(The name was a term rooted in John C. Frémont’s report of his 1844 journey over the trail for the U.S. Topographical Corps., guided by Kit Carson. Thanks in part to the Old Spanish Trail, Santa Fe emerged as the hub of the overland continental trade network linking Mexico and United States markets—a network that included not only this trail, but also the Santa Fe Trail and El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. Its designated routes cover six states and some 2,700 miles, traversing mountains, deserts, rivers, and coastal valleys. During this same time period, Franciscan priests, the Spanish military, and civilian explorers were beginning to settle various coastal valleys in Alta California. It was from a combination of the indigenous footpaths, early trade and exploration routes, and horse and mule routes that the trail network known collectively as the “Old Spanish Trail” evolved. OUR HISTORY - Old Spanish Trail W elcome to the O.S.T. Franciscan missionaries Francisco Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de Escalante unsuccessfully attempted the trip to California, which was just being settled, leaving Santa Fe in 1776 and making it all t… Santa Fe, NM

It crossed eight states and 67 counties along the southern border of the United States. 87504. No one, however, made the trek connecting California and New Mexico. Many prominent members of both New Mexican and Californio families traversed this route as part of annual caravans.

The trail was opened to California after Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821. (First appeared in the 2004 Summer Issue of “Pathways Across America”, a newsletter published by the Partnership for the National Trail System – PNTS) The Old Spanish Trail became the fifteenth national historic trail when Congress adopted S. 1946 in November and President George W. Bush signed the bill early in December 2002. The Old Spanish Trail was a national highway, completed in the 1920s, that ran from St. Augustine, Florida, across the southern United States to San Diego, California. From 1829 to 1848, the trail was the major trade route between Santa Fé de Nuevo Mexico (Santa Fe, New Mexico), and Alta California (Los Angeles, California). A viable overland route had to be found, though, to cross the remote deserts and mountains of Mexico’s far northern frontier. The trail is a combination of known trails that were established by Spanish explorers, trappers, and traders with the Ute and other Indian tribes. The Old Spanish Trail (the OST) was an auto trail that once spanned the United States with almost 2,750 miles (4,430 km) of roadway from ocean to ocean.

Old Spanish National Historic Trail (U.S. National Park Service) An Arduous Adventure of Rich Trade 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.

It was from a combination of the indigenous footpaths, early trade and exploration routes, and horse and mule routes that the trail network known collectively as the “Old Spanish Trail” evolved. It has often been referred to as the most arduous, difficult trail in the United States.

Old Spanish National Historic Trail Restaurant has been serving the dining needs of Bandera since 1921, making it the oldest continuously operated restaurant in Bandera County. PO Box 728 It took the vision and courage of Mexican trader Antonio Armijo to lead the first commercial caravan from Abiquiú, New Mexico to Los Angeles in late 1829. After the United States took control of the Southwest in 1848, other routes to California emerged, a wagon route was opened to southern California, and use of the Old Spanish Trail sharply declined.

There was likewise a strong economic incentive to move contraband goods and Indian slaves, over this same route. (The name was a term rooted in John In 1776, during the Spanish period, priests Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante left Santa Fe and explored far and wide through northern New Mexico, western Colorado, and southern Utah. Learn more about trail life, trail impacts on indigenous people, how the trail shaped history, and more! Much of this county would later be part of the Old Spanish Trail.

Find references in our bibliography to help you dig deeper into the history of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail. The Old Spanish Trail was used by the conquistadors, who often followed routes established long ago by Native Americans. National Trails Restaurant. While the name acknowledges the fact that parts of the trail had been known to the Spanish since the 16th century, the 700-mile trail was not established until the Mexican period.) The O.S.T. There was money to be made in transporting serapes and other woolen goods from New Mexico to Los Angeles and in wrangling California-bred horses and mules back to Santa Fe. In one celebrated, well-documented instance, two toddlers made the trip while packed into the mules’ saddlebags. The eastern parts of what became called the Old Spanish Trail, including southwest Colorado and southeast Utah, were explored by Juan Maria de Rivera in 1765. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail was established by Congress in 2002. Learn more about significant trail figures and their impacts on history. The Texas portion of the road began at the southwestern Louisiana border at Orange, passed through Beaumont, Houston, and San Antonio, and ended at El Paso. The Old Spanish Trail was made a national historic trail by an act of Congress in 2002. (First appeared in the 2004 Summer Issue of “Pathways Across America”, a newsletter published by the Partnership for the National Trail System – PNTS) The Old Spanish Trail became the fifteenth national historic trail when Congress adopted S. 1946 in November and President George W. Bush signed the bill early in December 2002. Following suit over the next twenty years, Mexican and American traders continued to use routes similar to the one he pioneered, frequently trading with Indian tribes along the way.