Welcome to the North Branch of the Old Spanish Trail.

We are a clearing house for research on the North Branch of the Old Spanish Trail. The years were between 1829 and 1848 when annual caravans traveled between the Pueblo of Santa Fe and the San Gabriel Mission in Alta California.  The North Branch was one of many routes that facilitated commerce in the region.  One must look to the state actors in this drama to have an understanding of the times.
With the Louisana Purchase of 1803, the United States was able to double it’s size with territory stretching from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains.  The lower border of the United States became the Arkansas River, stretching from the reaches of present Lake County in Colorado . . . Continue Reading

North Branch Timeline: Part One

The North Branch Timeline is designed to support the student of Western American history by providing a larger context for events that shaped the course of exploration and settlement in the Southwest... (continue reading)

Fort Uintah: notes from the Craign Collection


Fort Uintah 1901 Cragin Collection

“Notes on Fort Uintah (visited by F. W. Cragin, August – September 1901).

A. Antione Robidoux was the builder and proprieter of this trading fort. It is situated about one mile southeast of the present White Rocks Indian Agency in Range 1 east from the Uintah Special Meridian and Township 1 N. from the Uintah base-line, being about one mile east and 1 1/3 miles north from the point of intersection of the said meridian and base-line. It thus agrees quite closely with the latitude and longitude given by Fremont, from his observations of 1844.
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Back to the Trail 2017 Fort Uncompahgre

Riders on the North Branch of the Old Spanish Trail on their way to Fort Uncompahgre in Delta, Colorado.

Colorado Old Spanish Trail Days at Fort Uncompahgre, September 2017:

The celebration of our Mexican Heritage at Fort Uncompahgre in Delta. As part of the days events, Fort Uncompahgre was dedicated as a National Park Service Interpretive Center. Fort Uncompahgre is a representation of the original structure that was built in the "Robidoux Bottoms" near the confluence of the Gunnison and Uncompahgre Rivers just south of the City of Delta.

Back to the Trail: October 15, 2016

north-branch-trail-event-grand-junction-co-oct-16-dBack to the Trail, October 15, 2016 on the North Branch of the Old Spanish Trail in Mesa County, Colorado.  Held at the Whitewater/Coffman Road trailhead just east of Grand Junction on a nice fall morning.  Visitors were treated live interpretation of travel on the North Branch .  .  .  .  (continue reading)

Gunnison National Forest Arborglyphs

coahatopa-pass-north-branch-old-spanish-trail-coIn the Gunnison National Forest on the Old Spanish Trail. Old growth Aspen Trees with Arborglyphs (sheep herder inscriptions) these are historic reflections of the Hispano life along the Trail...the inscriptions . . continue reading

Back to the Trail: July 30, 2016

The yearly Old Spanish Trail Association Conference was held in Grand Junction, Colorado at the end of July. As part of this years conference a trail ride presentation was held at the trail head, located in White Water. The following video presents the reenactors in period costume . . . .continue reading