A key figure in the Spanish settlement of Alta California, Pedro Fages arrived in San Diego aboard the ship San Carlos in 1769. A lieutenant in the Catalon Volunteers, Fages served as second-in-command to Gaspar de Portolá, accompanying him on the difficult trek to find Monterey in 1769. After Portolá left California in 1770, Fages became comandante of the Upper California settlements, holding that position until 1774. Fages traveled widely throughout California. His journeys included the blazing of a trail across the Cuyamaca Mountains in 1772.