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2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 2; the Panamint Gap in California State Route 178

Picking up from where I left off in Part 1 I made my way up Trona Road to California State Route 178 east of Ridgecrest in northwest San Bernardino County.  Approaching Searles Valley there is a gap in CA 178 as the route was never built east through the Panamint Range.






Incidentally Part 1 of this series can be found here:

2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 1; Garlock, CA ghost town


CA 178 as it was originally envisioned ran east from US 101 through to CA 7 in Mojave Desert.  The original iteration of CA 178 can be seen on this 1938 California State Highway Map, by 1938 CA 7 at the eastern terminus of CA 178 had become part of US Route 6.

1938 California State Highway Map 

By 1947 Legislative Route Number 212 was adopted which was a planned route from the eastern terminus of CA 178 across the Panamint Range to CA 127.  More information can be found on CAhighways.org regarding LRN 212.

CAhighways.org on LRN 212

On the 1948 State Highway Map LRN 212 can be seen running east from US 6 to Trona where a planned route is shown crossing the Panamint Range.  LRN 212 resumes in Death Valley and is shown continuing east of CA 127 to the Nevada State Line.

1948 California State Highway Map

By 1954 a new proposed alignment across the Panamint Range appears on the State Highway Map.

1954 California State Highway Map

By the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 212 became part of CA 178.

1964 California State Highway Map

It is unlikely the gap in CA 178 over the Panamint Range will ever be complete.  Building a highway across the southern part of the Panamint Range would be costly and serve little in terms of moving traffic.  The defacto connection between the Panamint Gap in CA 178 is largely served by roads through Panamint Valley, CA 190 and Badwater Road in Death Valley National Park.  

Part 3 of this blog series can found here:

Part 3; Panamint Valley and Trona-Wildrose Road

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