California State Route 78 is a 194-mile east/west State Highway located in southern California. California State Route 78 begins at Interstate 5 in Oceanside of San Diego County and terminates at Interstate 10 near Blythe of Riverside County. California State Route 78 between Interstate 5 and Interstate 15 is aligned on the Ronald Packard Parkway over the corridor traditionally known as the Anza Freeway. California State Route 78 east of Interstate 15 climbs over mountain grades into the Sonoran Desert where it become a largely rural highway. The blog cover photo above is California State Route 78 on Vista Avenue between Oceanside and Vista as seen in the 1955 California Highways & Public Works.
Part 1; the history of California State Route 78
Disclaimer; the pre-State Highway history and Glamis Road elements of this blog are sourced from newspaper references attributed to AAroads forum user rschen7754. User rschen7754 was the primary Wikipedia author for the California State Route 78 article which can be found below:
Components of what became California State Route 78 date prior to when they annexed into the State Highway System. In 1870 a gold rush in what is now known as the Banner Mining District began. A highway known as the Banner Toll Road was constructed between the towns of Julian and Banner to facilitate commerce between the two communities. By 1874 the Banner Toll Road was purchased by San Diego County and made accessible to the public. Ultimately the Banner Toll Road was realigned away from Graves Hill during the 1890s and came to be known as the Banner Grade. The Banner Toll Road can be seen on the 1882 Bancroft's Map of California and Nevada connecting Julian-Banner.
During the early 1920s the existing Julian Road and Santa Ysabel Grade were reconstructed by San Diego County from Ramona east to Julian. By 1922 an ACSC scouting team noted that the entire road between Ramona east to Julian had been paved. By 1925 San Diego County had constructed a new road from Banner east to LRN 26 near Kane Springs. The upgraded road between Ramona-Julian and the new highway from Julian to Kane Springs both appear on the 1925 California State Automobile Association Map.
CA 78 was one of the original Sign State Routes announced in the August 1934 California Highways & Public Works. CA 78 was defined as a Sign State Route originating at US Route 101/LRN 2 near Oceanside east to US Route 99/LRN 26 at Kane Springs via Ramona.
The components initially made-up CA 78 comprised of the following Legislative Route Numbers (LRNs):
- LRN 196 from US Route 101/LRN 2 near Oceanside east to US Route 395/LRN 77 in Vista. LRN 196 was added to the State Highway System as part of 1933 Legislative Chapter 767.
- LRN 197 from US Route 395/LRN 77 near Escondido east to LRN 198 in Ramona. LRN 197 was added to the State Highway System as part of 1933 Legislative Chapter 767.
- LRN 198 from LRN 197 in Ramona east to US Route 99/LRN 26 near Kane Springs. LRN 198 was added to the State Highway System as a highway aligned from Spring Valley-Kane Springs via 1933 Legislative Chapter 767.
Another future segment of CA 78 was added via 1933 Legislative Chapter 767 in the form of LRN 146 from US Route 60/LRN 64 in Blythe of Riverside County south to the Imperial County Line at Palo Verde. The Blythe-Palo Verde segment of LRN 146 was announced as part of the original CA 195 in the August 1934 California Highways & Public Works.