Old Spanish Trail National Historic Trail

Bureau of Land Management, Utah.

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. Approximately 700 mi (1,100 km) long, the trail ran through areas of high mountains, arid deserts, and deep canyons. It is considered one of the most arduous of all trade routes ever established in the United States. Explored, in part, by Spanish explorers as early as the late 16th century, the trail saw extensive use by pack trains from about 1830 until the mid-1850s. The name of the trail comes from the publication of John C. Fr mont's Report of his 1844 journey for the U.S. Topographical Corps., guided by Kit Carson, from California to New Mexico. The name acknowledges the fact that parts of the trail had been known to the Spanish since the 16th century. The trail is important to New Mexico history because it established an arduous but usable trade route with California.

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The Old Spanish Trail crosses the state of Utah including eight BLM Field Offices. The trail also crosses six states.