Many of your readers may be interested to know that the route of the Butterfield Overland Mail was the route of the Great Southern Overland Trail which brought more gold seekers to California in 1849 than the better known California Trail far to the north.

In addition, it was the route followed by the Army of the West and the Mormon Battalion bringing U.S. Army soldiers to California during the Mexican American War (1846-48).

This very important artery can be easily visited from Idyllwild by car by traveling to Aguanga, turning left on Highway 79 to Warner Springs and following Highway S-2 south into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

I will be leading a tour of this route on Feb. 27 for the Anza Borrego Natural History Association located in Borrego Springs.

Thomas R. Tefft
Palm Desert