The National Park Service is working toward the creation of a continuous, 1,200-mile non-motorized recreation trail that will roughly follow the historic route of the Anza Expedition of 1775-76. Approximately 300 miles of recreation trail have been certified so far. These certified trail segments are independently operated. Hours, fees, and use rules vary. Premier segments of recreation trail include:
Tumacácori National Historic Park to Tubac Presidio State Historic Park
The segment of the Anza Trail between the Tumacácori National Historic Park and Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, offers the visitor an opportunity to experinece historic sites and a landscape similar to that experienced by the Anza party, over 235 years ago.
Sonoran Desert National Monument
A twelve mile section of the Anza Recreation Trail is now open to the public. Hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians can all use this trail. It passes through the scenic Sonoran Desert National Monument (BLM) in Maricopa County. The trail follows or parallels the historic Butterfield Stage route through Maricopa Pass.
The trailhead is best accessed by using Highway 238. Coming west on Hwy 238, travel 20.6 miles from the Maricopa/Pinal county line and turn right onto the BLM monument dirt access road. If you are coming east on Hwy 238, travel 10.9 miles east of the 238/85 intersection in Gila Bend. Directional road signage is coming soon. See the bottom of this page for a picture of the turnoff from 238 onto the Monument access road.
The BLM road is usually accessible by any car, although not after rain. Most of the year the road is passable by cars like Honda Civics. Use caution driving low clearance vehicles through rutted sections.
Travel 1.5 miles north on this dirt road and you will pass an abandoned corral and a newly built restroom. 1/10th of a mile further north you will see a right turn to the Anza Trail/Butterfield Stage 4x4 road. There is a white Anza wayside sign there. (pictured above) If you have a passenger car, park here. If you have a high clearance vehicle such as a small pickup or SUV, you can travel an additional 2.7 miles east of the Anza sign to the Butterfield Stage cistern parking area (you won't miss it). If you have 4-wheel drive, you may drive through the pass, but all other vehicles will not make it.
No water or other amenities are available. The trail is remote and seldom traveled. The trail is the 4x4 dirt road through the pass. East of the pass, the trail crosses open desert along the Butterfield Stage trail. The trail portion ends at a water tank (No water available).
Los Angeles, California
San Juan Bautista
East Bay Regional Park District
Description coming soon.
Presidio of San Francisco
Description coming soon.
Interactive Map & Online Trail Experience
AnzaHistoricTrail.org is a partnership of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail and the Anza Trail Foundation.
Last updated: September 28, 2017