“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Comanche Trail into Mexico Historical Markers

While there were actually many trails utilized by Comanches in Texas, “The Comanche Trail” typically refers to that system of trails used by Comanches travelling south through Texas on raids into Mexico. This trail is sometimes called the “Comanche War Trail” or “Comanche Trace”. Pekka Hämäläinen in his book The Comanche Empire says raids on the trail grew into a “veritable industry” generating a “massive northward flow of property from Mexico into Comancheria and its trade channels” to the north. The full extent of the trail stretched nearly 1,000 miles from Comancheria in the north, deep into Mexico. The Comanche Trail was in use for about a century, starting in the late 1700s.
Comanche Trail Marker, View in context image, Touch for more information
By Richard Denney, March 22, 2012
Comanche Trail Marker, View in context
1 Texas, Brewster County, Big Bend National Park — 994 — Comanche Trail
You are now traveling the Comanche Trail blazed by Comanche Indians, en route from the western plains to Mexico, and traveled later by emigrants and soldiers. It extended south from the Horse Head Crossing of the Pecos by Comanche Springs . . . Map (db m53931) HM
2 Texas, Brewster County, Big Bend National Park — Luna's Jacal
Here at the edge of Alamo Creek, Gilberto Luna raised a large family in this small house called a jacal (hah-KAHL). Built from rock, earth, and plant fiber, the dwelling was well adapted to desert conditions: notice a dramatic temperature difference . . . Map (db m53935) HM
3 Texas, Brewster County, Marathon — 1258 — Double Mills
A natural watering place in prehistoric time, as evidenced by artifacts found here. Used later by Indians and Spaniards on roads from northern Mexico. As Maravillas Creek developed from a draw into water channel, old water hole vanished. About . . . Map (db m53933) HM
4 Texas, Brewster County, Marathon — 2003 — Fort Peña Colorado (Red Rock)
Established in 1880 as a means of preventing Indian raids into Mexico. Raided by Apaches in 1881. Abandoned in 1893 after Western Texas had been permanently cleared of Indians.Map (db m73723) HM
5 Texas, Brewster County, Marathon — 3201 — Marathon
Fort Peña Colorado, the last active fort in this area, on the old Comanche Trail, about 4 miles to the southwest was established in 1879. Marathon was founded in 1881. Named by an old sea captain, A.E. Shepard, for the Plain of Marathon, in . . . Map (db m26436) HM
6 Texas, Crane County, Crane — 755 — Castle Mountain(2 mi. East) Reported missing
About 3,000 ft. elevation. Since 17th century, a landmark in travel from Texas points to Mexico and California. According to tradition, named by Spaniards for resemblance to ancient castles. Has associations with stories of lost trains of gold and . . . Map (db m203144) HM
7 Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 996 — Comanche War Trail
A barbed, bristling flying wedge—the Comanches—rode into 18th century Texas, driving the Wichitas and Caddoes east, the Apaches west, becoming lords of the south plains. Harassed the Spanish and Anglo-Americans along frontier from Corpus . . . Map (db m73339) HM
8 Texas, Howard County, Big Spring — 12670 — Big Spring State Park on Route of Old Comanche War Trail
For Comanche war parties, about 1750 to 1875, the Big Spring was an oasis. Here paths from northeast, north and northwest twined into the War Trail that led to San Antonio and other Texas points, and down into Mexico. At the Big Spring, parties from . . . Map (db m73315) HM
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9 Texas, Howard County, Big Spring — 15634 — Route of Marcy’s Trail
Mapped by Captain Randolph B. Marcy in charge of U.S. Army detail guarding citizens bound for California Gold Rush. Captain Marcy exploded theory that West Texas was a desert. In making his map, he traveled along a chain of springs and lakes . . . Map (db m73316) HM
10 Texas, Kinney County, Brackettville — 362365 — Military Roads in Texas
The routes that moved troops in early Texas often followed old Indian trails, usually were little more than deep wagon ruts. This one, the Chihuahua Road—joining Ft. Clark with other southwest posts—was widely used, 1850-1880. The . . . Map (db m63283) HM
11 Texas, Pecos County, Fort Stockton — 4757 — Site of Comanche Springs
Used as a watering place and camping ground by Indians since pre-Columbian times, the springs were possibly visited about 1536 by Spaniard Cabeza de Vaca on his wanderings through Texas. The expedition of Juan de Mendoza, with his party of . . . Map (db m201800) HM
12 Texas, Pecos County, Fort Stockton — 4798 — Site of Fort Stockton
Established on the Comanche Trail, March 23, 1859, as a protection to the San Antonio-San Diego mail route. Named in honor of Commodore Robert Field Stockton, 1795-1866, who captured California for the United States. A stage stand on the San Diego . . . Map (db m84320) HM
13 Texas, Pecos County, Fort Stockton — Tunis Creek Stage Coach Stop
Replica of San Antonio and San Diego overland stage coach stop. This building was constructed of the stone from the original site which is ½ mile south-east of this location near Tunis Springs. The remains of a large Comanche Indian camp still . . . Map (db m73308) HM
14 Texas, Pecos County, Girvin — 2564 — Horse Head Crossing on the Pecos River
Here crossed the undated Comanche Trail from Llano Estacado to Mexico. In 1850 John R. Bartlett while surveying the Mexican boundary found the crossing marked by skulls of horses; hence the name “Horse Head”. The Southern Overland Mail . . . Map (db m53225) HM
15 Texas, Ward County, Monahans — 3434 — Monahans Sandhills State Park and Museum
In these shifting seas of sand, rich in stone evidences of primitive men, today's visitors find flint points, sandstone metates and manos of peoples who were here as early as 10,000 years ago and late as the 1870s. Bones of great mammoths and . . . Map (db m73307) HM
16 Texas, Winkler County, Kermit — 5853 — Willow Springs
Located 6.6 miles east of this site in the Sand Hills, Willow Springs was known to Comanche Indians and to West Texas pioneers as an important source of water. It was frequently used by gold seekers on their way to California after the 1849 gold . . . Map (db m73313) HM
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Sep. 26, 2023