Old Spanish Trail, Northern Branch, Espanola, NM to Green River, UT
The Camino Norteńo along with the Camino California and the Camino Armijo were used as trade routes to California, the Camino Armijo was only used once as the Camino California, the Main Route was a better route with more water and grass. The Camino Norteńo may have been primarily a route to access the Beaver rivers of Northern Utah, Wyoming and Montana. Accounts are sparse as the travelers were often illiterate.
I am using the term camino as I feel it better represents the largely Hispano use of these trails. On this site I will put images and videos of the trail. My upcoming book will have the Camino Norteńo mapped and modern day travelers routes designated by the methods than can be used to travel it from vehicle to foot.
Wells Gulch over Fools Hill
Jon Horn of Alpine Archeologists did the work on this section. Any difference between what I state and what he has documented is my error.
This section contains images and an 8 minute video from the ascent of the swale just north of Mile Marker 58 on Highway 50 north of Delta, Colorado. The video is shot from a drone with a short horseback piece (caveat, the horse back piece is not along the probably Gunnison Wagon Road, but probably the later Salt Lake City Wagon Road. The video includes the north slope descent of Fools Hill and up Beaver Gulch Wash toward County Line Hill. https://youtu.be/RZAmfThjuTI
This is a topo from the Wells Gulch turnout with Reader Board. The red line is the Carsonite Trail I envision. I waypointed potential Carsonite stakes with QR links to Interpretive passages on a website, which could be BLM or OSTA.
The waypoints need rethinking.
1. Should be at the Wells Gulch crossing, with verbiage regarding water available here in the Caravan days.
2. should be where 1 is, identifying the various route scars ascending Fools Hill.
3. is ok, it shows Gunnisons wagon route and the probable OST route up the swale.
2 is a cairn, Jon Horn of Alpine Archeologists states this is probably not part of the old routes, verbiage with direction to 5, could be put here.
5. There is a cairn here probably from the OST period marking the top of the descent to Beaver Gulch Wash.
This is a possible OST cairn. It is located near Highway 50 along the south fork of Wells Gulch Wash.
Smokey checking out wagon road scars, possibly Salt Lake City Wagon Road
Wagon rut swale leading to the top of Fools Hill
Wells Gulch Turnout, a great spot for an interpretative rest area.
Wagon rut swale, possibly Salt Lake City Wagon Road with Wells Gulch in the background