U.S. National Park Service
Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Learning on the Anza National Historic Trail
NPS Interpreter David Smith in the classroom

Photo: NPS
  Learning on the Trail

Counties on the trail from south to north: 

This guide was created for travelers, and especially for families with children. This said, it should be used as source material with adults guiding the learning process rather than given to students directly. The "Driving Directions" and the "Sites of Interest" give parents and teachers basic information on what is found in a given area and how to get there. Names and words uncommon in the English language are given in italics throughout the text. Some of these words are defined in the glossary at the back of the guide.

Anza Interpreter David Smith tells Anza's story
Anza Interpreter David Smith (dressed as Anza) tells
Anza's story to children at an event in Imperial County.
Photo: NPS  

The "Learning on the Trail" section of each county offers some educational extras that are especially suited to students. There are questions that ask students to look for-and study-a historic marker, site, or a place along the way. These challenge students to learn and extrapolate from their own reading and experiences so far. They can be fun for the whole family, and add an element of a 'treasure-hunt' to your drive along the trail. They can also be used in a classroom setting if the teacher presents the essential information for the county.

One unique feature of this guide is a set of audio tracks that provide sounds that the expedition could have heard. These include animal sounds, spoken words, Spanish popular and religious music, and American Indian words and chants. These can help to deepen the traveler's understanding, and experience, of the Anza Trail, especially when they are played at the site where Anza's settlers might have originally heard them. On most county web pages, the section called "On the CD" includes MP3 audio sound samples along with descriptions of the sounds and how they relate to that portion of the Anza Trail. These audio files are the same as the audio tracks on the CD provided with the printed version of the Anza National Historic Trail Guide. For those counties without audio tracks, the "Heard in " section describes what was heard. The text in these sections can be used as narration to introduce the audio tracks. The Anza Trail Guide Audio File page has a complete set of the MP3 audio sound clips for the entire trail.

In addition to these learning opportunities, other activities can be created as well. One idea is to keep a diary of your explorations just as Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Father Pedro Font of the expedition did. Student travelers can keep a diary of sights, sounds, experiences and activities during the trip. A simple, sturdy notebook and a pencil or pen are the only essentials, but a roll of tape kept handy allows one to easily add postcards, leaflets, maps, and other treasures to the pages for that day.

Page 188 from Father Font's diary
Page 188 from Father Font's diary describes Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay and the visit to it by packet boat San Carlos.
Graphic: Bolton

The overview map can help to orient travelers to where they are on the trail. Detailed maps are found on the individual county web pages, which can be reached from the County Selection List above.

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

Back to Juan Bautista de Anza Trail Guide Homepage.

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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