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About the
Old Spanish Trail Association

History of the Old Spanish Trail Association

In 1994, historian and trail buff Ron Kessler called a meeting at the Rio Grande County Museum in Del Norte, Colorado to gauge interest in identifying and preserving remnants of the Old Spanish Trail. It was alert OSTA members who persuaded Rio Grande County officials to reroute a new access road to a landfill that avoided destroying a section of the Old Spanish Trail's North Branch.

From those humble beginnings, the Old Spanish Trail Association now boasts over 400 members in 27 states with 10 local chapters in six western states and England. The membership is inclusive and involves historians, archaeologists, public land managers, educators, writers, Native Americans, and direct descendents of those who traveled the trail.

From the Southern Ute to federal land managers to Bruce and Rosina Alderson of England, hundreds of members demonstrate a proud passion for the trail for many individual reasons. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail is perhaps like no other for its rich and fascinating history, its past and present day politics, the unique blend of cultural heritages, and the dramatic landscape experienced along this great western trail.

To read more about the history of the Old Spanish Trail Association download the 10-Year Anniversary Issue of Spanish Traces published in 2004.

Mission Statement

To study, preserve and protect, interpret and educate, and promote respectful use of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail and closely related historic routes.

OSTA promotes public awareness of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail and its multicultural heritage by encouraging research and publication and partnering with governments and private organizations.

Vision Statement

Our association helps bring to life the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, the stories of its diverse people and their trade connections, and weaves together their role in the development of our nation.

Association Structure

The Old Spanish Trail Association (OSTA) is a non-profit IRS 501(c)(3) organization supported by chapters in each trail state (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah), and by members at large.

A director from each trail state serves on a board, which meets three times a year. OSTA sponsors an annual conference, usually in June, which offers formal papers and field trips along the trail. Chapters hold IRS 501(c)(3) status under the umbrella of OSTA. Chapters schedule local meetings, events, and field trips throughout the year.

Association Manager
John Hiscock
Old Spanish Trail Association
P.O. Box 324
Kanab, Utah 84741
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Board of Directors

Ashley Hall
send email
Las Vegas, Nevada
Vice President
Paul Ostapuk
Page, AZ
Lorna Hall
Las Vegas, Nevada
Debi Plum
Las Vegas, Nevada
Arizona Director
Earl Fosdick
Cave Creek, AZ
California Director
Paul McClure, PhD
San Dimas, CA
Colorado Director
Vicki Felmlee
Grand Junction, CO
New Mexico Director
Robert Hilley, Phd
Santa Fe, NM
Nevada Director
Liz Warren, PhD
Goodsprings, NV
Utah Director
Al Matheson
Hurricane, UT
Editor of Spanish Traces
Ruth Friesen
send email
Director At Large
Reba Wells Grandrud, PhD
Phoenix, Arizona
Native American Director
James Jefferson, PhD
Durango, Colorado
Membership Coordinator
Judy Nickle
Gilbert, Arizona


Armijo Chapter

Paul Ostapuk
Page, AZ
Tecopa Chapter

Jack Prichett
Venice, CA
310 895-4747
La Vereda del Norte Chapter

Ken Frye
Del Norte, CO
North Branch Chapter

Jonathan Carr
Grand Junction, CO
Nevada Chapter

Nicole Marie Dominguez
Las Vegas, NV
New Mexico
Salida del Sol Chapter

Pat Kuhlhoff
Santa Fe, NM
Southern Utah - Cedar City
Al Matheson
Hurricane, Utah
Red Pueblo - Kanab, Utah
Jeff Frey
Kanab, UT
Tres Trails - St. George
Leo Lyman
Leeds, Utah
United Kingdom
William Workman Chapter

William Ramsay
Ulverston, Cumbria, UK
Mojave River Chapter

Tim Baggerly
Barstow, California
San Rafael Chapter

Edward A. Geary
Huntington, UT
Fish Lake Chapter

Stephanie Moulton
Richfield, UT

Become a Member

Your membership in the Old Spanish Trail Association helps us in many ways.

Membership dues cover the cost of producing the Spanish Traces Journal and provide the association with important funds for trail related activities and interpretation materials.

  • Regular memberships start at just $25 and it includes a subscription to Spanish Traces Journal – the official publication of the Old Spanish Trail Association.  

  • Invitations to national and chapter workshops and other events.

  • Opportunities to work with fellow members on research, development,
    and interpretation of the new Old Spanish National Historic Trail.

Join Now!

Volunteer Activity Tracking Form

Members are encourage to track and submit volunteer activities that support the trail. These important contributions are present to Congress each year during the annual "Hike the Hill" event and help to leverage continued funding and support for the National Trail System. Thank you for your volunteer contribution!

Volunteer Activity Tracking Form (Word)

Volunteer Activity Tracking Form (Excel)


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OSTA Members receive
3 issues of Spanish Traces per year and other membership benefits.

Join Today

Support OSTA projects by becoming a Credit Card partner. Personalized credit cards have No Annual Fee and provide a new opportunity to make history come alive

Credit Card

Support OSTA with every purchase. A $50 donation is made to OSTA when the card is first used. In addition, there are ongoing contributions for each card transaction. No annual fee and no additional cost to you.

Click here to become a card partner and request your personalized No Annual Fee Old Spanish National Historic Trail Visa Card

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