30 miles southwest of Springfield is a Baca County wonder, Carrizo Canyon. Hidden in the middle of cattle country and a favorite site for birders you will again find “Rock Art” Here the images left by ancient people on the canyon walls are primarily animals. This area has wildlife viewing, hiking, rock art, camping, restroom and picnic area.
35 miles southwest of Springfield on the Colorado/Oklahoma border is Picture Canyon with its fascinating array of “Rock Art”. Picture Canyon is easily accessible and provides camping, a 4 mile hiking loop, bike riding and horseback riding. There are 3 areas with covered picnic tables with grills. There is a public restroom at the parking area. The “Rock Art” left for centuries by prehistoric people by either pecking on the rock surface, which is called a petroglyph or painting on the rock surface, which is called a pictograph. The meaning of designs is unknown but the enjoyment of the experience is worth the visit. Also in the area is the Crack Cave and Balanced Rock. Within Crack Cave there are markings that were carved 1000 years ago.
In 1821, the Santa Fe Trail trade route that connected Franklin, Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico was first used by William Becknell when he organized a trading party and hauled goods to Santa Fe to trade and sell. Later it was used as an international commercial highway, and a military route. In 1880 with the coming of the railroad, the importance of the Santa Fe diminished. Along the trail you can see wagon ruts, rubble from homesteads, monuments and historical sites. The Cimarron Route of the Santa Fe Trail crossed 14 miles of Baca County in the Carrizo Unit of the Comanche National Grasslands.