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.
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.
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.
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.
Old Spanish Trail Association
P.O. Box 909
Las Vegas, New Mexico 87701
Board of Directors
Reba Wells Grandrud
Los Angeles, CA
|New Mexico Director
Santa Fe, NM
Liz Warren, PhD
|Editor of Spanish Traces
|Director At Large
James Jefferson, PhD
Southern Ute Indian Tribe
South Fork, CO
P.O. Box 1080
Waxhaw, NC 28173
Big Water, UT
La Vereda del Norte Chapter
La Jara, CO
North Branch Chapter
Grand Junction, CO
Las Vegas, NV
Salida del Sol Chapter
Santa Fe, NM
Southern Utah - Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah
Red Pueblo - Kanab, Utah
Tres Trails - St. George
William Workman Chapter
Ulverston, Cumbria, UK
Mojave River Chapter
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.
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.
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)
OSTA Members receive
3 issues of Spanish Traces per year and other membership benefits.
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
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