U.S. National Park Service
Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Anza expedition painting by Wade Cox
The Anza expedition looked like a traveling city.

Graphic: Wade Cox
  Santa Cruz County - Nogales to Tubac Presidio

Counties on the trail from south to north: 

To download as a PDF, click here (1.4 Mb). Viewable with Adobe Acrobat Reader 
Map of Juan Bautista de Anza trail in Santa Cruz County, Arizona 
The Anza Expedition
"ˇVayan subiendo!" - "Everybody mount up!" This was the command Anza sang out to begin the expedition's travels. The order of the train was specific with Anza coming first followed by the colonists and animals.

Graphic: Bill Singleton

Driving Directions for Auto Route

From the international border, the trail heads due north, paralleling Nogales Wash and later follows along the Santa Cruz River. Travel north from the Port of Entry on Business Loop I-19, and connect with northbound I-19. Visit historic sites tied to the Anza expedition such as Tumacácori National Historical Park and Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. To continue on the route, see Pima County.

Hiking/Biking Ideas

Along the several miles of trails in Río Rico, look for two stone trail orientation signs. There is a 4.5-mile trail between Tumacácori and Tubac (off of I-19) managed by the Anza Trail Coalition of Arizona and open to the public. The trail also extends north from Tubac for about a mile. It is about 1.25 miles from either trailhead to the first river crossing. The frontage road along Interstate 19 offers biking opportunities.


Tumacácori (left), pronounced Toomah- káh-core-ee, is located on 45 acres and contains the ruins of three missions. The missions at San José de Tumacácori and Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi were both established around 1691 and are the two oldest missions in Arizona. Mission San Cayetano de Calabasas derives its name from the Spanish word calabaza. This refers to the wild yellow gourds (Cucurbita foetidissma) that grow nearby. Guevavi is likely from a Piman word.

An ongoing project (Mission 2000) at Tumacácori involves imaging and translating Spanish documents. It has shown that many Anza expedition families raised children, lived and worshiped nearby.

Photo: Ron Ory

  About Your Visit to Santa Cruz County

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail starts here. Anza began recruiting settlers and soldiers in the Spring of 1775. They assembled in San Miguel de Horcasitas (now in Mexico) and departed on September 29, 1775, heading north. The final assembly was at Tubac Presidio, where they left Spanish civilization behind and traveled 890 miles to Monterey, California.

Sites of Interest

A. Las Lagunas and Expedition Camp #13
This campsite in Nogales is at a cienaga, or marsh, which is in private hands. It can be viewed by taking exit 5 off of northbound I-19 to Country Club Drive North and turning west. Park in the St. Andrew's Church parking lot, but do not overstay your welcome, since it's private land. The Desert Shadows Middle School in Nogales is home to a large Anza mural.

B. Río Rico Trail
Starting at the staging area parking lot off of Río Rico Rd., several miles of trail parallel Anza's route. From here, one can bike or walk to Tumacácori if it's not too hot. Look for several small stone trail signs.

C. Tumacácori National Historical Park
Mission San José de Tumacácori is located on highway I-19 about 18 miles north of Nogales, and was first listed in 1691 as an outlying visita (a mission station without a resident priest) by the famous Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. By 1701, the village was a visita of the mission at Guevavi, and in 1771, Tumacácori was made the head mission of the district, and Guevavi was abandoned. San Cayetano de Calabasas is the adobe remnants of a site first occupied about 1756 as a Spanish mission visita. Father Pedro Font held mass here on October 17, 1775, as the expedition moved toward Tubac. Construction of the present mission church was begun around 1802. The visitor center is a National Historic Landmark and includes a museum. Visits to Calabasas and Guevavi can be arranged at the park's headquarters. A trail connects Tumacácori and Tubac along the Santa Cruz river through beautiful riparian habitat containing cottonwoods and mesquite. Look for several large ramadas enclosing interpretive panels about Anza's expeditions and the natural history of the area.

D. Tubac Presidio State Historic Park and Expedition Camp #14
Anza served as the Presidio de San Ignacio de Tubac's second commander from 1760-1776. About fifty cavalrymen were stationed at this remote outpost, founded in 1752 in response to an uprising by the local Akimel O'odham (Pima) tribe. Anza's house, made of adobe bricks, was located here in what is now Tubac Presidio State Historic Park (four miles north of Tumacácori, Tubac Rd. and Presidio Dr.). The adjacent area was the old Tubac Barrio (community). Today, it's managed by the Archeological Conservancy, and they arrange visits. A group called Los Tubaqueños offers period interpretation at the park. A re-enactment of the expedition's passage through Tubac takes place annually during the Anza Days.

From Father Font's Diary, Sunday, October 22, 1775 (Campsite 14)
"I said Mass for the success of the journey of the expedition, all the people attending, and Father Garcés assisted because in the presidio there were no other singers. After the gospel I made a talk or brief sermon suitable to the purpose... I reminded them of the punishment which God might mete out to them if they mistreated the heathen on the way or scandalized them by their conduct...all the people of the expedition being assembled and everything necessary being arranged, it was decided to continue the journey next day [October 23 at eleven o'clock in the morning]...

Franciscan priest Father Pedro Font
Franciscan priest Father Pedro Font, diarist and Chaplain of the 1775-1776 Anza Expedition.
Graphic: David Rickman
I may note that the order observed on the march during the whole journey was as follows: ...As soon as the pack trains were ready to start, the commander would say, 'Everybody mount.' Thereupon we all mounted our horses and at once the march began, forming a train in this fashion: Ahead went four soldiers, as scouts to show the road. Leading the vanguard went the commander, and then I came. Behind me followed the people, men, women, and children, and the soldiers who went escorting and caring for their families. The lieutenant with the rear guard concluded the train. Behind him the pack mules usually followed; after them came the loose riding horses and mules; and finally all the cattle, so that altogether they made up a very long procession...

Then, we began to march, I intoned the Alabado, to which all the people responded; and this was done every day both going and coming. When the campsite was reached, after all the people had dismounted the lieutenant came to report to the commander whether everything had arrived, or if something had remained behind, in order that he might give suitable orders. At night the people said the Rosary in their tents by families, and afterward they sang the Alabado, the Salve, or something else, each one in its own way, and the result was a pleasing variety."

From Anza's Diary - First page
"Diary of the march and explorations which I, the undersigned lieutenant colonel and captain of the Royal presidio of Tubac in the province and government of Sonora , am making a second time from the foregoing province to northern California. By order of the most excellent Señor Baylio Frey Don Antonio María Bucareli y Ursúa, Viceroy, Governor, and Captain-General of New Spain, as is shown by his superior decree of the 24th of November of the past year of 1774, for the purpose of escorting thirty soldiers with their commander and sergeant to the California named, for the reinforcement of the Royal Presidio of San Carlos de Monte Rey, and for the establishment of the port of San Francisco, all married and all recruited in the province named, and whose women and children and other dependents are set forth more at length below, together with the total number of those going upon this expedition..."

Juan Bautista de Anza signature  

What's in a name?

Anza wrote his name with a rubric, that dramatic squiggle at the end of the last letter. A personal rubric served to identify the writer, and to prevent forgery of a signature.

  About Juan Bautista de Anza in Santa Cruz County

Juan Bautista de Anza on horseback
A clean-shaven Anza ready for the frontier.
Graphic: David Rickman

Don Juan Bautista de Anza was 39 years old when the 1775-76 colonizing expedition left for California. He was born in Fronteras in Sonora, New Spain, in 1736. His father, also named Juan Bautista, was the commander of the Presidio at Fronteras; he was killed in a battle with the Apache Indians there when Juan was three or four years old.

In 1751, during the Pima (Akimel O'odham) rebellion, he joined the volunteer soldiers. By the time he was 19, he was lieutenant at the Presidio in Fronteras. When his commander died suddenly in 1759, he became the Captain at Tubac. He married Ana María Pérez Serrano in 1771. Anza was asked to defend the royal settlements and presidios against the Apache and Seri Indians until 1773, and he carried out his duty with honor and distinction. In 1774, he asked permission to prove that a land route from Tubac to Monterey in Alta California was possible. The Viceroy of New Spain, Don Antonio Bucareli, granted him this assignment. Anza's father had made the same request many years before, but died before he could do so. With the help of American Indians, the younger Anza succeeded in carrying out his father's dream.

Unsubstantiated portrait of Juan Bautista de Anza
One of several unsubstantiated portraits of Juan Bautista de Anza.
Image: Bolton
First of all, there was Sebastián Tarabal, an American Indian and a native of Baja California, who had accompanied Gaspar de Portolá during his California expedition from Baja California. Sebastián had recently crossed the torturous desert from Mission San Gabriel (now near Los Angeles) to Northern Sonora. He was Anza's guide through the desert on the first expedition (1774). In addition, Anza befriended Chief Salvador Palma of the Quechan tribe (called the Yuma Indians during Anza's time), knowing that having the peaceful cooperation of his tribe was essential during crossing of the Colorado River near their villages. Anza and his 34 men succeeded at reaching San Gabriel and Monterey, then the most northern outpost of the Spanish Empire. Anza's first expedition to California was a success.

When Anza returned to Sonora (now in Mexico), he was rewarded and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In 1775, he was given orders to recruit soldiers with families, and to escort them to Alta California so that they could establish a colony at the port of San Francisco. In spring of 1775, he began recruiting and enlisting soldiers with families starting in the town of Culiacán (in Sinaloa), and swept northward on his campaign. He must have made a convincing argument, since he could offer them only an immediate salary as well as food, clothing, and transportation to a land that was wilderness and a great unknown.

Anza was away on two trips to Alta California; his wife remained in Tubac. Anza would be away for about eight months during the 1775-76 colonizing expedition serving his king, Carlos III of Spain.

  About the Anza Expedition in Santa Cruz County
Anza Expedition Pack Trains
Graphic: Wade Cox

Equipping the Colonists from Hair Ribbons to Shoes

The Anza expedition had to carry the supplies needed to keep the group safe, fed, and healthy. Almost all of it was carried by mules. Don José de Echeveste drew up a detailed list of estimated costs for Anza's 1775-1776 expedition on December 5, 1774. He calculated it in the money of the time, Spanish pesos and reales, eight reales being worth one peso; 45 1/2 reales was equivalent to about one (1998) U.S. dollar.

The colonists were provided for from head to toe. Clothing for the men consisted of: 3 good linen shirts, 3 pairs of underdrawers of Puebla cloth, 2 cloth jackets with lining and trimming, 2 pairs of breeches (trousers), 2 pairs of stockings, 2 pairs of buckskin boots, 3 pairs of buttoned shoes, 1 cloth cape lined with thick baize (flannel), 1 hat, 2 blankets, and ribbon for the hat and their hair. Don José estimated a cost of 42 pesos and 1 real for each man, and in addition, a typical soldier was to be paid one peso daily.

Woman with children

Graphic: David Rickman
Girl on horse

Graphic: Bill Singleton

The wardrobe for each woman cost 6 reales less than the man's. Women were given 3 chemises (shirts), 3 pairs of white puebla cotton petticoats, 1 baize and 1 serge skirt and an underskirt, linen for 2 jackets, 2 pairs of Brussels stockings, 2 pairs of hose and shoes, 2 rebozos (at 12 reales each), a hat and 6 varas of ribbon to trim it all up. Children's clothing would have been homemade; materials provided included bolts of cloth, ribbon, fine rope, and shoes of all sizes for both sexes.

Food rations included cattle (one for each day), 30 loads of flour for tortillas, pinole, kidney beans, 6 cases of ordinary chocolate, white sugar, soap, and 3 barrels of aguardiente (brandy) for "needs that arise." As it turned out, this would be used for the expedition's fandangos. For cooking, there were 8 iron pans, 10 copper campaign kettles, and 12 large chocolate-pots.

Military supplies included a flag with the royal coat of arms, 11 tents of unbleached canvas, 20 carbines (rifles), 10 ball cartridges, 40 leather flasks for gun powder, swords and lances, 22 leather jackets, plus gear for the horses and pack mules. Tools included 4 Biscayan hatchets with a steel edge, 4 spades, 4 shovels, a crow-bar, 1 tool chest. There were also 2 blank books for military registers and the diaries. Without these we would know much less about the expedition. Thanks to the diaries, we can read about the daily trials of the expedition over 225 years after they made their journey.

And let's not forget that there were gifts for the American Indians that Anza would meet along the way, including 6 boxes of beads. A blue cloth cloak, a jacket and buckskin beeches were given to the the chief of the Quechan tribe at Yuma (Salvador Palma). When all was accounted for, the expedition cost less than $500 U.S. dollars. That's a pretty good investment on the part of the Spanish government to secure the claim it had to California and the west.

  Learning On The Trail in Santa Cruz County

Who Traveled with Anza?

Click to see Anza Roll Call

Click to see the Anza Expedition Roll Call in a new window. Please close that window when finished.


The Rebozo

by Martha Ann Francisca Vallejo-McGettigan, descendant of Feliciana Arballo.

Feliciana with her baby in a rebozo
  Feliciana with her
baby in a

Drawing by Tamra Fox

The cost estimate for Anza's 1775-1776 expedition made by Don José de Echeveste shows two rebozos were issued for each woman, and materials were provided so that they could be made for girls. The fact that two of this common head covering were provided by the King suggests that these were indispensable. The rebozo is considered to be the most important garment used by women on the Spanish frontier. It is worn as a shawl, as a wrap in which to carry a baby, or loosely flung on the arm. Its other uses are as a head covering, to preserve modesty when breast feeding, to provide warmth, or to carry things. Plays, poems and songs have been written about the rebozo, and to this day, it is the symbol of dress for a large class of Mexican society. Its dimensions were typically 28-34 inches wide and 84 inches in length (with a fringe). It can be made of wool, linen, cotton, or a combination of cotton and silk. Colors during Anza's time would be blue, red, striped, or black. According to Donald Garate, there were 92 children under the age of twelve on the expedition. Six were under the age of two, five under one year and five born while traveling to Tubac. The mothers would be nursing these children as well as keeping them close. There are various ways to hold a child with a rebozo while riding a horse. On the trail, a woman would add a hat, jacket, ride astride for safety, and use the rebozo for carrying a young child.

Additional Resources

Pimeria Alta Historical Soc. and Museum - 136 N. Grand Avenue, Nogales, AZ 85628;
tel.: 520-287-4621,
web: museumstuff.com/rec/

Río Rico - AZ 85648;
tel.: 520-281-8541,
web: toursantacruz.com

Tumacácori National Historical Park - 1891 E. Frontage Rd., P.O. Box 67, Tumacácori, AZ 85640;
tel.: 520-398-2341,
web: nps.gov/tuma

Mission 2000 - A searchable database of Spanish mission records for southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico, from the late 17th century to the mid-19th century;
web: nps.gov/tuma/history

The Tubac Historical Society - Placita de Anza, Tubac, AZ 85646;
tel.: 520-398-2020,
web: tubacaz.com/

Tubac Presidio State Historic Park - P.O. Box 1296, Tubac, Arizona 85646;
tel.: 520-398-2252,
web: azstateparks.com/

Anza Trail Coalition of Arizona - P.O. Box 42612, Tucson, AZ 85733-2612;
tel: 520-792-0554,
web: anzatrail.com

On the CD: Introduction and The Alabado

Introduction and Donald T. Garate, Anza historian and Chief of Interpretation at Tumacácori National Historic Park, talks about Anza and the history and significance of the Anza trail.

The Alabado
. Father Font mentions this song several times in the diary, including at Tubac on October 22, 1775 regarding its daily use. Unfortunately, Font's Alabado is not known today with any certainty. There were several Alabados; the name comes from alabar, "to praise". Although Alabados were used by Catholic priests in New Spain, it was not part of the Church's official music for Mass. According to Dr. Keith Paulson-Thorp, former Director of Music at the Mission Santa Barbara, the version we know today comes from Fernando Cardenas, "Fernandito," an American Indian at Mission Santa Inéz who learned it years after the Missions had been secularized.

Click to play the Introduction MP3 audio file

Play MP3 file of The Introduction: Who Was Anza?
by Greg P. Smestad and Don Garate
(playing time 6 minutes 51 seconds)

Click to play The Alabado MP3 file Play MP3 file of The Alabado performed by
John Warren (Chant), Calicanto (Choral), Lance Beeson (Guitar)
(playing time 3 min. 43 sec.)

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