The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail was authorized by Congress on August 15, 1990. The trail runs from Nogales, Arizona to San Francisco, California, following as closely as possible the historic route taken by Captain Juan Bautista Anza and 240 immigrants in the winter of 1775-76.
This route represented the first overland route established to connect New Spain with San Francisco. Captain Juan Bautista de Anza started his expedition in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico and plans are now underway to include the 600 miles he traveled within Mexico to make the Anza National Historic Trail, the first International Historic Trail in the world. Along the trail there were several Spanish missions. Representative of these missions is San Xavier Del Bac just South of Tucson, which is shown in the pictures above.
The accomplishments of Juan Bautista de Anza and the trailblazing of this route is truly a remarkable historical accomplishment in that what was to become the cities of Los Angeles, San Jose. and San Francisco were founded by Anza's efforts. Even more notable, was the time this took place. Just think, California was still referred to as New Albion, Russia was stalking the Pacific Northwest Coast and the American Revolution was underway.
Books to Read on Anza:
The Beginnings of San Francisco by Zoeth Skinner Eldridge
The Anza Trail and the Settling of California by Vladimir Guerrero