How many Missions are there in California? Did they cover the whole state?

There were 21 missions in the territory that was referred to as Alta (Upper) California. The first, San Diego, was founded in 1769, the last, called San Francisco Solano, was founded in 1823. There were no missions north of Sonoma. The Russians had a settlement in the area called Fort Ross, founded in 1812. The missions were concentrated near the coast. There were plans for inland missions but they never materialized.

Many of the twenty-one missions had asistencia or sub-missions that extended the reach of the mission. One that is still functioning is San Antonio de Pala, an asistencia of San Luis Rey. This was founded in 1815, about 17 years after the primary mission was established. It is about thirty miles east of the main mission.

If you go to our website www.missionscalifornia.com and navigate to the map (go to Mission Gateway, then Interactive Map) you will see a map of California showing all the missions. If you scroll over the name of the mission a picture of the mission and the date it was founded with appear in a pop up screen.