Things To Do

Community event
September 23, 2014 - the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail helped commemorate the re-opening of the Presidio of San Francisco Officers' Club. The Officers' Club shares foundation walls with the original presidio, established by the Anza Expedition in 1776, making it one of the oldest buildings in the city. The Anza Trail procession -- comprised of descendants of the original expedition -- displayed all the historic flags that have flown over the Presidio.
Link to historic sites in Arizona for the Juan bautista de Anza NHT
Historic Sites in Arizona

These historic and cultural sites host heritage events and exhibits about the Anza Trail in southern Arizona.

A rider sits mounted on a horse outside Mission San Antonio
Historic Sites in California

Historic, cultural, and natural sites reveal the legacy of California's Spanish colonial era.


Exploring History, Culture and the Great Outdoors

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail stretches 1,200 miles across 20 counties of Arizona and California. There are many Places to Go and experiences to be had, including learning history, exploring historic sites and hiking scenic trails. Each site is independently operated. Hours, fees, and use rules vary. Contact individual sites for details.

The trail commemorates, protects, marks, and interprets the route traveled by Anza during the years 1774 - 1776. Starting in Sinaloa and Sonora, New Spain (which is now in Mexico), he brought over 200 settlers to San Francisco to establish a mission and presidio there. This feat is made more remarkable when you realize that the west was still a vast wilderness, and cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara did not yet exist. The Anza Trail is therefore unique in its location and historical context. It connects Mexico to San Francisco, and the 18th century to the 21st. It invites travelers to experience the interweaving of the three elements of the Spanish plan for the colonization of its northern frontier: presidios (military forts), missions (religious centers), and pueblos (civilian towns). By following the trail, it becomes easier to grasp the links between the presidios of Tubac, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco, and to see patterns in the location, construction and use of Spanish Missions. By visiting sites marking the humble beginnings of the cities of San José (founded in 1777) and Los Angeles (founded in 1781), their modern development becomes even more marvelous.

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail has three central components that link together history, culture, and outdoor recreation in Arizona and California:

Historic Route

The Anza Trail's Historic Route is the wide corridor traveled by the colonists and livestock of the Anza Expedition of 1775-76. Expedition diarists mapped and recorded their route and campsites.

Auto Tour Route

An Auto Tour follows the historic route as closely as possible. Drivers can follow Auto Tour signage to experience the sites and vistas encountered by the Anza Expedition (Auto Tour signage not yet posted in Arizona).

Recreation Trail

A long-term goal for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is a continuous, 1,200-mile, non-motorized recreation trail from Nogales, AZ, to the San Francisco Bay Area. This trail will be created by stitching together existing trails that have been certified official recreation segments of the Anza Trail. Nearly 300 miles of recreation trail have been certified.
Trail and rider
The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail includes an approximately 4-mile segment of recreation trail in Fort Ord National Monument outside Salinas, CA. The level trail connects the Creekside Terrace and Badger Hills trailheads. Photo Credit: NPS/Bhoj Rai.
Martinez Adobe
The historic Martinez Adobe at the John Muir National Historic Site. Houses The Anza Trail exhibit.

The Anza Trail Exhibit: Martinez, California (Closed for Structural Repairs)
For safety reasons, access to the Martinez Adobe is blocked off from the public and remains closed for all use until the structure is stabilized. Currently, there is no timeline for the repairs to be complete. We are creating a webpage with some of the content from the exhibit. We will post a link to this page here once it is created. Read the news release about this closure.

The historic 1849 Martinez Adobe at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California, hosts the only permanent exhibit of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Don Vicente Martínez, son of the Presidio of San Francisco's commandante, built this adobe house around 1849.

This multi-sensory experience engages visitors through evocative images and an ambient soundscape of life on the trail, a detailed diorama portraying the vast scope of the expedition party, and interactive displays. The exhibit encompasses perspectives representing the diversity of people whose lives were changed by this significant journey.

John Muir National Historic Site
4202 Alhambra Avenue
Martinez, CA 94553
Open daily for self-guided tours, 10AM - 5PM


Interactive Map

Explore an interactive map of the Anza Trail's Historic Route, Auto Route, and Recreation Trail at

Yearly Events

Major Annual Events Along the Anza Trail
In October, Southern Arizona commemorates the departure of the Anza Expedition; every June San Francisco commemorates its arrival.

Passport Stamps

Passport to Your National Parks
Collect 30+ unique Anza Trail stamps from Mexico, Arizona, and California

Trails and Rails

Trails & Rails
Ride the Amtrak along the Anza Trail with National Park Service docents as your guides

Visit our partner website,, to find sites, trail resources, and events along the U.S. portion of the trail. (The historic corridor of the 1775-76 Anza expedition also includes the Mexican states of Sinaloa, Sonora, and Baja California.) While there is no official Anza Trail visitor center, the National Park Service hosts a permanent Anza Trail exhibit in the historic 1849 Martinez Adobe, on the grounds of the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California. Many affiliated historic, cultural, and recreation sites on the Anza Trail offer visitor services and facilities. Inquire before you visit.

Last updated: May 8, 2024

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