National Register of Historic Places in Grand County

Colorado River Near Moab Colorado River Near Moab
4 August 2010
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #88001181
Old Spanish Trail
Visitor Center Vicinity
Arches National Park

This site shows no visible work of man that can be attributed to the Old Spanish Trail era (1780-1840). However, the site is on the historic natural access route to the crossing of the Colorado River that was used by the trail.

Some earthwork and removal of stone has taken place at the site that would fit with the minimal types of improvements that would have been made to allow carts to pass over the trail. Later users obliterated all but a very short section of the route.

Excerpted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1988.

This is a puzzling historic site. The NRHP nomination seems to admit that there is nothing historic here.

We asked a National Park Service Ranger exactly where the site is located. He told us that the Park Service isn't sure.

According to the Ranger, the Old Spanish Trail was not old, not Spanish and not a trail.

Rather like the Holy Roman Empire.

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