COMANCHE TRAIL. Though the Comanche Trail has long been named in the historical literature of the Southwest, only an occasional reference is made to it in contemporary records and documents. A map of West Texas made by J. H. Young in 1857 shows such a trail. The lower portion had two prongs, one crossing the Rio Grande about the vicinity of Boquillas and the other at Presidio. The two converged at Comanche Springs, near the site of Fort Stockton. From this point the trail extended north to cross the Pecos at or near Horsehead Crossing and continued northeasterly across the sand hills to the site of present Big Spring. From Big Spring it extended east of the Caprock past watering spots on Tobacco Creek, Mooar's Draw, and Gholson Spring. From this point there were two routes across the Staked Plains. One was up Yellow House Canyon by Buffalo Spring to the forks of the canyon in what is now Mackenzie State Recreation Area in Lubbock, thence up the north fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos, where there was running water just west of the site of present Abernathy. From there this branch extended to Sod House Spring, north of the site of present Littlefield. From this point it ascended Blackwater Draw to Portales Spring, to Tiban Spring, and thence to the Pecos near Fort Sumner. The alternative route from Gholson Spring extended southeast to Blanco Canyon and thence up that canyon and Running Water Draw, past the site of present Plainview about twenty miles, at which point the route left the draw and extended west to Spring Lake. From there it continued to Blackwater Draw, where it intercepted the Yellow House route fifteen miles east of the site of present Muleshoe. Young's map indicated that water could be had daily from Big Spring northward and northwest to the site of Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The upper portion of the trail from Plainview westward was possibly used by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado on his return to the Pecos.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, William Curry Holden, "COMANCHE TRAIL," accessed December 14, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/exc03.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.