Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - glossary - comments



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Desert Rivers - Amargosa Desert:
Amargosa River

Historic Trails

Looking today much as it may have thousands of years ago, the Amargosa Valley offers the opportunity to explore the wonders of the Mojave Desert. Here are found transecting traces of ancient paths. It is believed that these routes served the earliest Americans, dating from the last Ice Age. These routes were known to early Spanish explorers and later became an important feature of Mexican trade. Even later, these routes of travel were used by the U.S. Army, early American surveyors, and Mormon settlers. Seen from a broad historical perspective, they supported and carried the weight of European expansion, from the earliest explorers to migrations of modern times.

Many existing trails, as we have seen, are anchored to the human history of the area, and represent the coming and going of various civilizations. One important route adopted by newcomers in 1829 was named the "Spanish Trail" (later to be called the Old Spanish Trail). Initiated as a trade route, this mule trail connected Santa Fe, New Mexico, with Los Angeles, California -- both cities, prior to 1821, being part of New Spain. Between 1821 and 1848, the entire Spanish Trail was part of Mexico.

In 1848, the old pack trail evolved into the "Mormon Road", when settlers and soldiers flowed through the area. Much of this old trail served as a blueprint for roads and highways used today. In addition to this, more recently constructed and more visually apparent is the grade of the historic Tonopah and Tidewater ("T&T") Railroad, built by Francis Marion "Borax" Smith in 1906-1907, which also followed earlier, north-south routes of travel.

ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - glossary - comments
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Desert Gazette
Set 05-08-12 - - 1911