In their relentless quest for profitable fur, American trappers explored new territories and blazed trails throughout the Rocky Mountains. But tantalizing reports of plentiful beaver further west, lured expeditions to the promising hunting grounds of California. By the mid 1820’s, groups of mountain men were entering the Mexican province of California, both legally and illegally.
In this painting, a brigade of American trappers from the Rocky Mountains reach the shores of the Pacific near Monterey, California. They have traveled across an uncharted and inhospitable desert. With little regard for Mexican authority, they will trap, trade and partake of the rich bounty of California.