On May 8, 1846, US and Mexican troops clashed on the Palo Alto prairie. The battle was the first in a two-year war that changed the map of North America. The site of this notable battle provides an understanding of the causes, events, and consequences of the US-Mexican War.
Explore the Park
Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park preserves the site of the first major battle of the US–Mexican War, fought on May 8, 1846. The park consists of two sites, Palo Alto Battlefield and Resaca de la Palma Battlefield, totaling approximately 3,400 acres. The Mexican army occupied Resaca de la Palma, hoping the ravine filled with dense brush would protect the troops after their defeat at Palo Alto. Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park is the only National Park Service unit representing the US–Mexican War, which resulted in Mexico ceding half of its land, extending the United States to the Pacific Ocean. “Palo alto” means “tall trees”; likely, the battlefield was named after the dense thickets of mesquite and acacia trees that were found across the prairie. The now serene landscape offers visitors an opportunity to learn about and reflect on a very turbulent time in the relationship between the two countries.
Stories from Palo Alto Battlefield
Kids in Parks
National parks are places where kids can dream up great adventures! Taking in amazing scenery. Testing out new skills. Exploring places kids may have only heard about. But most importantly, creating new memories with friends and family.
What’s Happening at This Park?
Stories from all parks
Our public lands are our public commons. They belong to all of us as part of our natural and cultural heritage. They remind us of a larger world that has existed long before the arrival of humans and will survive long after we are gone. –Terry Tempest Williams, Author & Conservationist
Bring the Parks Home
When you can’t get to a national park for a visit, experience it from the comfort of your home. WNPA’s online store is packed with ranger-approved park collectibles, books, toys, and clothing. Shop for a special item.