Texas Brazos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

El Camino Real de los Tejas

King's Highway marker
King's Highway marker


El Camino Real de los Tejas, or Texas' Royal Highway, served the territory once dominated by colonial Spain, stretching from Guerrero (Mexico), Laredo, and Villa de Dolores eastward to Los Adaes and Natchitoches in Louisiana. The route, actually a series of somewhat parallel routes determined by terrain, weather, and Indian relations, linked towns, settlements, forts, and missions and provided passage for information and commerce across the colonial South. Later, immigrants from the American colonies traversed the route in their efforts to settle the state. Heroes like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie traveled the route as well, paving the way for settlers migrating to Texas who improved the roads, built bridges, and transported agricultural products. The route passed through communities like San Antonio and Austin, helping to transform these provincial settlements into urban hubs integral to the rest of the country.

Today, sections of highways such as IH-35, TX 59, 79, and 21 dominate many segments of the original El Camino Real de los Tejas, providing opportunities to explore its history without dodging swordplay, fording creeks and rivers, or-best of all-pulling your transport aside in deference to passing royal caravans.

Map of Theme

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Texas State Historical Association logo
Read more about the Old San Antonio Road in the Handbook of Texas Online.