Skip to main content

California State Route 84 over the Santa Cruz Mountains from I-280 west to CA 1

On a recent trip in the Bay Area I drove California State Route 84 over the Santa Cruz Mountains from Interstate 280 west to CA 1.


CA 84 between I-280 west to CA 1 lies entirely within San Mateo County.  The route of CA 84 over the Santa Cruz Mountains was originally defined as part of Legislative Route Number 107 in 1933 which only west to LRN 55 (modern CA 35) at Skyline Boulevard. 

CAhighways.org on LRN 107

Interestingly the original alignment of LRN 107 west of Woodside doesn't appear to be State Maintained as of 1935.  The California Division of Highways Map from San Mateo County in 1935 shows La Honda Road west of Woodside to LRN 55 as a County Maintained. 

1935 San Mateo County Map

LRN 107 first appears west of Woodside on La Honda Road to LRN 55 on the 1936-37 State Highway Map.

1936-1937 State Highway Map 

In 1959 the definition of LRN 107 was extended west from CA 5/LRN 55 to CA 1/LRN 56 near San Gregorio.  This new extension of LRN 107 first appears appears on the 1960 State Highway Map.

1960 State Highway Map

According to CAhighways.org the route of CA 84 was applied over LRN 107 in 1961.

CAhighways.org on CA 84

CA 84 first appears on the 1962 State Highway Map signed over the entirety of LRN 107 and LRN 108.

1962 State Highway Map

My approach to CA 84 west over the Santa Cruz Mountains was from I-280 south.  From Exit 25 on I-280 south on pulled onto CA 84 west on Woodside Road.




CA 84 west follows Woodside Road through Woodside.  Woodside dates back to 1849 and is mostly known for it's lumber days when Redwood Sequoias were milled in the area.



Traffic on CA 84 west in Woodside that trucks over 30 feet in length are not recommended.


One of the few reassurance shields on CA 84 west in the Santa Cruz Mountains appears in Woodside past Canada Road.



West of Woodside CA 84 follows Woodside Road through the heavily wooden Bear Gulch.







CA 84 west makes a turn onto La Honda Road.



CA 84 west makes an ascent to the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains on La Honda Road.  La Honda Road is very curvy and was being overwhelmed by water flowing down out of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
















CA 84 west meets CA 35 on Skyline Boulevard at the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Unfortunately someone had stolen all the CA 35 shields at pretty much every junction on Skyline Boulevard.



CA 84 west of CA 35 on La Honda Road follows La Honda Creek and begins to descend from the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains.







CA 84 west meets Old La Honda Road on it's descent through the Santa Cruz Mountains.


Old La Honda Road is a single-lane old logging road that features steep grades and sharp drop-offs.

Old La Honda Road

CA 84 west on La Honda Road continues to follow La Honda Creek to community of the same name.  La Honda dates back to the 1860s and much like Woodside was center around lumber mills.









West of La Honda CA 84 picks up San Gregorio Creek.


CA 84 west follows San Gregorio Creek into an ever widening expanse of lush canyons approaching San Gregorio.










At the intersection of Stage Road CA 84 west enters San Gregorio.


San Gregorio dates back to the 1850s and still has an appearance of an early Gold Rush Era community.  The San Gregorio General Store has been in operation since been operation since 1889.


Stage Road is a very early alignment of CA 1 and appears on the 1935 San Mateo County Division of Highways Map above.



CA 84 west terminates at CA 1 at San Gregorio State Beach.  While the end of CA 84 doesn't have much fanfare the view from the cliffs above San Gregorio State Beach are worth making the trip across the Santa Cruz Mountains to see.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hetch Hetchy Valley; Hetch Hetchy Railroad, abandoned Lake Eleanor Road, and the Wapama Fall Bridge

This June I took a trip out to Yosemite National Park upon receiving my COVID-19 Day Use Reservation.  My destination in Yosemite National Park was out in Hetch Hetchy Valley.  I sought to hike to the Wapama Fall Bridge which took me through some of the path of the former Hetch Hetchy Valley Railroad and abandoned Lake Eleanor Road.



Part 1; Hetch Hetchy Valley, the Hetch Hetchy Railroad, and reservoir roads

Hetch Hetchy is glacially carved valley similar to Yosemite Valley which is located on the Tuolumne River of Tuolumne County.  Hetch Hetchy Valley presently is impounded by the O'Shaughnessy Dam which was completed during 1923 as part of a project to deliver water and hydroelectric power to the City of San Francisco.  Before being impounded Hetch Hetchy Valley had an average depth of approximately 1,800 feet with a maximum depth of approximately 3,000 feet.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is approximately three miles long and as much as a half mile wide.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is located dow…

Mineral King Road, the White Chief Mine, and the unbuilt California State Route 276

Back in July of 2016 I took Mineral King Road east from California State Route 198 to Mineral King Valley within the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Sequoia National Park.  This June I revisited Mineral King Valley and made my way up to the White Chief Mine.


Mineral King Road is a 24.8 mile rural highway maintained by the National Park Service and as Tulare County Mountain Road 375.  Mineral King Road originates at California State Route 198 in Three Rivers near the confluence of the Middle Fork Kaweah River and the East Fork Kaweah River.  Mineral King Road climbs from a starting elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level to 7,830 feet above sea level at the White Chief Mine Trailhead in Mineral King Valley.  Notably Mineral King Road is stated to have 697 curves.


Mineral King Road has an average grade of 5.1% but has several stretches between 15-20% in places.  Pjammycycling has a detailed breakdown on the grade levels over the entirety of Mineral King Road.

Pjammycycling on Mineral King R…

California's Rogue Sign State Route Shields

While recently revisiting Yosemite National Park I took a couple minutes to capture some of the California Sign State Route shields posted by the National Park Service ("NPS").  None of the NPS shields were actually posted on roadways maintained by Caltrans but were clearly intended to create route continuity with the Sign State Highways.  This phenomenon is not exclusive to Yosemite National Park and can be found on numerous roads not maintained by Caltrans throughout California.



Part 1; Route continuity over who maintains the route

In the very early era of State Highways in California the Division of Highways didn't actually field sign the Auto Trails or even US Routes.  The responsibility of Highway signage fell to the California State Automobile Association ("CSAA") and Automobile Club of Southern California ("ACSC").  The Auto Clubs simply signed Highways on roadways that best served navigational purposes.  These navigational purposes often didn&#…