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Old Spanish Trail (Journey of the Dead Man)


Old Spanish Trail (Journey of the Dead Man)

Clark County
  36.50103, -114.76053

"(#139) What a shame. Such amazing text and from no marker to read it. I'm stocking up on a few supplies here at the Crystal Market and heading south to Echo Bay. Hopefully when I get back, I'll have some information on this one ..." -- Journal Entry, March 2009

Along SR 169, 1/4-mile south of Interstate 15

Original Date Visited: 3/17/09
Revisited: 10/21/22

Signed: No

  • Marker 116
  • Marker 116 plaque
  • Marker 1163
  • Marker 116
  • 4
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Exact Description:
Early Spanish traders named the 55 dry miles separating Las Vegas and the Muddy River the Journada del Muerto (Journey of Death). This longest stretch without water along the Old Spanish Trail was littered with the skeletons of animals and parts of wagons abandoned along the sandy desert. Most experienced travelers made the trip at night.

John C. Fremont crossed the Journada in 1844 and commented: "We ate the barrel cactus and moistened our mouths with the acid of the sour dock. Hourly expecting to find water, we continued to press on to midnight, when after a hard and uninterrupted march of 16 hours, our wild mules began running ahead; and in a mile or two we came to a bold running stream (the Muddy River).

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