Archaeological evidence of the anza trail in southern arizona
History records the expeditions of Juan Bautista de Anza from Tubac Presidio to the San Francisco Bay area in the 1770s. Yet, despite journals that convey leagues traveled and a rough map of the trips, no definitive archaeological evidence of the trails taken or camps at which they rested has been identified. League distances are not exact and often vary between chroniclers, and many of the latitude readings taken are clearly inaccurate. Even though 250 or so people went on the journey, they stayed such short times in any one location that the evidence of their passing is undoubtedly meager. Nonetheless, it is expected that if Apache or Jocome encampments can be identified, surely the passing of this expedition can be pinpointed, at least in certain locations.
A primary obstacle to solving this problem is gaining access to land and then, searching for evidence between the considerable development that has occurred along the route.
The main obstacle is knowing what types of material culture will distinguish this expedition from any other activity during the Spanish Colonial period. Finding this evidence after centuries of river flow, people collecting old relics, and such is a challenge indeed.
Take a look at this video for the kinds of evidence found so far: