El Camino Real de los Tejas

El Camino Real (the royal road) referred to a major trail that was used by the Spanish government.

California’s El Camino Real may be the most widely known, but there was an even older trail that provided the primary overland route from Mexico, across the Río Grande in Texas, to the Red River Valley in what is now Louisiana.

Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0.
Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0.

The road was a simply dirt trail, and perhaps in places no more than a footpath. The route varied over time, and many offshoots and side roads were also called El Camino Real.  The primary route, which ran roughly along Highway 6 in Louisiana and Highway 21 in Texas, was designated a National Historic Trail in 2004.

Portions of the route are also known as the Old San Antonio Road, was designated by the Texas state legislature as one of the historic trails of Texas.  Markers were placed along the route in 1918, and many still remain.