On January 8, 1830, the first pack train to pass from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Los Angeles crossed Las Vegas Valley. Antonio Armijo, a merchant in Santa Fe, commanded the train and roughly sixty men. The successful completion of the journey opened a trade route between the two Mexican provinces of New Mexico and California.
Following the “longest, crookedest, most arduous pack mule route in the history of America,” Armijo’s party and others brought woolen goods to Los Angeles and returned to Santa Fe driving herds of valuable mules and horses. Later termed the Old Spanish Trail, this route was the principal means of transportation between the two Mexican territories, until the end of the Mexican War in 1848.