The Santa Fe Trail was the first of America's great pathways from the Mississippi River area to the West. During its history, from 1821 to 1880, the trail was used by traders and merchants, mountain men, gold seekers, military expeditions, immigrants and a few early-day tourists. Much of the Santa Fe Trail followed older Indian trails. In 1880 the railroad reached Santa Fe and the trail faded into history.
From the Kansas/Oklahoma border the trail took a west/southwest direction to near the town of Springer, New Mexico.
As the first outpost in western Indian Territory, Camp Supply was originally joined to Fort Dodge, Kansas and later to Fort Sill in Oklahoma by roads established in the troop movements of the Campaign of 1868. Since Fort Sill was 196 miles south and Fort Dodge, 93 miles north, Camp Supply concentrated on maintaining contact with the latter post.