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El Camino Real? San Diego to Sonoma, California, USA

Bohemiana

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First Camino will be April 2015
I did a fairly quick search for any information on El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma in California and I'm surprised I can't find anything on this forum. Maybe I didn't search hard enough. Has anyone done part of this or all of it? During COVID I read a book about a California woman with cancer who started her Camino in Baja, Mexico and walked El Camino Real stopping at every church/cathedral along the way. She mainly walked with a Mexican guide and a couple of donkeys. Sorry, I can't remember the book title--I think it was self-published. Here's a basic link to a bit of information...
https://missionwalk.org/elcamino-real/
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I did a fairly quick search for any information on El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma in California and I'm surprised I can't find anything on this forum. Maybe I didn't search hard enough. Has anyone done part of this or all of it? During COVID I read a book about a California woman with cancer who started her Camino in Baja, Mexico and walked El Camino Real stopping at every church/cathedral along the way. She mainly walked with a Mexican guide and a couple of donkeys. Sorry, I can't remember the book title--I think it was self-published. Here's a basic link to a bit of information...
https://missionwalk.org/elcamino-real/
It's normally referred to as the Mission Walk.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
Are you from California or at least very familiar with where the historic El Camino Real runs? It is NOT a supported hiking route and most of it has been turned into freeway. While people walk the Mission route, it is problematic in that there is a lot of traffic, accommodations can be expensive, and California from South to North is really, really big compared to most other states.

I’m not saying one should not walk it, just that you really have to be prepared of what you will face - it can be the opposite of a quiet, contemplative walk.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Are you from California or at least very familiar with where the historic El Camino Real runs?
It looks like @Bohemiana is from Long Beach.

Sorry, I can't remember the book title--I think it was self-published.
The California Mission Walkers Facebook group would be a good place to ask this question.

 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
It looks like @Bohemiana is from Long Beach.
Aw, missed that! 👍👴🏼. Then I am sure you are familiar with your state! 😂. As mentioned, there are route guides and such out there in the Facebook group and elsewhere, but not here. If you walk it, please post so that it becomes part of this great online Camino archive
 
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Bohemiana

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First Camino will be April 2015
Aw, missed that! 👍👴🏼. Then I am sure you are familiar with your state! 😂. As mentioned, there are route guides and such out there in the Facebook group and elsewhere, but not here. If you walk it, please post so that it becomes part of this great online Camino archive
Yes, I am from Long Beach. I was wondering if people had "modified" it to be off roads. I realize it would be mostly through city and suburban areas--Camino training in SoCal is on lots and lots of sidewalks! I'll check out those groups.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
There is a new Cicerone guidebook coming out next month - Hiking and Cycling the California Missions Trail: From Sonoma to San Diego by Sandy Brown


Also, forum member @CA_Pilgrim has completed the Mission Walk and has written a guide

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...rs-guide-to-the-california-mission-trail.344/

 

Jamaya

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept 2015
Camino de la Plata (2017)
I did a fairly quick search for any information on El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma in California and I'm surprised I can't find anything on this forum. Maybe I didn't search hard enough. Has anyone done part of this or all of it? During COVID I read a book about a California woman with cancer who started her Camino in Baja, Mexico and walked El Camino Real stopping at every church/cathedral along the way. She mainly walked with a Mexican guide and a couple of donkeys. Sorry, I can't remember the book title--I think it was self-published. Here's a basic link to a bit of information...
https://missionwalk.org/elcamino-real/
The book you are referring to was "The Mission Walker" by Edie Littlefield Sundby. The walk was the California Mission Walk, an 800-miler starting from Mission San Diego and ending at Mision San Francisco Solano in Sonoma. I have walked it twice, once in 2018 and then as a thru-hiker in 2021, both times from south to north.

The California Mission Walker (CMW) membership is now over 2,000 strong with 70 who have completed the entire walk and many in various stages of completion. Some also choose to walk north to south. The original guidebook, "The California Mission Walk- A Hiker's Guidebook to the 21 Califronia Missions" written by Ron "Butch" Briery in 2011 has just recently been revised and published by a group of experienced walkers (myself included) and includes revised routes, alternative routes, historical information and sites along the route, places to eat, stay, etc. It is available from missionwalk.org with a Kindle version available through Amazon. You can also find their facebook page by typing "California Mission Walk" into your search engine! I can't think of a more beautiful and educational way to see California on foot.
 

SusanSmyth

Happy Member 😋
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
My husband and I walked the first stage, from the San Diego Mission de Alcalá to San Luis Rey de Francia. It was a lovely weekend activity. We didn’t continue as planned because he died before we could figure out how to get through the short leg that enters and exits Camp Pendleton Marine Base. I think you can cycle through but you cannot walk.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022
I am from Sonoma CA and have had a lot of people mention it, but I have also heard it isnt very supported, if I meet someone who has done it I will let you know! I wish it were more walker friendly!
 
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Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
I understand the 7/11's there have all you could ever need in the way of supplies, ongoing. I have walked 2 stages with a lovely group, headed up by Pam, called 'Pam's Party'. The popular Guide is written by Ron "Butch" Briery, called California Mission Walk. There is also a El Camino Real de California credential used to collect Mission stamps and a book called 'On a Mission' with pictures a write-up of each stage,
by Maggie Espinosa.
 

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