See the context of this sign.

The Old Spanish Trail
in Iron County

The Old Spanish Trail was a major trade route from Santa Fe, New
Mexico to Los Angeles, California. It crossed wsix states: New
Mexico, Coloardo, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. Traders
from Santa Fe brought dry goods to Los Angeles in exchange for
horses, then returned to New Mexico. Along the way, they sometimes
traded horses to Ute and Navajo Indians for Paiute slaves. These
slaves were subsequently sold both in California and New Mexico as
domestic servants for handsome profits.

The eastern half of the Spanish Trail in New Mexico, Colorado, and
eastern Utah was pioneered by the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition
of 1776 and later by Antonio Armijo, who made a journey to
California in 1829. The western half of the trail from Utah to Los
Angeles was explored by the American fur trapper, Jedediah Smith, in
1826 and 1827. The final links in the trail were made in 1830-31 by a
party led by William Wolfskill.

In Iron County, the basic route from the Sevier River, just east of here,
follows U-20 to this point; then it goes south through Bear Valley and
down Little Creek to Paragonah; then south through Parowan and
Enoch to Iron Springs and the Escalante Desert. The route then turned
south through Newcastle and Holt Canyon to Mountain Meadows in
Washington County. There were many variants and short cuts along
the way.

American acquisition of the Mexican Cession territory in February
1848 and development of other routes to California brought the trade
to an end in 1848. However, much of the Spanish Trail pioneered is
still the primary route for modern highways. The route from here to
Paragonah was the main road until after World War II when U-20
was established.

Don't miss the rest of our virtual tour of Iron County in 2197 images.