AN ECLECTIC RESOURCE FOR DEATH VALLEY KNOWLEDGE, ODDITIES, STORIES, and MOVIES

Los Chaguanosos

In the 1830s, the first white people came to the southern Death Valley territory, opening a remote route called the Old Spanish Trail between California and New Mexico for horse trading. It was not long before other, more desperate, folks realized that the traders were easy pickings for raids and theft, and so a new “business” venture came into existence – these raiders were called Los Chaguanosos. Even though many of the horses they illegally acquired died on the forced hot march, they made enough money that it still proved lucrative. It grew partially from tales like these that the California gold seekers believed a shortcut existed across this region. It was rumored that horse bones lined the trail used by these thieves, and the white of the sun bleached bones easily marked the trail in the moonlight for travelers to follow. The lurid history of this land surpasses the best of fiction novels for sheer excitement and intrigue.

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