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Mojave Desert History: Pioneer of the Mojave
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THE MOHAVE INDIAN TRAIL

Topiabit Rancheria was located on an ancient Indian trail used by the Mohave and Chemehuevi Indians from the Colorado River area on their trips to conduct trade with others along the Pacific Coast. The first European to learn of the trail was Father Francisco Garces in 1776. Pedro Fages had entered the area four years earlier while chasing Indians who had run away from the Mission San Diego, but it was Garces who first used the old Indian route across the desert.

The Mohave Indian Trail, as it was later known, utilized the scant water resources available in the desert, and without knowledge of its route, a trip across the eastern Mojave would have been hopeless. Coming from the Colorado River, the trail connected various springs until it reached the Mojave River, at which point it continued up-river to Sawpit Canyon and thence over the mountain range. It remained an important trade route for the Indians for 75 years after Garces learned of its existence, and it was also used by the Spanish for missionary purposes and for military expeditions against the Indians.

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The trail at the bottom of Sawpit Canyon

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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