California Missions Trail

Born from the ancient footpaths traversing the coast between California’s twenty-one Spanish missions, the California Missions Trail connects historic missions, pueblos, and presidios over an 800-mile long pilgrimage walk. Established between 1769 and 1823, the missions offered refuge and Christian hospitality along the dusty outposts of the Golden State. From their humble, thatch-roofed beginnings to the stately adobes we see today, the missions represent a dynamic chapter in the history of Spanish colonialism, Catholicism, and the birth of California as we know it today.

 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to the California Missions Trail

With any luck, you've found this page while researching the California Missions Trail (or the El Camino Real in California, as it is also known). Born from the ancient footpaths traversing the coast between California’s twenty-one Spanish missions, the California Missions Trail connects historic missions, pueblos, and presidios over an 800-mile long pilgrimage walk. Established between 1769 and 1823, the missions offered refuge and Christian hospitality along the dusty outposts of the Golden State. From their humble, thatch-roofed beginnings to the stately adobes we see today, the missions represent a dynamic chapter in the history of Spanish colonialism, Catholicism, and the birth of California as we know it today. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA MISSIONS TRAIL ...
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California Missions Trail ESSENTIALS


Packing List: What to Pack to Hike the California Missions Trail

Once the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a change in my plans to hike the Via Francigena through England and France, I set my sights on walking the California Missions Trail in the summer of 2020. With abundant options for lodging, food, and resupply, ...
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GPS & Google Earth Routes for the California Missions Trail

In researching the California Mission Walk, also known as "El Camino Real" for an upcoming pilgrimage, I quickly found a number of wonderful resources and communities of walkers. However, specific GPS, GPX, and KML files for Google Maps detailing for the California ...
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The Top Hiking GPS Apps for iPhone and Android

Looking for the best GPS apps for your iPhone or Android smartphone for your next hike? As a solo hiker and pilgrim, I never leave hime without a GPS map and guidebook. Since your phone contains a GPS chip that does not ...
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EXPERT ARTICLES


Packing List: What to Pack to Hike the California Missions Trail

Once the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a change in my plans to hike the Via Francigena through England and France, I set my sights on walking ...
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HOW TO: Five Tips for Urban Hiking

Nearly all of my pilgrimage trips have included some amount of urban hiking through modern cities, including the Camino de Santiago as you arrive at ...
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Packing List: Backpacking First-Aid Kit

As a lifelong Scout and Scout Leader, I've probably created and carried more than 30 unique first-aid kits over the years. I say "created" because ...
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A Beginner’s Guide to the California Missions Trail

With any luck, you've found this page while researching the California Missions Trail (or the El Camino Real in California, as it is also known) ...
Read More

GPS & Google Earth Routes for the California Missions Trail

In researching the California Mission Walk, also known as "El Camino Real" for an upcoming pilgrimage, I quickly found a number of wonderful resources and ...
Read More

The Top Hiking GPS Apps for iPhone and Android

Looking for the best GPS apps for your iPhone or Android smartphone for your next hike? As a solo hiker and pilgrim, I never leave ...
Read More

Packing List: Trekking The World

By far the most frequent question I receive relates to how to pack for an international hiking trip. With that in mind, I'm sharing my ...
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