California Mission Map

Watch the map below as the missions appear in the order in which they were founded.

Once the animation is complete, you can click the icons on the map to identify the missions.

Refresh the page in your browser to repeat the map animation.

Contrary to what many people think, the California missions were not built “in order” from South to North. Missions were built at strategic locations first, and then the gaps were filled as opportunities arose.

The animated mission map, below, will let you watch as the missions are built!

You can also visit the Mission List to see more details on each of the missions, or the Mission Timeline to learn more about historical events affecting the missions.


21 – San Francisco de Solano (July 4, 1823) – (P)
20 – San Rafael Arcángel (December 14, 1817)
  6 – San Francisco de Asís (June 26, 1776) – (P)
14 – San José de Gualdalupe (July 11, 1797)
  8 – Santa Clara de Asís (January 12, 1777)
12 – La Exaltación de la Santa Cruz (August 28, 1791)
15 – San Juan Bautista (June 24, 1797)
  2 – San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo (June 3, 1770) – (P)
13 – Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (October 9, 1791)
  3 – San Antonio de Padua (July 14, 1771)
16 – San Miguel Arcángel (July 25, 1797)
  5 – San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (September 1, 1772)
11 – La Purísima Concepción (December 8, 1787)
19 – Santa Inés (September 17, 1804)
10 – Santa Barbara (December 4, 1786) – (P)
17 – San Fernando Rey de España (September 8, 1797)
  9 – San Buenaventura (March 31, 1782)
  4 – San Gabriel Arcángel (September 8, 1771)
  7 – San Juan Capistrano (November 1, 1776)
18 – San Luis Rey de Francia (June 13, 1798)
  1 – San Diego de Alcalá (July 16, 1769) – (P)


(P) – Locations of Presidios