January 28, 1830 - Old Spanish Trail

In 1821 Mexico gained independence from Spain and eight years later traders from New Mexico, began the long trek to Los Angeles, California, to exchange goods and return to New Mexico where they could sell them for a profit. 

They carried woolen goods and a variety of animal hides to exchange for California horses and mules.

The first caravan, led by Antonio Armijo, traveled about three months from Abiquiu (Northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico) to reach Southern California.  They crossed the Cajon Pass and reached San Bernardino on January 28, 1830, and here they rested for the remainder of the day before proceeding to Mission San Gabriel and Pueblo de Los Angeles.  

This was the first of many caravans on what soon became known as the Old Spanish Trail.

Click here for the National Park Service brochure on the Old Spanish Trail.