In 1776, while American patriots fought for their independence from England, Spanish Lt. Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza led more than 240 men, women, and children some 1,800 miles to establish a settlement at San Francisco Bay. These families were the first colonists to come overland across the frontier of New Spain into present-day California.
The trail connects Mexico to San Francisco. The group included the settlers, military escorts, support workers and Indian guides, as well as 1,000 head of livestock. The expedition reached “el río de San Francisco “ on June 27, 1776 and established Spain’s northernmost colony in Alta California.
The historic trail today is memorialized with a 1,210 mile route extending from Nogales on the U.S./Mexico border through sections of southern Arizona into California. You will see signs from time to time signifying you are on the De Anza Trail.
Locally here in Ventura County, you’ll encounter sections of the De Anza Trail as follows:
The Los Robles Trail in Thousand Oaks is an official recreation hiking route.
The Los Robles Trail connects to the Wendy Trail in Newbury Park at its west endpoint on Potrero Road.
There are nearly 17 miles of trail in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area designated for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
The coastal parks of San Buenaventura and Emma Wood State beaches, the Faria and Hobson County Parks and the recreation trail on the Ventura beach boardwalk all provide memorable ocean views.
More details on the Ventura County portions of the De Anza Trail at www.anzahistorictrail.org/visit/counties/ventura.
Learn much more at www.anzahistorictrail.org.