TRIP IDEA

Anza Trail

Fence with landscape and sunset in background
Topic(s) Explorers and Expeditions, Foothills, Plains and Valleys, Forests and Woodlands, Mountains, Night Sky, Scenic Views, Trails, Swamps, Wilderness, Natural Sounds
Activities Camping, Hiking

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is named after Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza, a Spanish explorer who blazed a trail from Mexico to California. From 1775 through 1776, Anza led approximately 240 men, women, and children on a journey to establish a mission in present-day San Francisco. This was the first non-Indigenous settlement in the region.

The Anza Trail stretches over 1,200-miles from Nogales, Arizona, to the San Francisco Bay Area in California. It also passes through 20 counties in Arizona and California, including Santa Clara County where locals and tourists alike can hike parts of the trail. Discover natural beauty and regional history when hiking the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail in Santa Clara Country.

Santa Clara County
    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: Yes
    • Activity: Camping
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    • Location: Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park and Expedition Camp #92
    Anza Trail

    The camp for March 24, 1776 was at Llagas Creek in the city of Morgan Hill. Along the way, many natives (and a village) were encountered. At Chitactac-Adams Park (10001 Watsonville Rd., Gilroy), you can visit a Mutsun Ohlone village site along Uvas Creek to view petroglyphs, bedrock mortars and interpretive exhibits about the Ohlone culture. Nearby is DeBell Uvas Creek Park Preserve.

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    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: Yes
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    San Joseph de Cupertino and Expedition Camp #93

    On March 25, they camped at place that they called San Joseph de Cupertino, a name that is preserved today in the city of Cupertino to the east. From here, Font and Anza remarked that they could see the San Francisco Bay. Today, from McClellan Ranch Park (22221 McClellan Rd.) or on the "knoll" at Rancho San Antonio County Park (on Cristo Rey Dr.), visitors have vistas that extend to the bay.

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    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: Yes
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    Loop Around to the East Bay via Expedition Camp #97

    Anza and the exploratory group came back to Santa Clara county on their way back from S.F. en route to explore the East Bay. Father Font measured El Palo Alto by using a device that measures angles, together with some trigonometry. This 'tall redwood tree' still stands today (El Camino Real at Alma St., Palo Alto). After traveling south parallel along the shoreline from Palo Alto, camp for March 30 (#97) was on the banks of the Río de Guadalupe (Guadalupe River).

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    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: Yes
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    A fence with a mountain in the background

    Named after the patron saint of the expedition, the Virgen de Guadalupe, San José was the first civilian Spanish settlement in California. It was founded in November of 1777 by Lt. Moraga and a handful of Anza's settlers. Around 1797, the settlers built adobes around a central plaza that is today Plaza de César Chávez. Several abodes (including adobes) of expedition members and descendants can be seen in the Santa Clara Valley.

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    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: Yes
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    Green hill with a landscape view

    Los Cruzeros was a stop on Anza's southbound route getting back to Monterey from the East Bay. The camp is within Henry Coe State Park, as are campgrounds and a visitors center. To reach the park, take the East Dunne Ave. or Leavesley Rd. exits east and follow the signs to the park.

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Last updated: February 20, 2018