Gregory Mac Gregor at the Palace of the Governors

Water Diversion Pipes and Trail Site in Diamond Fork Canyon, Uinta National Forest, Utah (2008), photograph

When Franciscan friars Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de Escalante set off on their 1776 expedition, accompanied by guides from the Timpanogos tribe, they were searching for an overland route from Santa Fe to a Spanish mission in Monterey on the California coast. Much of the ground they covered was unexplored territory, and the maps and documentation they produced were vital to future expeditions.

In 2003, photographers Siegfried Halus and Greg Mac Gregor began retracing the expedition’s route to document the contemporary changes to the landscape.

Their photographs are presented in the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors’ new exhibition, In Search of Domínguez and Escalante (through June 19), which depicts a region that’s no longer unexplored but marked by more than 240 years of human presence.

By admission ($12 with discounts available). Masks and social distancing are required for visitors who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, 105 W. Palace Ave., 505-476-5100,

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