There are four or five "Point of Rocks" along the Santa Fe Trail, and one stands about three miles west of Dodge City on the north side of US Highway 50.
According to Dr. Leo Oliva and the Santa Fe Trail Association other Point of Rocks are located on the Trail near Pierceville, in the Cimarron National Grassland north of Elkhart and at the Point of Rocks Ranch between Clayton and Springer, NM. A possible fifth one is located near Bent's Fort in eastern Colorado.
Other prominent rock outcroppings on the Trail are Pawnee Rock in Kansas, Indian Mound west of Lakin, KS, Fisher's Peak at Raton Pass between Colorado and New Mexico, Rabbit Ears Mountain near Clayton, NM and Wagon Mound in New Mexico.
These features, along with bluffs, hills, stream crossings and springs, served as milestones on the Trail which travelers used to gauge their rate of travel.
George Sibley first described the Point of Rocks west of Dodge City in his Federal Survey of the Santa Fe Trail. On September 10, 1825 he wrote "We proceeded up the [Arkansas River] Bottom, which still continues to get narrower on the North side-the River.... We had rode about 10 miles, when we came to a large Mass of Gravel Rock of a very remarkable appearance. It presents itself at the termination of a High Ridge and faces the River from which it is about a Mile; a level flat intervening. Its front is rough & broken, & about 200 yards in extent....one might suppose that the Arkansas once washed the base of this Rock....The Rock...is....composed of small Gravel Stones and Sand firmly cemented together. These stones when separated appear firmly polished, like those found in the beds of Rivers...."
Another explorer, Joseph Brown, related the Point of Rocks to the Caches "Some turn off at a place known to the Santa Fe travelers by the name of the 'Caches,' near to which is a rocky point of a hill some distance from the river, composed of cemented pebbles, and therefore called Gravel Rocks."
In 1981, this outcropping was partially removed by highway construction, but most of the Point of Rocks remains as a landmark along the Santa Fe Trail.