In 1776, Franciscan Fathers Francisco Atanasio Dominguez
and Silvestre Velez de Escalante attempted to establish an
overland route between Santa Fe and Monterey, California.
They also hoped to cayy their relitious message to any
native people they met along the way.
The journey proved more difficult than planned. Too little
food, too many mountains and extreme weather caused
the expedition to turn back. Though their oritinal purpose
failed, they succeeded in opening the way for continuing
exploration of the area.
The road you travel today follows portions of the
Dominguez-Escalante route (shown in red).
"We tarried a good while...and
after a lengthy conversation drew
forth nothing more useful than that
we had suffered the sun's heat,
which was indeed very fiery all the
while the talk lasted."
-(Father Silvestre Velez de Escalante, 1776)