Skip to main content

Disaster Tourism Trip Part 5; Muir Woods Road and The Panoramic Highway

After exiting the Robin Williams Tunnel I took US 101/CA 1 north to where the latter split towards Stinson Beach.








The section of CA 1 between Tamalpais Valley and Stinson Beach was closed due to mudslides from the winter storms.  In fact as of 11/30/17 when I'm writing this blog this section of CA 1 is partially closed until the 1st of February 2018.  Given the closure on CA 1 I took the Panoramic Highway over the Marin Hills to get to Stinson Beach.





I haven't been to Muir Woods National Monument since 1993.  Given that I was right on time for the Monument to open I took a turn south on Muir Woods Road.





The drop on Muir Woods Road is absolutely huge with almost sheer cliffs.  I'm not sure what the grade was but it felt close to a good 10%.  The roadway is extremely narrow, possibly too narrow to have a center stripe.







The Muir Woods National Monument dates all the way back to 1908.  The land where the Muir Woods lies was once considered for a reservoir but was granted to the Federal Government in 1907 after eminent domain was threatened.  Unfortunately the Monument wasn't open on time for some reason and I didn't feel like sitting behind a bunch of angry Bay Area residents so I made my way back up Muir Woods Road back to the Panoramic Highway.






The Panoramic Highway is a 11 mile route over the Marin Hills that loops to/from CA 1.  The Panoramic Highway opened as a Marin County toll road in 1933 and appears on the 1935 Division of Highways Marin County Map.

1935 Marin County Map

The San Francisco Gate covered the history of the Panoramic Highway along with it's high rate of crashes back in 1995.

San Francisco Gate on the Panoramic Highway

The route of Panoramic Highway east of Mount Tamalpais follows the generalized path of the Mount Tamalpais-Muir Woods Railroad which ran slightly to the north of the modern roadway.  The Mount Tamalpais-Muir Woods Railroad was a 8.2 mile standard gauge which ran from Mill Valley west to Mount Tamalpais from 1896 to a fire destroyed it in 1930.  The Mount-Tamalpais-Muir Woods Railroad was reportedly one of the most crooked railroads in the world at the time in it as in operation. 

As for the Panoramic Highway itself, the name certainly is fitting considering how many vistas of the ocean it has high up in the Marin Hills.







Really the best view along the Panoramic Highway is of Stinson Beach and the Bolinas Lagoon west of Mount Tamalpais.





The western terminus of the Panoramic Highway is where I picked up CA 1 again to continue north towards Point Reyes.






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Old River Lock & Control Structure (Lettsworth, LA)

  The Old River Control Structure (ORCS) and its connecting satellite facilities combine to form one of the most impressive flood control complexes in North America. Located along the west bank of the Mississippi River near the confluence with the Red River and Atchafalaya River nearby, this structure system was fundamentally made possible by the Flood Control Act of 1928 that was passed by the United States Congress in the aftermath of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 however a second, less obvious motivation influenced the construction here. The Mississippi River’s channel has gradually elongated and meandered in the area over the centuries, creating new oxbows and sandbars that made navigation of the river challenging and time-consuming through the steamboat era of the 1800s. This treacherous area of the river known as “Turnbull’s Bend” was where the mouth of the Red River was located that the upriver end of the bend and the Atchafalaya River, then effectively an outflow

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

The decade of the 1930s brought unprecedented growth and development to Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure as the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge cemented their place as leading urban centers on the Gulf Coast. In the immediate aftermath of the success garnered by the construction of the massive bridge on the Mississippi River near New Orleans in 1935, planning and construction commenced on the state’s second bridge over the great river. This new bridge, located on the north side of Baton Rouge, was to be similar in design and form to its downriver predecessor. Completed in 1940 as the second bridge across the Mississippi River in Louisiana and the first to be built in the Baton Rouge area, this bridge is one of two bridges on the Mississippi named for Huey P. Long, a Louisiana politician who served as the 40th Governor of the State from 1928 to 1932, then as U.S. Senator from 1932 until his death by assassination at the state capitol in Baton Rouge on September 10, 1935