Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo and the Exploration of California

In this episode, we cover the life of Spanish conquistador and explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo. Cabrillo would be the first non-native to reach the western coast of the United States.

This is a single episode series.

Download this episode or listen online.


Below is a rough map of Cabrillo’s route up the coast of North America.

Channel Islands – source: Wikipedia


Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo by Harry Kelsey. This is the definitive book on Cabrillo. It gets into the weeds quite a bit, but it is exhaustive in it’s portrayal of a man we don’t know that much about. Many of the other books about Cabrillo cite Kelsey extensively.

An Account of the Voyage of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo by Cabrillo National Monument Foundation. An easy read on our subject matter with many extras about the era, as well as photos.

Cabrillo: First European Explorer of the California Coast by Nancy Lemke. Another solid, but shorter book on Cabrillo.

Juan Rodriguez CabrilloWikipedia page