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Spanish conquistadors traveling under Francisco Vasquez de Coronado entered New Mexico and made it as far as Zuni by AD 1540. It was not until 1583, however, that the Spanish reached what is now El Morro National Monument, which Antonio de Espejo, a man sent in search of members of a previous Spanish expedition into New Mexico, described as El Estanque de Penol (pool at the great rock). Within five years of this recording, Don Juan de Onate officially colonized New Mexico, and on April 16, 1605, inscribed his name on the now famous Inscription Rock. Learn more on the NPS webpage The Spaniards.