U.S. National Park Service
  Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Guide

Juan Buatista de Anza Historic Trail

Counties on the trail from south to north: 

The overview map above and the (680 Kb) pdf format map of the counties can help travelers tell which county they are in on the trail.

Detailed maps are found in the individual county web pages that can be reached from the Select A County pulldown list above.

There is also a trail brochure driving map in pdf format (770 Kb).

See the complete map of the Anza Expedition, as informed by Father Pedro Font,
Chaplain and diarist of the expedition.

On-line Anza Trail Guide - Introduction

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is a 1,210-mile historic route from Nogales, Arizona to San Francisco, California. The trail commemorates the story of the 1775-1776 Spanish Expedition whose members, consisting of some 30 families, experienced this overland route on their trek to Alta (or upper) California. They founded and established the Mission and Presidio of San Francisco, the Mission in Santa Clara and the Pueblo of San Josť. Most settled in what is today the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Anza Trail Guide was created by Greg Bernal-Mendoza Smestad, Ph.D., a descendent of several expedition members. The guide has chapters for each county along the trail in Arizona and California and they have detailed information about the trail's history, route, and sites of interest that you can visit. Be sure to use the soundtrack described in each chapter so that you can listen to authentic music, interviews, and sounds.

This on-line site is an expanded version of the guide once available through Los Californianos, titled, “Antepasados, Volume XI: A Guide to the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail” (now out of print)

The on-line version of the trail guide here, includes downloadable audio files and links to resources for sites of interest. Additional background information and details about the displays along the trail are included in the Anza Trail Today.

Each county page has a "Learning on the Trail" section offering some educational extras that are especially suited to students. Find out more about Learning on the Trail.

How To Use This Guide

Anza Trail Guide LegendGo to the top of this page and use the "select a county" pull-down menu to begin your journey. This guide is organized so that travelers can easily explore, county by county, as much or as little as they choose of the route followed by Juan Bautista de Anza's historic expeditions. It begins where Anza entered what is now Arizona and ends with his explorations of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The guide is organized into chapters. Each chapter represents a county, realizing of course that there were no counties when Anza passed through. There are nineteen counties, plus an additional chapter, "Getting Back," describing how Anza got back from his explorations of the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay.

Juan Bautista de Anza Auto Tour Route signThe chapters are not meant to be a comprehensive description of how to get to Anza-related places, or a description of those places. They do provide a starting point for travelers so that they can decide what they would like to see and do along the way. It is best to always cross reference this material with your own maps and references. The additional resources at the end of each chapter provide addresses, both web and postal, where more information can be obtained.

Each chapter also features a map, driving directions, historic sites relevant to Anza's trip, and other interpretive sites along the way. Just as important are quotes from Anza's diary and that of the missionary accompanying the group, Father Pedro Font. These entries aid the traveler's understanding of the daily challenges Anza and the settlers faced.

Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Route signIn some cases, the path taken by Anza is today on lands that are in private hands, on government military bases, or in some other way inaccessible. There are thus two types of trail signs along the auto route. The first simply denotes the auto route and is marked "Auto Tour Route". It is usually parallel or close to Anza's historic route, the "Historic Corridor." The second type of sign is denoted by the words "Historic Route" and, to a degree of certainty, is on the same path that was followed by Anza.

On each map, you will find a legend with the icons for: the historic corridor and the driving route, as well as the 1775/1776 campsites denoted using Father Font's numbering scheme. "Historic Sites" are places that played a special role in the events of the expedition or in the lives of the expedition's members and descendants. At Visitors' Centers, more information can be obtained about the expedition and about other nearby places that are linked to the trail or the Anza expeditions and their aftermath.

More information on the trails shown on the maps can be found via the Additional Resources sections found near the bottom of the web page for each county. Unless otherwise stated, the web sites given in this guide omit the typical https://www. prefix. The web site where travelers can learn more about the trail then becomes nps.gov/juba/

This document and its parts are in the public domain. It is for education and evaluation purposes only. It is not, however, to be used commercially without written permission from the National Park Service.

Please direct comments and inquiries to:
   U.S. Dept. of Interior, National Park Service
   Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
   Tel. 510-817-1438
   Contact the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Headquarters
   web: nps.gov/juba/

Learn about the Anza Trail Today.

Individual pages in the Trail Guide contain educational features especially suited to students. Find out more about Learning on the Trail.

Learn about the Anza Trail Guide Author, Greg Smestad.

Download pdf versions of pages from the printed Trail Guide:
Cover pages, credits, dedication and quotes
Table of Contents
Historical Background
Anza Trail Themes
Answers to Quiz Questions
CD Track List

Download the Anza Trail Guide errata/corrections (for the printed version) in pdf format (600 Kb).

Listen to tracks on the Anza Trail Guide CD.

Learn more about the Anza Trail CD and Music.

Learn more about the Anza Trail Guide Project.

Look up names, locations and terms in the Glossary.

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