Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

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An environmental summary by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.


The Anza National Historic Trail was designated by Congress in 1990 to promote the eighteenth century expeditions of Spanish Lieutenant Juan Bautista de Anza. These expeditions aimed to establish an overland trade and colonization route across Alta California. The original expedition traverses about 1,800 miles from Sonora, Mexico across Alta California to the Bay Area and established what became San Francisco [1].


This trail is managed through collaboration and partnering with organizations such as the National Park Service, non-profit groups, and other land management agencies. The National Park Service (NPS) is working toward creating a continuous, 1,200-mile non-motorized recreation trail that will roughly follow the historic route of the Anza Expedition of 1775-76 [2]. In addition to the National Park Service, the Anza Trail Foundation is a private, non-profit organization that raises visibility and promotes knowledge of Juan Bautista de Anza and the Anza National Historic Trail. This non-profit does not own or manage any land or resources associated with the trail. They work in partnership with federal, state, county, city, and other public agencies, as well as non-profit organizations, private landowners, volunteers, and others who maintain, build, certify, protect, and interpret the Anza Trail.

Trail Condition

Certified and uncertified sections of recreational trail as well as trail resources such as educational signage are established within or near the Historic Trail Corridor of the Anza expedition. Approximately 300 miles of recreation trail have been certified so far and do not currently connect into one continuous trail [3]. These certified trail segments are independently operated by various land-use agencies. Therefore, their hours, fees, and use rules vary. Sections of the trail are present in Mexico, Arizona, and California and the northern boundary of the trail is in San Francisco Bay.

Central Coast Context

In the Monterey Bay area there are multiple sections of uncertified trail through the Fort Ord National Monument (FONM) and Monterey. There are sections along State Highway 68, Munras Avenue, Aguajito to Camino Aguajito roads, Highway 218 through Del Rey Oaks, and the eastern portion of Fort Ord National Monument near State Highway 68.

In the Salinas area, there are two portions of trail along Natividad Creek and Constitution boulevard towards Gabilan Creek.

Fort Ord National Monument Context

There is about 4.64 miles of the Anza trail in the Fort Ord National Monument. In 2012, President Obama signed a proclamation under the Antiquities Act that recognized the significance of the Anza trail in addition to other cultural, historical, and natural resources when creating the monument. Obama states "Although much of the historic route currently passes through urban areas, the undeveloped expanse of the Fort Ord area is likely quite similar to the open landscape experienced by Anza and by the Costanoan (now commonly referred to as Ohlone) peoples who lived in what is now the Central Coast region of California" [4].



  1. Reference text http://www.anzatrailfoundation.com/accomplishments-focus
  2. Reference text https://www.nps.gov/juba/learn/historyculture/recreation-trails.htm
  3. Reference text https://www.nps.gov/juba/learn/historyculture/recreation-trails.htm
  4. Reference text https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/20/presidential-proclamation-establishment-fort-ord-national-monument


This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessary reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.