Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mojave Desert History: Pioneer of the Mojave
Old Skeletons & New Trails

WILLIAM WOLFSKILL AND THE SPANISH TRAIL

Other American trappers also began using the desert route during the late 1820s, launching their business trips to California from the Mexican town of Santa Fe, now in the state of New Mexico. However, it was an 1830 expedition led by William Wolfskill that was to have a major impact on the desert area, for in that year Wolfskill pioneered the famous Spanish Trail between Santa Fe and Los Angeles.

This route opened the way for an annual caravan that grew to become a significant factor in the commercial histories of these two communities. One of the improvements of the new route was that it veered off from the old Indian trail and crossed the Mojave River at a point below the lower narrows in present-day Victorville, and then headed southwest straight towards Cajon Pass. This shortcut, which saved several hours' travel time for the caravans, routed all the traffic past the Topiabit site and became known as the "upper crossing." Many years later it would be called Lane's Crossing.

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
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