Hernando de Alarcon

Spanish Navigator and Explorer

Born: Unknown

Died: (fl. 16th Century)

In 1540 Alarcon commanded two supporting ships on Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's overland expedition from Mexico to what is now the Southwestern United States. Alarcon's vessel made it to the head of the Gulf of California and proved that there was no water passage from the Gulf to the Pacific Ocean (Then known as the "South Sea"), a matter of great debate and concern at the time.

Alarcon continued on to the Colorado River and was one of the first Europeans to ascend the river. On a later voyage, Alarcon reached a point near Yuma, Arizona, and explored many of the lower reaches of the great waterway.

Click on the Piece of Eight to return to the Main Page