Choose the Old Spanish Trail and then zoom in to find the details you need for trip planning. New Mexican traders moved locally produced merchandise across what are now six states to … The Old Spanish Trail was made a national historic trail by an act of Congress in 2002. Entrepreneurs who followed him over the next 20 years preferred the longer, but easier and more familiar, trails that twisted north from Santa Fe through western Colorado and southern Utah, across the extreme northwest corner of Arizona, into Nevada and on to southern California. But the need continued for a connection with California and the Pacific Ocean. The Old Spanish Trail is an historical trade route that connected the northern New Mexico settlements of (or near) Santa Fe, New Mexico with those of Los Angeles, California and southern California. It has often been referred to as the most arduous, difficult trail in the United States. National historic trails interactive map viewer GIS Interactive Map. It opened a land route across 19th century Mexico between the Tierra Adentro, the fabled, yet isolated place that would become New Mexico, and … Page 8, Map 2. The following brief chronology is copied from the Old Spanish National Historic Trail Official Map and Guide 2013.

Historic Trails of Arizona - Old Spanish National Historic Trail “Navajo Canyon en route to Crossing of the Fathers” photo by Paul Ostapuk. Suggested further reading on historic trails in Arizona, Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park. From 1829 to 1848, the trail was a major trade route between Santa Fé de Nuevo Mexico (Santa Fe, New Mexico), and Alta California (Los Angeles, California). Approximately 700 mi (1,100 km) long, the trail ran through areas of high mountains, arid deserts, and deep canyons. Rivers, streams and mountain passes were already known to fur trappers and traders whose guiding services were employed in the 1830s and 1840s, as Mexican territory became fair game to Americans pushing west. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail passes through Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. “Navajo Canyon en route to Crossing of the Fathers” photo by Paul Ostapuk. This “Spanish Trail,” became a profitable commercial route and was the means for thousands of New Mexico sheep being driven to unlimited markets during the California Gold Rush. The Old Spanish Trail, “the longest, crookedest, most arduous pack mule trail in the history of America,” (1829-1848) was best-known during … Page 7, Map 1. The National Park Service Geographic Resources Program hosts an interactive trails map viewer.
1598 Don Juan de Oñate establishes San Juan de los Caballeros (near modern Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo), the first Spanish settlement in New Mexico. Early in the 19th century when independence from Spain was achieved, Mexico began to allow in trade goods from the United States over what came to be called the Santa Fe Trail, which opened in 1821 from Missouri to New Mexico. 45 Map 5L: Old Spanish NHT High Potential Sites and Segments 46 Map 5M: Old Spanish NHT High Potential Sites and Segments 47 Map 5N: Old Spanish NHT High Potential Sites and Segments 63 Map 6. Rivera and Dominguez – Escalante Expeditions. The trail started in Santa Fe and terminated in Los Angeles, and had several variants – the Armijo Route, the Main Branch, and the mountainous North Branch with East and West Forks. Elevation Profile of the Old Spanish Trail \(Northern Route\). In 2002, the Old Spanish Trail was recognized as the nation’s 15th National Historic Trail, worthy of study, preservation, and protection. Follow the routes of mule pack trains across the Southwest on the Old Spanish National Historic Trail between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California. Antonio Armijo, an enterprising merchant, had succeeded in 1829 in taking his pack train almost due west from Santa Fe to Los Angeles, a direct though difficult route that rewarded him with unbelievable profits.

The Old Spanish Trail, “the longest, crookedest, most arduous pack mule trail in the history of America,” (1829-1848) was best-known during the Mexican period of southwestern history. For almost 200 years, a primary concern for Spanish authorities was finding a supply link between the provincial capitals of northern New Spain and the Pacific Ocean. El Camino Real (the Royal Road) existed — Santa Fe to Chihuahua, and on to Mexico City, but the round trip took many months. Mormons who were settling in Utah journeyed both east and west between Salt Lake City and California; a number of southern California’s early families migrated over the route. Its designated routes cover six states and some 2,700 miles, traversing mountains, deserts, rivers, and coastal valleys. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail was established by Congress in 2002.

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