The Old Spanish Trail was made a national historic trail by an act of Congress in 2002. 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. El Camino Real (the Royal Road) existed — Santa Fe to Chihuahua, and on to Mexico City, but the round trip took many months. 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. It has often been referred to as the most arduous, difficult trail in the United States. Choose the Old Spanish Trail and then zoom in to find the details you need for trip planning. 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. 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. 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. But the need continued for a connection with California and the Pacific Ocean. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail passes through Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. 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. The National Park Service Geographic Resources Program hosts an interactive trails map viewer. It opened a land route across 19th century Mexico between the Tierra Adentro, the fabled, yet isolated place that would become New Mexico, and … The Old Spanish Trail, “the longest, crookedest, most arduous pack mule trail in the history of America,” (1829-1848) was best-known during … In 2002, the Old Spanish Trail was recognized as the nation’s 15th National Historic Trail, worthy of study, preservation, and protection. Page 8, Map 2. Page 7, Map 1. Historic Trails of Arizona - Old Spanish National Historic Trail “Navajo Canyon en route to Crossing of the Fathers” photo by Paul Ostapuk. New Mexican traders moved locally produced merchandise across what are now six states to … The Old Spanish National Historic Trail was established by Congress in 2002.

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