California State Route 128 is a 121 mile State Highway which spans from California State Route 1 at the mouth Navarro River eastward to Interstate 505 near Winters. California State Route 128 is one of California's most underrated scenic State Highways which traverses; Mendocino County, Solano County, Napa County and Yolo County. Presently California State Route 128 has 11 unconstructed miles which would connect it from Interstate 505 east to California State Route 113 in Davis.
Part 1; the history of the original California State Route 28 and California State Route 128
What became California State Route 128 ("CA 128") was announced in the August 1934 California Highways & Public Works as the original CA 28. CA 28 in it's original definition was aligned from CA 1 near Albion east to US 40 near Davis.
CA 28 as originally defined was comprised of numerous Legislative Route Numbers ("LRN") which were adopted as follows:
- LRN 1 between McDonald southeast to Geyserville. This segment was part of the Redwood Highway (future US Route 101) and was added to the State Highway System as part of the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act.
- LRN 48 from the mouth of the Navarro River east to LRN 1 (future US 101) at McDonald as part of the 1919 Third State Highway Bond Act.
- LRN 103 from Geyserville east to Calistoga which was adopted into the State Highway System during 1933.
- LRN 49 from Calistoga east to Rutherford. This was part of a 1933 State Highway extension of LRN 49 from Calistoga to Napa.
- LRN 102 from Rutherford east to the Napa-Winters Road via Sage Canyon (LRN 6 and the original CA 37) which was added to the State Highway System in 1933.
- LRN 6 east to Winters via Wooden Valley and Berryessa Valley. This was part of a 1933 State Highway addition to LRN 6 from Napa east to Winters. The original LRN 6 was defined from Woodland Junction (the outskirts of Davis) east to Sacramento as part of the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act.
- Oddly LRN 6 contained a gap from Winters east to Woodland Junction in it's 1933 definition. Thusly CA 28 followed the existing Russell Road east of Winters to US Route 40/LRN 6 ("US 40") near Davis.
LRN 48 before it was part of CA 28 was known as the McDonald-to-the-sea-Highway. LRN 48 essentially was an adoption of the existing Anderson Valley Trail which had long been in use. The Anderson Valley Trail can be seen on the 1917 California State Automobile Association Map plotted from LRN 1 at McDonald west to towards Albion. The Anderson Valley Trail differed from the planned route of the McDonald-to-the-Sea Highway has it utilized higher terrain west of Wendling as opposed to following the Navarro River.
LRN 48 and the McDonald-to-the-sea-Highway appear on the 1920 California Highway Commission Map of California as a road added by the 1919 Third State Highway Bond Act. LRN 48 can be seen with a planned terminus at the mouth of the Navarro River as opposed to Albion.
The September 1925 California Highways & Public Works describes in a District I report ongoing work to improve LRN 48 and the McDonald-to-the-sea-Highway to state maintenance standards.
The April 1928 California Highways & Public Works describes LRN 48 and the Mcdoanld-to-the-sea-Highway as undergoing major improvements. The existing road is described as being in a poor state of repair with many sections ungraded coupled with numerous poorly designed wooden bridges. Route surveys are stated to have taken place to straighen the Mcdonald-to-the-sea-Highway's alignment.
The September 1929 California Highways & Public Works describes the ongoing improvements to LRN 48 and Mcdonald-to-the-sea-Highway. Three new timber bridges are stated to have expected completion before the winter rains. Notably; one of the three birdges was at the North Fork Navarro River on the planned alignment of LRN 48 west of Wendling to the mouth of the Navarro River.
The September 1930 California Highways & Public Works notes that the Basalt Rock Company applied an oil surface to 36 miles of LRN 48 and the Mcdonald-to-the-sea-Highway during June 1930.
CA 28 from McDonald (Mountain House Road) east to Cloverdale via LRN 1 was part of the original alignment of US 101 between Hopland-Cloverdale. US 101/LRN 1 was shifted to a new alignment on the Russian River between Hopland-Cloverdale in August of 1934 which is discussed in the August 1934 California Highways & Public Works. The definition of LRN 48 would be extended east from McDonald to Cloverdale via 1935 Legislative Chapter 274.
CA 28/LRN 48 can be seen aligned from CA 1/LRN 56 east to the Sonoma County Line on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Mendocino County.
The 1935 Division of Highways Map of Sonoma County shows CA 28/LRN 48 intersecting US 101/LRN 1 north of Cloverdale. CA 28 is shown multiplexing US 101/LRN 1 southeast to Geyserville where it split east via LRN 103 to the Napa County Line.
The 1935 Division of Highways Map of Napa County shows CA 28/LRN 103 meeting CA 29/LRN 49 in Calistoga. CA 28 is seen multiplexing CA 29/LRN 49 east from Calistoga towards LRN 102 at Rutherford. CA 28 is seen following LRN 102 eastward through Sage Canyon to LRN 6. CA 28 can be seen following LRN 6 near Monticello of Berryessa Valley to the Yolo County Line.
The 1935 Division of Highways of Yolo County shows CA 28 follow LRN 6 east to LRN 90 (Railroad Avenue) in Winters. From LRN 90 the path of CA 28 east to US 40 on Russell Road is shown as a major Yolo County Highway.
Prior to the 1940s CA 28 was signed to US 40 near Davis via Russell Road east of Winters. It is unclear when the CA 28 signage east of Winters was removed. CA 28 east of Winters to US 40 near Davis last appears on the 1938 Division of Highways State Map.
CA 28/LRN 102 saw a minor realignment when Conn Creek Dam was completed in 1948 and formed Lake Hennessey. The created of Lake Hennessey saw CA 28/LRN 102 shifted slightly southward and uphill from Conn Creek Dam east towards Sage Creek.
The May/June 1953 California Highways & Public Works announced that CA 28 was redesignated as CA 128. The CA 28 designation was moved to the north shore of Lake Tahoe to be continuous with the long existing Nevada State Route 28. Notably CA 128 is stated to have an eastern terminus in Winters which left it with a hanging end not connecting to another Sign Route.
CA 128 can be seen for the first time on the 1954 Division of Highways State Map.
The 1954 Division of Highways Map also shows the second CA 28 on the north shore of Lake Tahoe signed over LRN 39.
The March/April 1955 California Highways & Public Works depicts the progress of the realignment of CA 128/LRN 6 at the site of the 270 foot high Monticello Dam. The Monticello Dam project broke ground in 1953 along Putah Creek with the end goal of creating the Lake Berryessa Reservoir. The construction of Monticello Dam required both CA 37 and CA 128 be realigned to the south of the planned Lake Berryessa. CA 128/LRN 6 in particular was heavily impacted by the Monticello Dam project as it followed Putah Creek from the outskirts of the Town of Monticello east to the Yolo County Line. Additionally the Town of Monticello in Berryessa Valley was slated to be inundated by 100 feet of water. In total 16.3 miles of new highway was slated to be constructed which was largely comprised of a realigned CA 128. The realigned CA 128 would make a brief swing into Solano County near the site of Monticello Dam. Monticello Dam was topped out during November of 1957 but Lake Berryessa wouldn't fill to capacity until April of 1963.
The newly realigned CA 128/LRN 6 south of the planned Lake Berryessa appears on the 1956 Division of Highways State Map.
1959 Legislative Chapter 1062 extended LRN 6 from Winters to LRN 7 (US 40A/US 99W) near Davis. Thusly planned extension of CA 128/LRN 6 east of Winters via; Russell Road, Road 93A, Road 31 and Covell Boulevard to Davis first appears on the 1960 Division of Highways State Map.
During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering all the Legislative Route Numbers were dropped. The simplified definition of CA 128 from the mouth of the Navarro River east to Davis first appears on the 1964 Division of Highways State Map.
During 1968 the planned route of CA 128 from Winters east to Davis was designated as Yolo County Route E6 ("E6"). Since the designation of E6 there has been no documented attempts to extend CA 128 east from Winters to Davis.
At some point between 1975 and 1977 US 101 was shifted to a freeway bypass of Geyserville. The freeway bypass of Geyserville saw CA 128 split from it's multiplex with US 101 at Exit 512 onto Geyserville Avenue. The freeway bypass of Geyserville via US 101 and the new split of CA 128 can be seen on the 1977 Caltrans State Map.
US 101 was moved to a freeway bypass of Cloverdale during February of 1994 according to CAhighways.org. The new freeway alignment of US 101 shifted CA 128 onto a multiplex which departed westbound onto North Cloverdale Boulevard at Exit 522.
Part 2; a drive on a California State Route 128
CA 128 beings from the Navarro River Bridge at CA 1 in Mendocino County. From CA 1 the route of CA 128 eastward is signed as 29 miles from Boonville. US 101 is signed as 57 miles to the east on CA 128 in Cloverdale.
At Postmile MEN 1.62 CA 128 east enters the boundary of Navarro River Redwoods State Park.
CA 128 eastbound traverses the Coastal Redwood Grove of Navarro River Redwoods State Park via the course of the Navarro River and North Fork Navarro River. CA 128 emerges from Navarro River Redwoods State Park upon crossing the North Fork Navarro River Bridge at Postmile MEN 12.68.
CA 128 eastbound enters Anderson Valley and the community of Navarro at Postmile MEN 14.17.
Navarro traces it's roots to a community of the same name which was located on the mouth of Navarro River. The original community of Navarro was established as a lumber mill and company town during the 1860s which in turn received Post Office Service in 1867. In 1902 the original Navarro Mill burned which led to the decline of the community. Later in 1902 a new mill was established at the North Fork Navarro River by G.C. Wendling. This new community was initially called Wendling which was later renamed to Navarro when it was purchased by the Navarro Lumber Company in 1916. The original Navarro can be seen on the 1884 California Office of the State Engineer Map.
From 1905 to 1930 Wendling/Navarro was a stop on the Albion River Railroad. The name "Albion" is a refence to a name given to California by Sir Francis Drake upon his landing at Point Reyes. This name was applied to the Albion River in 1844 which soon became the site of a sawmill built by Captain William A. Richardson in 1853. The logging operation at Albion incorporated as the Albion River Railroad Company in 1885. By 1891 the Albion River Railroad reached 11.6 miles eastward to Keene's Summit the same year it was also reorganized as part of the Albion Lumber Company. The Albion Lumber Company and Albion River Railroad eventually consolidated into the Fort Bragg & Southeastern Railroad. The line was intended to eventually reach inland California via Anderson Valley but never went further east than Christine which was on modern CA 128 between Navarro and Booneville. The sawmill in Albion ceased operations in 1928 which was followed by the railroad in 1930.
A map of the Albion River Railroad can be seen in the Northwestern Pacific book on the Albion Branch. Wendling can be seen near the eastern terminus of the line close to Floodgate and Christine.
CA 128 traffic east of Navarro is advised they are entering Anderson Valley.
CA 128 east crosses Floodgate Creek at Postmile MEN 15.37. Floodgate Creek is the approximate location of the Albion River Railroad siding of Floodgate.
At Postmile MEN 20.136 CA 128 eastbound intersects Greenwood Road. Greenwood Road is signed as access to Henry Woods State Park.
CA 128 east continues through Anderson Valley and enters the community of Philo at Postmile MEN 22.78. Philo had Post Office Service established in 1888.
At Postmile MEN 23.33 CA 128 east crosses Indian Creek. Upon crossing Indian Creek CA 128 eastbound is signed 3 miles from Boonville and 33 miles from Cloverdale.
Approaching Mountain View Road at Postmile MEN 28.39 CA 128 eastbound enters Boonville.
Boonville is the largest community of Anderson Valley and was settled in 1862 by John Burgots. Originally the community was known as "The Corners" and was plotted around a hotel built by John Burgots. A second hotel was constructed in 1864 by Alonzo Kendall and the community came to be known as Kendall's City. The name of "Boonville" came later when W.W. Boone purchased a store in the community. The name Boonville was later recognized by the Post Office when service was established in 1875. Boonville can be seen on the 1884 California Office of the State Engineer Map in the heart of Anderson Valley.
CA 128 eastbound passes through central Boonville.
Departing Boonville CA 128 eastbound intersects CA 253 at Postmile MEN 29.57.
The subject of CA 253 on Boonville-Ukiah Road is addressed in the July/August 1966 California Highways & Public Works. The history of Boonville-Ukiah Road is stated in the article to have begun in 1851 when it was known as the Anderson Valley Trail. The article elaborates that in 1868 John Gsehwind successfully petitioned the State Legislature to upgrade the existing Anderson Valley Trail to a franchise toll road. The Gsehwind Toll Road was primarily used to transport lumber and eventually was incorporated into Mendocino County's public road system no later than 1896. The Gsehwind Toll Road became Boonville-Ukiah Road and was upgraded to a 10 foot width during 1896. Boonville-Ukiah Road was further modernized beginning in 1952 under the Federal Aid Secondary program. The article states Boonville-Ukiah Road formally became CA 253 upon the completion of the final improvement contract during March 1963.
CA 128 east of CA 253 continues through Anderson Valley and is signed as 10 miles from Yorkville.
CA 128 continues eastbound through Anderson Valley and enters Yorkville at Postmile MEN 41.98.
Yorkville was originally established in 1868 at a location three miles northwest from the present community site. The community of Yorkville moved to it's present location in 1937. Yorkville is named after it's community founder R.H. York.
Departing Yorkville CA 128 eastbound begins to climb from Anderson Valley and is signed as 10 miles from US 101 near Cloverdale.
CA 128 eastbound begins to gain elevation and intersects former US 101 at Mountain House Road at Postmile MEN 48.45. CA 128 at the intersection of Mountain House Road is located at the ghost town site of McDonald. McDonald was a stage stop and location of a hotel on the 19th Century wagon road from Cloverdale to Ukiah.
CA 128 east of Mountain House Road picks up the original alignment of US 101. CA 128 eastbound enters the watershed of Edwards Creek and ascends to the Sonoma County Line.
CA 128 eastbound winds through narrow terrain as it begins to split away from Edwards Creek towards Cloverdale. CA 128 descends a series of hairpins before leveling out at Alderglen Springs at Postmile SON 2.7.
Cloverdale of Sonoma County was originally settled by R.B. Markle and W.J. Miller in 1856 who established the stage stop known as Markleville on the Russian River. In 1859 Markle's property interests were sold to James Abram Kleiser who in turn plotted out the town site of Cloverdale. Cloverdale would incorporate as a City on February 28th, 1872 when the San Francisco & Northern Pacific Railroad reached the community. Cloverdale can be seen as the north terminus of the San Francisco & North Pacific Railroad and head of a stage route to Mendocino County on the 1873 Brancroft's Map of California. Note; this stage road north of Cloverdale is now part of California State Route 128 and Mountain House Road towards Hopland.
CA 128 eastbound follows Cloverdale Boulevard to Postmile SON L4.661 where it enters a freeway multiplex with US 101 southbound.
US 101 south/CA 128 Exit 520 accesses Citrus Fair Drive and central Cloverdale.
US 101 south/CA 128 east Exit 519 accesses South Cloverdale Boulevard.
US 101 south/CA 128 east Exit 518 accesses Dutcher Creek Road.
US 101 south/CA 128 east Exit 517 accesses Asti.
CA 128 east departs the multiplex from US 101 south at Exit 512.
CA 128 east follows Canyon Road to a right hand turn onto Geyserville Avenue at Postmile SON L4.97.
CA 128 eastbound follows Geyserville Avenue into downtown Geyserville and makes a left hand turn towards the Russian River at Postmile SON 4.87.
In 1847 geysers and hot springs were discovered on what was Mexican Rancho Tzabaco northeast of the Russian River in the Mayacamas Mountains. A community by the name of Clairville was subsequently settled on the stage road along the Russian River to take advantage of increasing tourism to the area. Clairville would eventually become Geyserville and obtained a stop on the San Francisco & North Pacific Railroad when it was extended to Cloverdale in the early 1870s. Geyserville and the nearby Geysers in the Mayacamas Mountains can be seen on the 1873 Bancroft's Map of California.
CA 128 eastbound crosses the Russian River at Postmile SON 5.44.
CA 128 winds through the fields east of the Russian River and intersects Geysers Road at Postmile SON 9.47.
CA 128 eastbound intersects Anderson Valley Road at Postmile SON 11.49 at the small community of Jimtown.
From Jimtown CA 128 eastbound is signed as 17 miles from Calistoga.
At Postmile SON 15.42 CA 128 eastbound intersects Chalk Hill Road.
CA 128 eastbound follows Maacama Creek into a canyon where it crosses over at Postmile SON 17.75.
CA 128 eastbound traverses a small valley before climbing a ridge to the Napa County Line.
CA 128 eastbound descends into Napa Valley and the City of Calistoga. At Postmile NAP 3.61 CA 128 eastbound intersects Petrified Forest Road in Calistoga. Petrified Forest Road is signed as access to Petrified Forest of California. The Petrified Forest of California was formed approximately 3.4 million years ago when a eruption at Mount St. Helens covered the area around Calistoga with debris
CA 128 eastbound enters downtown Calistoga via Foothill Boulevard. CA 128 eastbound intersects CA 29 at Lincoln Avenue/Postmile NAP 4.54.
Calistoga is centered around the numerous hot springs of northern Napa Valley. Upon visiting the area in 1859 Samuel Brannan decided to build a resort to rival Saratoga Springs of New York. Brannan subsequently opened the Hot Springs Hotel in 1862 and a community began to develop around it. The name Calistoga was given the community surrounding the Hot Springs Hotel by 1867. The name "Calistoga" itself is a reference to the words "California" and "Saratoga." By 1868 the California Pacific Railroad's Napa Valley Line reached Calistoga which allowed ease of access to the San Francisco Bay Area. Calistoga would incorporate as a City on January 6th of 1886.
Calistoga can be seen as the northern terminus of the Napa Valley Railroad on this 1869 flyer.
A look north on CA 29/Lincoln Avenue from the Napa River Bridge towards downtown Calistoga.
Various scenes around downtown Calistoga centered around CA 29/Lincoln Avenue.
The 1868 Calistoga Depot on CA 29/Lincoln Avenue has a obvious Southern Pacific Railroad motif from the 1885 purchase of the Napa Valley Railroad. Since 1989 the Napa Valley Railroad has operated as the excursion Napa Valley Wine Train.
From Lincoln Avenue in downtown Calistoga CA 128 eastbound begins a multiplex with CA 29 southbound.
At Route 29 Postmile NAP 33.26 CA 128 east/CA 29 south intersect Larkmead Lane which is signed as access to Napa Valley State Park.
CA 128 east/CA 29 south follow St. Helena Highway to the City of St. Helena.
St. Helena was settled as part of a Mexican Land Grant to General Vallejo in 1834. St. Helena would become a stop on the Napa Valley Railroad in 1868 and would incorporate for the first time as a City on March 24th, 1876. St. Helena would incorporate for a second time on May 14th, 1889. CA 128 east/CA 29 south traverse St. Helena via Main Street.
Departing St. Helena CA 128 east/CA 29 south crosses the Napa Valley Railroad
CA 128 east departs CA 29 south at Rutherford Road in the community of Rutherford. Rutherford was part of Rancho Caymus which was deeded to settler George Yount in 1838. Yount granted 1,040 acres of his land as a wedding gift in 1864 to his Son-in-law Thomas Rutherford. The community of Rutherford would soon develop upon the emergence of the Napa Valley Railroad.
CA 128 east/Rutherford Road crosses the Napa River at Postmile NAP 5.12 and 5.25. Notably the first bridge over the Napa River has a 1921 year stamp.
At Postmile NAP 6.05 CA 128 east turns left onto Conn Creek Road.
At Postmile NAP 7.37 CA 128 eastbound turns right onto Silverado Trail.
At Postmile NAP R7.49 CA 128 eastbound makes a left hand turn onto Sage Canyon Road. Winters is signed as 39 miles to the east on CA 128.
CA 128 eastbound traffic is advised of no services for 39 miles upon entering Sage Canyon Road.
CA 128 eastbound ascends to the top of the Hennessey Reservoir and intersects a boat launch at Postmile NAP 10.60.
CA 128 eastbound intersects Chiles-Pope Valley Road at Postmile NAP 11.28.
CA 128 eastbound ascends through the winding Sage Canyon and intersects it's original alignment at Knoxville at Postmile NAP 19.09.
The original alignment of CA 128 only follows modern Knoxville Road about a mile east via Capell Creek before disappearing into Lake Berryessa. Knoxville Road follows the western shore of Lake Berryessa. Lake Berryessa is the second largest reservoir in California and is part of Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument which was created in 2015. Below Lake Berryessa can be seen at full capacity in the winter of 2017.
CA 128 eastbound follows Capell Valley Road to a junction with CA 121 (former CA 37) at Postmile NAP 23.90.
CA 128 eastbound follows the southern flank of Lake Berryessa to Monticello Dam at the Solano County Line.
From the Solano/Napa County Line there is a vista of Monticello Dam and it's signature glory hole spillway. The photos below were taken after a very dry 2020 which saw the 317,909 acre Hennessey Fire occur during August.
Compared to the winter of 2017 when Lake Berryessa was at full capacity and the glory hole spillway at Monticello Dam was in use.
CA 128 eastbound descends to Putah Creek and crosses the Yolo County Line.
CA 128 follows Putah Creek eastward to Sacramento Valley. At Postmile YOL 4.62 CA 128 eastbound intersects planned CA 179 at Pleasant Valley Road.
Winters was established as a siding of the Vaca Valley & Clear Lake Railroad in 1875. Winters began to quickly grow in importance and incorporated as a City on February 9th of 1898. The name of Winters was taken from Theodore Winters who donated some of his lands where the City now sits. CA 128 eastbound intersects Railroad Avenue/former LRN 90 at Postmile YOL 8.76.
CA 128 eastbound follows Grant Avenue to a terminus at Interstate 505. The road eastward continues as Yolo County Route E6 on Russell Boulevard.
Part 3; the planned route of California State Route 128 to Davis on Yolo County Route E6
As noted in Part 1 the route of CA 128 has been planned to continue eastward to Davis via what is now E6 since 1959. E6 initially follows Russell Boulevard over the original route of CA 28 before swinging northward to Road 31 via Road 93A.
E6 follows Road 31 east towards Davis and meets E7 at Road 98.
E6 enters the City of Davis and follows Covell Boulevard to CA 113. CA 128 was planned to terminate at CA 113 whereas E6 continues east on Covell Boulevard and Mace Boulevard to Interstate 80.