authorized by Congress include nearly 3,300 miles of historic trail.

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