The Mojave Road
Long ago Mohave indians used a network of pathways
to cross the Mojave Desert to reach the Pacific coast
from their homes along the Colorado River. In 1776,
the Spanish missionary Francisco Garces became the
first non-indian to trek these trans-desert routes.
In 1826 Jedediah Smith trod these trails to become
the first white man to reach the California coast overland
from mid-America. The routes became a military wagon
road in 1859 when Fort Mojave on the Colorado
River was established. This travel route remained a
major link between Los Angeles and points east until
a railway was completed across the desert in 1883.