Anza Pioneers


In January 2006, a group of six Williams College students (located in Williamstown, MA) journeyed from Nogales, AZ to San Francisco, CA along the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. They traveled by running and biking, without the support of a motorized vehicle, and so they carried all their gear on their bikes and backs. The pioneers, all members of the cross country and track teams, had never heard of the Anza Trail prior to their trek, nor had they ever endured a biking and running trip nearly as long and arduous as this one. Yet they successfully completed their mission of retracing the steps of an 18th century Spanish colonizing expedition, and walked away with some of their most valuable life experiences.

They were the first group ever to travel the Anza Trail in its entirery on foot and on bike. Much like Juan Bautista de Anza's initial expedition created a path for others to follow, the group's pioneering journey provides a model for what the National Park Service hopes will one day be a widely traveled, continuous trail. For more information about the Anza Trail, reference the links provided at the bottom of the page.

The Pioneers


The Story of How it All Began

Winter Study at Williams College
September 22, 2005
The Final Draft of our 99 Proposal, with interjected post-trip reactions

Journals and Pictures

Pre-Trip Thoughts
Day 1 (30 miles): Nogales to Tubac
Day 2 (60): Tubac to Tucson
Day 3 (48): Tucson to Picacho Peak
Day 4 (45): Picacho Peak to Coolidge
Day 5 (45): Coolidge to Chandler/Phoenix
Day 6 (50): Chandler/Phoenix to Sonoran Desert
Day 7 (50): Sonoran Desert to Sonoran Desert Highlands
Day 8 (64): Sonoran Desert Highlands to Muggins Mountain Wilderness
Day 9 (45): Muggins Mountain Wilderness to Yuma
Day 10 (65): Yuma to El Centro, California
Day 11 (61): El Centro to Rt. 78/86, near the Plaster City Open Lands
Day 12 (35): Rt. 78/86 to Borrego Springs
Day 13 (33): Borrego Springs to Anza
Day 14 (54): Anza to Murrieta
Day 15 (58): Murrieta to Laguna Beach
Day 16 (65): Laguna Beach to Brentwood
Day 17 (22): Brentwood to Malibu
Day 18 (17): Malibu to Mugu Point State Beach
Day 19 (27): Mugu Point State Beach to Emma Wood State Park
Day 20 (25): Emma Wood State Park to Westmont College, Santa Barbara
Day 21 (day off): Rest Day at Westmont College, Santa Barbara
Day 22 (57): Westmont College to Lompoc
Day 23 (45): Lompoc to Pismo State Beach
Day 24 (45): Pismo State Beach to Paso Robles
Day 25 (63): Paso Robles to King City
Day 26 (68): King City to Castroville, near Salinas
Day 27 (27): Castroville to San Juan Bautista
Day 28 (40): San Juan Bautista to Santa Cruz
Day 29 (62): Santa Cruz to San Mateo
Day 30 (32): San Mateo to San Francisco
Day 31 (1340 total): Day Trip to San Francisco
Thoughts after the trip

Essays Written by the Pioneers

Comparisons Between the 1775-76 Journey of Juan Bautista de Anza and the 2006 Journey of Six Williams Students Along the Anza Trail: By David Rogawski

Welcome Visitors: By Grant Burgess

Indian Givers: Interpreting the Friendship and Betrayal of the Yumas from the Journal Accounts of the 1774 and 1775-1776 Anza Expeditions and Personal Experience of the Anza Trail: By Stephen Wills

Evaluating Anza: By Colin Carroll

Catholic Missions Along the Anza Trail: By Corey Levin

Bill's Paper

The Public's Response

Noticias de Anza: Newsletter of the Juan Bautists de Anza National Historic Trail--see page 9
EphBlog Discussion
2nd EphBlog Discussion
Arizona Daily Star Article
Yuma Sun Article
Borrego Sun Article
Paso Robles Magazine
Pinnacle Article
Hollister Free Lance Article
Williams Record Article
Amherst Record Article

Frequently Asked Questions

How We Traveled
The Things They Carried
What We Ate
Typical Daily Schedule

Any other questions? Want a copy of a picture? Email



Site Created: February 2, 2006

We are still in the process of updating this wikispace. Check back later, as we are continually transcribing journal entries and post-trip thoughts.

This site has been visited 45,264 times as of December 31st, 2006

The Anza Pioneers were sponsored by the Anza Trail Coalition of Arizona, Rio Rico Properties, Inc., and Rio Rico Homes and Land, Inc.