The Great Western Trail was used for a variety of reasons. Cattle and horses were moved to markets in the northern and eastern states, and the cattle and horses would be shipped on this trail to be sold. It was built in the late 1800s and was used for many purposes. This section was a great example of a trade route. It is an important historic resource for western and southern states, and is still in use today. Here are some fascinating facts about this historic route.
Cowboys were young men with nothing to lose. Most were white, but others were Native Americans, Mexican, and freed slaves. The Western Trail was created in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Spanish California. Terms such as “buckaroo,” “lasso,” and “chaps” are used to describe the men who rode the cattle. These men were often criminals and adventurers, so this was an ideal way to make a living.
Cattle was sent north during the 1860s and early 1900s to make beef. Before the war, people ate more pork than beef because it was easier to preserve. As cattle prices rose, ranchers in Texas and northern Mexico began driving loose herds of cattle north to railheads in Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri, as well as to Chicago and other points east. The cattle were then purchased for ten times the price of a Texas steer.
Cattle were shipped out of Dodge City, Kansas, in the early 1900s. As time passed, they learned of the great open ranges to the north. They started trailing their cattle into places such as Canada and the Dakotas, in search of more land. In some cases, the ranches had to use a horse to transport their cattle from place to place. But a more traditional way to travel the Western Trail is on horseback.
Originally a cattle drive, the Western Trail replaced the Chisholm Trail in 1865. The Chisholm Trail was used as a cattle market for longhorns. The first few years after the Civil War, the Western Highway became the main cattle market in Abilene, where they were sold to railroad companies. But after the Civil War, the industry changed. In 1867, the road to Kansas became paved, and farmers became increasingly hostile to the herders.
The Great Western Trail begins on the Navajo Nation. Though the trail is not officially part of the Coconino Plateau, it does cross it. The Great Western Trail continues south, passing through a desert landscape that combines red and white sandstone. It is also a popular place for tourists and locals to watch the trail. If you are traveling to the Southwest, you must visit the region’s national parks.