Anza Trail Blog

Reflections on the 14th National Scenic and Historic Trails Conference in Tucson

by Michael Johnson, Cartographer/GIS Intern, Southwest Conservation Corps

Tagged as:   Arizona , Pima County , Recreation Trail , youth

Trails advocates marched in the Tucson All Souls Procession

For the past year I’ve been interning with Ron Morfin, the Recreation and Wilderness Lead of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Field Office in Yuma, on an inventory of the Anza Trail. Since the Partnership for the National Trails System chose Tucson as the site of its 14th National Scenic and Historic Trails Conference November 3-6, 2013, we had a chance to share our work and meet with trail enthusiasts from around the country.  Personally, I was on the hunt for the elusive full-time government position. I… Read more »

Arizpe, Sonora, Plans Exhumation of Colonel Anza's Remains

by Hale Sargent, Anza Trail Interpretive Specialist

Tagged as:   Historic Sites , Mexico

These remains in state in Arizpe, Sonora, were once believed to be those of Col. Juan Bautista de Anza

A Q&A with Anza Society President Phil Valdez, Jr.: Q: 2014 is going to see some exciting developments in Arizpe, Sonora, as well as in nearby Banámichi. What is this region’s importance to the story of the Anza Trail? A: El Gran Capitán, as we Californios call him, Juan Bautista de Anza, is buried in Arizpe, Sonora. He is buried within la Capilla de Nuestra Señora de Loreto, a side chapel within the town’s church of Our Lady of la Asunción. In 1963, a research team from UC Berkeley worked… Read more »

Hike the Anza Trail through the Cardiac Hills of New Almaden Quicksilver

by Hale Sargent, Anza Trail Interpretive Specialist

Tagged as:   Recreation Trail , Santa Clara County

The View from On Top This 3-Mile Hike

A steep climb up, followed by a swift hike down: This 3-mile loop along the Anza Recreation Trail in New Almaden Quicksilver County Park (near San Jose) includes an elevation gain of more than 700 feet. Learn why this park, rich in history, is dubbed the “cardiac hills.” TRAILHEAD DIRECTIONS AND ROUTE: From the park’s Mockingbird Hill Lane entrance (free parking) the Anza Trail overlaps with the Virl O Norton Trail, whose trailhead is located at the eastern corner of the parking lot (point A on the accompanying… Read more »

Volunteers Bring Las Posadas Back to Martinez Adobe

by Hale Sargent, Anza Trail Interpretive Specialist

Tagged as:   Contra Costa County , Culture , Volunteers

El Coro Espanol de Santa Catarina de Siena sings carols during las posadas at the Martinez Adobe, Dec. 14, 2013. Sandra Candanosa, in white, and Yolanda van Belle, in yellow, organized the event.

Volunteers with a Spanish-language choir in Martinez, Calif., brought las posadas, a bilingual holiday program, to park visitors on December 14, 2013. In partnership with the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail and the John Muir National Historic Site, the volunteer choir organized a musical procession that revealed the culture and history behind similar events celebrated throughout the Americas. For many years, an 1849 adobe structure on the grounds of the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez played host to an annual posada. The adobe now… Read more »

Anza Days 2013: Discovering Beauty and Family Along the Trail

by Alex Brinckerhoff

Tagged as:   ATCA , Arizona , Pima County , Santa Cruz County , Volunteers , equestrian , living history , youth

The author, Alex Brinckerhoff, rides during Tubac's Anza Days 2013

Editor's note: The October 2013 Anza Days in Santa Cruz County saw an impressive 28 men, women, and children join the Anza Expedition Re-Enactment Ride from Tumacácori National Historic Park to the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park and Museum. This annual ride commemorates the 240 men, women, and children who departed the Tubac Presidio in October 1775 under the command of Juan Bautista de Anza on an overland journey to colonize San Francisco.Anza Days comes together through the work and resources of these parks, the Anza Trail Coalition… Read more »

Four-Day Kino Cabalgata Rides Along Anza Trail to Magdalena

by Mark O'Hare, Kino Heritage Society

Tagged as:   Mexico , Missions , Volunteers , equestrian

Por Los Caminos de Kino held its 26th cabalgata Dec. 27-30

[Editor's Note: Eusebio Kino's impact in modern-day Sonora and Arizona was felt generations before and after the Anza Expedition; but both of their stories share a geography and the same complicated legacy of missionization and colonial expansion into Native land.]Horseback riders from Arizona and Sonora made their 26th annual Kino Cabalgata (pilgrimage on horseback) this Christmas season commemorating one of many rides for justice made by Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, S.J. Sponsored by Por Los Caminos De Kino, the cabalgata departed Tumacácori National Historical Park on Dec. 27,… Read more »

Friends of Griffith Park Debuts Anza Trail Map

by Bernadette Soter, Friends of Griffith Park

Tagged as:   Los Angeles County , hiking

More than 100 hikers, including Sierra Club members, joined Friends of Griffith Park and Anza Trail Ranger Hale Sargent for an evening hike Aug. 13, 2013

This August, Friends of Griffith Park developed a new resource to commemorate the park’s special place along the Anza Trail.  A new map and brochure, The Anza Trail in Griffith Park, is available at the Griffith Park Ranger Station. The piece shares the story of the Anza Expedition colonists, including the Feliz family whose land grant would become Griffith Park.  The map, which highlights several Anza Trail landmarks and loop hikes within the park, represents the next chapter in the partnership between Griffith Park and the National Park… Read more »

Restoring Healthy Wetlands Along the Anza Trail

by Hale Sargent, Anza Trail Interpretive Specialist

Tagged as:   Arizona , California , Historic Sites , Nature , San Francisco County , Santa Cruz County

Las Lagunas de Anza

The Anza Trail is bookended by a lake and a wetland. Symbols of life and sustenance, they served as the southernmost and northernmost campsites to the Anza Expedition within the present-day U.S.  Both were once threatened by development and industrialization. But gladly, today both are making a comeback as sites of environmental education and community conservation. Las Lagunas de Anza in Nogales, Ariz., is the first historic Anza Expedition campsite in the U.S. On October 14, 1775, the colonists stopped here for a night, just two weeks into… Read more »

East Bay Hills Thru Hike & Ride on the Bay Area Ridge Trail

by Steven Ross

Tagged as:   Alameda County , Bay Area Ridge Trail , California , East Bay Regional Park District , Recreation Trail , equestrian , hiking

Both equestrians and hikers shared in the adventure

The weather at daybreak was very foggy and wet, but we felt no chill, as it seems this country is a more temperate one and, judging from the heat we felt during the march today, there is still more heat as one goes onward. . .  The fog lasted halfway through the morning and then proceeded to clear, leaving the sky open and the sun rather hot.  The route was varied, now plain, now hills- the whole country, however, was very green and flowery and with lilies in… Read more »

Bike the Anza Trail in Wildcat Canyon

by Steven Ross, Anza Trail Outdoor Recreation Planner

Tagged as:   California , Contra Costa County , Recreation Trail , biking , hiking

Wildcat Canyon

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is the largest regional park district in the country; it manages more than 112,000 acres of land in 65 parks in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The Recreational Retracement Route of the Anza Trail winds through 20 of these parks, totaling about 90 miles. Early in the trail’s development, the EBRPD constructed the Delta de Anza Trail, a 19 mile paved trail between the cities of Concord and Oakley. In 2011, EBRPD completed an NPS cost-share project which installed 14… Read more »

Roberto-Sunol Adobe Acquired by California Pioneers of Santa Clara County

Tagged as:   California , Historic Sites , Santa Clara County

Roberto-Sunol Adobe

San Jose has only two extant adobes, one of which is the Roberto-Sunol Adobe at 770 Lincoln Avenue in the Willow Glen neighborhood. In May 2013, the owners donated the adobe to the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County who will create a museum for the benefit of the public. The adobe is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “This is a unique opportunity for our community to enjoy a museum that will showcase the five major eras of our valley’s history, with all eras being represented in a very tangible way at the site,” said Superior Court… Read more »

Hike the Anza Trail through Fort Ord National Monument

by Steven Ross, Anza Trail Outdoor Recreation Planner

Tagged as:   California , Monterey County , Recreation Trail , biking , equestrian , hiking

The Anza Trail Crosses Fort Ord National Monument

On April 20, 2012, President Obama signed a proclamation to designate Fort Ord National Monument. The former military installation holds some of the last undeveloped natural wildlands on the Monterey Peninsula. In his proclamation, the President recognized the significance of the Anza Trail at Fort Ord: “The area is also notable for its historical significance, including its role in the Spanish settlement of California.... Nearly two and a half centuries ago, as Americans fought for independence far to the east, these lands were traversed by a group of settlers… Read more »

Stay Where the Anza Expedition Camped

by Gale Randall, blog contributor

Tagged as:   California , Historic Sites , Missions , Monterey County

Moorish Dome at Dusk

There is nothing quite like staying at the Hacienda at Fort Hunter Liggett. It’s like entering several time warps. For starters, it was near here that the Anza Expedition camped in 1776, en route to founding San Francisco, at nearby Mission San Antonio de Padua. Before the days of the padres and Anza, the Salinan tribe flourished here. In the early 20th century, it was on a bluff overlooking the mission and surrounding valley that newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst built his imposing white Spanish hacienda for what was… Read more »

Meet the Anza Trail Foundation

by Richard Rojas, Chair, Anza Trail Foundation

Tagged as:  

ATF Board Members

It was a sunny fall afternoon when I found myself hiking along the Ellwood Mesa Open Space looking for Monarch butterflies. The Anza Expedition had passed near this eucalyptus grove in February, 1776, probably in the fog. A mystery of nature, the Monarch begins its life as an egg. It becomes a caterpillar, not the most beautiful of creatures, then magically transforms into a cocoon, before becoming a beautiful bright orange and black butterfly! These tiny creatures take generations to migrate to Canada and then back home to the… Read more »

Hike the Anza Trail in Calabasas

by Steven Ross, Anza Trail Outdoor Recreation Planner

Tagged as:   California , Los Angeles County , Recreation Trail , hiking

East Trailhead

The Anza Expedition camped at a site Anza called Agua Escondida (hidden water) on February 22, 1776. The historic campsite was located in the Las Virgines Valley in the present day city of Calabasas, Calif. The expedition and campsite are commemorated with a scenic recreation trail as well as a local park bearing Anza’s name. TRAILHEAD DIRECTIONS AND ROUTE: This 1.4-mile long segment of Anza Trail connects a West Trailhead at Las Virgenes Road to an East Trailhead at the end of Calabasas Road. For a 4-mile round… Read more »

Anza Trail Volunteers Share Top Honors at La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros

by Hale Sargent, Anza Trail Interpretive Specialist

Tagged as:   ATCA , Arizona , Pima County , living history

Tucson Rodeo Parade

In its public debut, the Anza Trail Coalition of Arizona Color Guard shared top honors at the 88th annual Tucson Rodeo Parade on February 21, 2013. La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, as the event is known, bills itself as the world’s largest non-motorized parade. The celebration is a cultural fixture in Tucson; local schools are closed for the event, and it is broadcast live on local television. The parade committee awarded its Chairman’s Award to the Anza Trail volunteers for exemplifying the spirit and theme of Western heritage.… Read more »

Hike Along the Salinas River in El Paso de Los Robles

by Steven Ross, Anza Trail Outdoor Recreation Planner

Tagged as:   California , Recreation Trail , San Luis Obispo County , hiking

El Paso de los Robles translates as “Pass of the Oaks.” This central coast community, known simply as “Paso” by locals, is situated midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Anza Expedition passed by on March 6, 1776, on their way to Mission San Antonio de Padua, and the abundance of oaks is referenced in Father Font’s diary. TRAILHEAD DIRECTIONS AND ROUTE: The Anza Trail follows the Salinas River Trail in Paso Robles (see on map). The southern end of the trail is at Lawrence Moore Park,… Read more »

The Critically Endangered Colonial Spanish Mission Horse

by Deb Wolfe, Preservation Breeder of Colonial Spanish Horses

Tagged as:   equestrian

photo 4 - horses

The pure Spanish horses transported to New Spain demonstrated their steady mind and hardiness long before they reached the beaches of eastern Mexico. Horses travelled to the Americas from Spain on ships, suspended from rafters, supported by huge slings around their bellies to prevent them from breaking their legs. The horse that survived the arduous voyage, multiplied and thrived in the New World. Father Kino’s Mission Horses As early as 1700, Father Eusebio Kino had established the practice of leaving bands of 20-30 of his Spanish "mission horses"… Read more »

Will Sparks: Mission Painter Along the Anza Trail

by Julianne Burton-Carvajal, El Camino Real de California Initiative, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

Tagged as:   Culture

Mission San Gabriel

In 1887, en route to California where he hoped to find work as a news reporter and illustrator, 25-year-old Will Sparks stopped at Mission San Xavier del Bac south of Tucson. Whether or not he realized it at the time, that late-baroque structure looming so unexpectedly above the desert landscape would redirect his career as an artist. For the next fifty years, his preferred subject would be architectural remnants of the Franciscan missionary presence in California and across the Southwest. As he sketched and painted Spanish mission sites… Read more »

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