From the mailbox (link added):
I have a question regarding the meaning of Llano Estacado. It is a plain in the Southwestern USA and I have read that it was called Llano Estacado because of the stakes driven into the ground as landmarks showing the way through the plain, and the translation in English should be "Staked Plain." According to other sources, the plain was called Llano Estacado because it is surrounded with cliffs resembling palisades or stockades, and the correct translation should be "Palisaded Plain" or Stockaded Plain."
Estacado is the participle of estacar and my question is: Is it possible for estacar to be used in both contexts, and what would a native Spanish speaker assume if he/she heard "Llano Estacado"?
My educated guess about how a native speaker would understand Llano Estacado is that it would be the same as how an English speaker would understand "Staked Plain" (which, to be honest, doesn't put much of an image in my mind at all). That understanding would likely be different for someone living in suburban Madrid than it would be for someone living on the plains of Argentina.
That said, there isn't really not much difference in meaning of the English terms you're using. As shown in my list of English words derived from Spanish, the English word "stockade" comes from the Spanish word estaca — so originally "stockade" and "staked" meant basically the same thing. The same goes for "palisade" — it comes from French palissade, which in turn comes from a word meaning "stake." (It's related to the Spanish word palo, meaning "stick," which itself may be a distant cousin of "stake," although I haven't been able to confirm that.)
So "Staked Plain," "Stockaded Plain" and "Palisaded Plain" are all legitimate translations. As to why that name was adopted, that's a question for the historian.