While researching maps for California State Route 183 I noticed something interesting on the 1935 County Highway maps for San Benito and Monterey County. From what it appeared it seems that there used to be a state highway running from US 101 south on San Juan Highway, through San Juan Bautista, south over the San Juan Grade to Salinas. It turns out what I discovered was an a very old alignment of US 101 which was replaced by 1932.
The information relevant to the history of US 101 over the San Juan Grade is as follows:
- The San Juan Grade was built in 1915 which presumably replaced Old Stage Road from Salinas to San Juan Bautista. Presumably this was part of alignment adopted as Legislative Route 2 from San Francisco south to San Diego in 1909. This history can be seen on 1931 edition of the California Highways and Public Works Journal and on CAhighways.org.
Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierras in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack during the previous winter. Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared Tioga Pass, I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.
The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road east to US Route 395. The Tioga Pass road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is also partially on California State Route 120 east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395. The Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120. The Tioga Pass Road is the highest road mountain pass in California with Tioga Pass which lies at 9,945 feet above sea level.
The Tioga Pass Road is very old with the eastern section up Lee Vining
Canyon to the Tioga Mine being built in 1883. The connecting section of
the Tioga Pass Road from Big Oak Flat R…
After completing California State Route 124 I took CA 16 to the eastern terminus to start my first Trans-Sierra route; California State Route 49/Golden Chain Highway over Yuba Pass.
As stated I joined CA 49 from the eastern terminus of CA 16 in Amador County. CA 49 actually begins in Madera County to the south in Oakhurst at CA 41. CA 49 is about 295 miles long and travels most of the traditional 1849 Gold Rush Country north from Oakhurst to CA 70. If you want history and old towns then CA 49 is one of the best routes on the West Coast to see both.
To the north of CA 16 the next major junction is Signed County Route E16 in Plymouth which is on Shenandoah Road. E16 is a 33.2 mile route which travels northeast to US 50.
Plymouth dates back to the 1850s and is mostly known for a winery that
dates back to 1856. These photos are from Main Street looking west.
CA 49 generally is very rural and doesn't deviate much from when it was first signed back in 1934. While CA 49 isn'…