Historic Locations > Old Spanish Trail/Mormon Road Historic District
The Spanish Trail was named by explorer John C. Fremont in 1844. The trail was rooted in the Spanish Empire's interest in establishing an inland route between New Mexico and California, but ultimately it was used by a diverse group of people with varying interests. These individuals were European, Mexican, American, Mormon, and Native American. Commerce was the motivating force behind establishing the Spanish Trail; however, over time the trail began to function in additional capacities. It later became known as the "Mormon Road," due to the Mormon emigration along the route. It served as a route of communication, as well as a corridor for the movement of people and livestock across the greater American Southwest. Today, the route is popularly known as the "Old Spanish Trail," as shown by the presence of Old Spanish Trail Association chapters in four western states. The road covered approximately 152 miles in southern Nevada and crossed 19 townships of land in the state.
The Old Spanish Trail Park, located at Cimarron Road and Tara Avenue, preserves the pathway of the old trail as it headed from the Las Vegas Springs toward the creeks and springs along the base of the Red Rock cliffs.
The Old Spanish Trail section of the historic route as mapped by John C. Fremont is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire 2,700-mile trail is listed as a National Historic Trail.