How have our natural and cultural landscapes changed since the colonization of the American West? The diaries recorded during the Anza Expedition -- by both Juan Bautista de Anza and Father Pedro Font -- provide a snapshot of Arizona and California's environment in 1775-76.

The expedition passed through the saguaro-filled Sonoran desert, the cottonwood/willow riparian habitat along desert rivers and streams, the cold mountain passes of the lower Sierra Mountains of California, and finally the moist and fertile grasslands of the central coastline of California.

Father Font used an astronomical quadrant on the trip to fix the group's location so that the trail could be mapped and followed by others.

These diaries and other primary sources are available online at Web De Anza.

Use the Trail Explorer page of the online Anza Trail experience at to read diary excerpts in the places where they were written.


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