Near Paria in Kane County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Where you are standing, Antonio Armijo and 60 men once ventured from New Mexico to California hoping to find a new trade route in 1829. Following established Native American trails, the explorers traveled through dry, rugged country for 86 days until they reached Gabriel Mission near Los Angeles, on January 30, 1830.
The trip turned out to be a lucrative endeavor. Armijo and his men traded woolen goods for horses and mules. Upon their return to New Mexico, the men sold their stock at premium prices, encouraging other traders to seek their fortunes the same way.
Subsequent expeditions to California took more northerly routes with better water resources. The various routes, including Armijo's original, together were designated as the Old Spanish National Historic Trail in 2002.
Antonio Maria Armijo
At just 25 years old, Antonio Armijo was recognized as a successful trader after his expedition of 1829-1830. Hoping to capitalize on his success, Antonio talked his parents into returning with him from New Mexico to California in 1831. Shortly thereafter, he married Dolores Engracia Duarte y Peralta, the daughter of an influential California rancher.
Utilizing his new family connections, Antonio and his father obtained a 13,000 acre land grant for a ranch
A Better Beast of Burden
Contrary to romanticized illustrations of early traders and settlers traveling the Old Spanish Trail in wagons, most caravans (1829-1847) used pack mules or horses to traverse the rough and difficult terrain. Of these two choices, pack mules were favored for their ability to haul heavy cargo in adverse conditions.
The mules' agility, strength, and surefootedness allowed them to navigate the highly varied terrain. Carrying loads up to 300 pounds each, a hundred of more of these animals formed long mule-trains, bringing goods and good neighbors to California.
Erected by Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Old Spanish National Trail marker series.
Location. 37° 11.161′ N, 111° 59.748′ W. Marker is near Paria, Utah, in Kane County. Marker is on U.S. 89 at milepost 30.7, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kanab UT 84741, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance Paria Movie Set and Pahreah Town Site (here, next to this marker); Pahreah (here, next to this marker).
Categories. • Animals • Environment • Exploration •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 1, 2016, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 322 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 1, 2016, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.