NPS - National Park Service

07/28/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/28/2021 07:35

Solar Cars to Make Historic Trip on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail to Commemorate the Trail’s 200th Anniversary

News Release Date:
July 28, 2021

Contact:Carol Clark, 505-819-1314

Contact:Nick Roll, 505-795-2523

Santa Fe, New Mexico - Join us on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail for the 2021 American Solar Challenge! The National Park Service (NPS) is partnering with the Innovators Educational Foundation, and the Santa Fe Trail Association to hold this year's event in commemoration of the Santa Fe Trail's Bicentennial.

Teams of college students will design, build, and drive solar-powered vehicles following more than 900 miles of the Trail from Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico in a cross-country journey from August 3rd-7th.

The solar cars will stop in several towns and national park sites along their route. Each stop offers visitors an opportunity to see the solar cars, meet team members, and learn about the Santa Fe Trail with NPS rangers and Santa Fe Trail Association members. The event is free and open to the public.

The 2021 American Solar Challenge will stop in:

  • Independence, Missouri
  • Council Grove, Kansas
  • McPherson, Kansas
  • Dodge City, Kansas
  • Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site in La Junta, Colorado
  • Las Vegas, New Mexico.
  • The final day of the event, the solar cars will travel to the Plaza in Santa Fe and back to the Las Vegas, New Mexico finish line.

For route, event and schedule information visit American Solar Challenge 2021 Schedule. For event updates and content, like us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Santa Fe National Historic Trail
The Santa Fe Trail got its start in 1821 when a party of Americans ventured west from Franklin, Missouri, to trade in Santa Fe (then Mexico). The route they forged would grow into a commercial highway within a web of trade routes that extended to the East Coast, Mexico, and Europe. The Santa Fe Trail brought together cultures in collaboration and conflict with the trail forever changing lives and landscapes of the west. In 1987 Congress designated the Santa Fe Trail as a National Historic Trail under the National Trails System Act. Today, the trail is administered by the National Trails Office, an office of the National Park Service that works closely with partners - ranging from private landowners to nonprofit organizations - in protecting, developing, and promoting the trail.

About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.