In 1857 Congress authorized Navy Lieutenant Edward F. Beale to survey a wagon road along the 35th parallel from Fort Defiance, New Mexico Territory, to the Colorado River. A secondary mission was to test the feasibility of using camels in the Southwest. In the fall of 1857, the Beale survey party passed through what is now Flagstaff, Arizona, with approximately 50 men, 100 mules, 10 wagons, 22 camels, and over 300 sheep. The eventual route passed by this location, and later became Fort Valley Road. The first homesteaders in the Flagstaff area came from California on the Beale Wagon Road in the 1870's. From the end of the Civil War through the 1880's, the volume of travel may have been as great as on the more famous Oregon Trail.