High Desert Small Atlas

Cajon Pass/Victor Valley Roads

Working copy – not all roads included

1 – Old Spanish Trail/Indian trail (1827)
2 – Cajon Pass (Lower) – Indian trail
3 – Lone Pine Canyon – Indian trail
4 – Sheep Creek – Indian trail
5 – Sanford Pass (c.1854-57)
6 – Fort Tejon – Indian trail
7 – to Mojave River – Indian trail
8 – to Daggett (c.1855)
9 – Lucerne/Cushenbury Lumber road
10 – Van Dusen/Holcomb Valley Road – (1862)
11 – Mojave Indian trail (c.1776, 1826)


10-horse freight outfit – R. & J. Reynolds collection

“Freighting” became an important occupation. The man who wished to engage in it must be a considerable capitalist, for the heavy wagons, constructed especially for the purpose, were expensive, and strong, well-broken mules were required. Eight, ten, twelve, and sometimes eighteen or twenty mules or horses were used as motive power for the “outfit.” The wagons were carefully packed, and often carried thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. The driving of one of these “freighters” over the mountains and deserts required forethought, prompt action, and good judgment. There was always danger from the Utes. Apaches and other Indians. The heat and the cold, the alkali dust, the blinding glare of the sun upon the desert sands, thirst and hunger—all of these tested to the uttermost the physical and mental powers of the teamsters.

Ingersoll’s century annals of San Bernadino County, 1769-1904 

Lucerne Valley Road Network – 1901

These maps are based on a USGS 1901 base map and overlay onto a current street map. This series was developed to show how the dependence on potable water for man or beast shaped the transportation network in the late 19th Century.

This map identifies various geographic locations, general features, and roads throughout the Lucerne & Johnson valleys as it was in 1901.

The blue marks show reliable water and rest stops as would be used by travelers and teamsters. These water stops are roughly 10 miles apart as the roads go.

The generalized trails connecting the water and rest stops are highlighted. A few redundant and miscellaneous trails have been purposely omitted for clarity.

This map has had the 1901 base map replaced with a current street map.

This map has had the water node locations removed.

Finally, the 1901 trails have been highlighted and the location labels removed for clarity in showing the relationship between the roads then and now.


American Automobile Assoc. photo

The pretty senorita is standing next to a carreta, a two-wheeled cart pulled by mules to haul freight in early Spanish and Mexican California. The carreta could be built quickly and inexpensively. Four-wheeled wagons in Southern California were a rarity if there were any at all until the first ones rolled in through the Cajon Pass in 1849 driven by Mormon pioneers.