Mission Guide

The 21 Spanish Missions in Alta California

The Spanish established 21 missions in California from 1769 to 1823. The missions played a key role in the settlement and growth of the state; many of the most important cities grew up around the missions.

Click the column headings to sort the table. Click the mission names to read about the missions.

You can also visit the animated California Missions Map to “watch” the missions as they are built, in order.

Order Name Founded Location
1 San Diego de Alcalá – (P) 1769 San Diego
2 San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo – (P) 1770 Carmel
3 San Antonio de Padua 1771 Jolon (Ft. Hunter-Liggett)
4 San Gabriel Arcángel 1771 San Gabriel
5 San Luis Obispo de Tolosa 1772 San Luis Obispo
6 San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores) – (P) 1776 San Francisco
7 San Juan Capistrano 1776 San Juan Capistrano
8 Santa Clara de Asís 1777 Santa Clara
9 San Buenaventura 1782 Ventura
10 Santa Barbara – (P) 1786 Santa Barbara
11 La Purísima Concepción 1787 Lompoc
12 La Exaltación de la Santa Cruz 1791 Santa Cruz
13 Nuestra Señora de la Soledad 1791 Soledad
14 San José 1797 Fremont
15 San Juan Bautista 1797 San Juan Bautista
16 San Miguel Arcángel 1797 San Miguel
17 San Fernando Rey de España 1797 Mission Hills
18 San Luis Rey de Francia 1798 San Luis Rey
19 Santa Inés 1804 Solvang
20 San Rafael Arcángel 1817 San Rafael
21 San Francisco Solano – (P) 1823 Sonoma

(P) = Locations of Presidios