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Take a Ride Along Historical Trail

Take a Ride Along Historical Trail
April 16
12:32 2019

Photo: Southern Utah News

Page’s Armijo Chapter of the Old Spanish Trail Association is inviting the public to a meeting to discuss the planning of two May trail rides along a section of the original trail that passed through the Navajo Nation and Page areas. The trail was opened in 1829 by Santa Fe trader Antonio Armijo and will be over two weekends in May from the Old Pariah Townsite to Kanab, Utah. You can sign up even if you don’t have a horse.

The 700-mile Old Spanish Trail linked two provinces of Mexico separated by such difficult topography and climatic extremes that, despite attempts beginning as early as 1776, a route was successfully opened only in 1829. Santa Fe merchant Antonio Armijo led the first trip of approximately 60 men and a large mule caravan across known trails blazed by trappers and traders with the Utes. He backtracked the route Spanish padres Dominguez & Escalante documented in their diaries as they crossed the Colorado River at an ancient Native American ford that became known as The Crossing of the Fathers, now beneath Padre Bay on Lake Powell.

The trail led to the San Gabriel Mission in California. Armijo’s group traded blankets and other goods carried by packsaddle from Santa Fe. They sought horses and mules, available in great numbers and little valued by the Californios. Several thousand of these horses were driven back to Santa Fe, where they became important in trade with both Chihuahua and St. Louis. With a few exceptions, pack trains made annual treks between New Mexico and California.

For more information, call or email Armijo Chapter President George Hardeen at 928-660-9406 or georgehardeen@gmail.com.

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