Skip to main content

Ice Cream Grade

While in the Southern Santa Cruz Mountains I encountered oddly named mountain road known as the Ice Cream Grade.


The Ice Cream Grade is an approximately 2.7 mile roadway in Santa Cruz County connecting Pine Flat Road eastward to Empire Grade/Felton-Empire Road.  The origin of the name "Ice Cream Grade" may have been due to ice cream socials being used to fund the roadway.  Apparently the Ice Cream Grade appeared as presently named in 1899 in public documents .

Ice Cream Grade Santa Cruz Wiki

The Ice Cream Grade does appears as an unmarked roadway between Pine Flat Road the Empire Grade on the 1935 California Divisions of Highways Map of Santa Cruz County.

1935 Santa Cruz County Highway Map 

Regarding my drive on Ice Cream Grade I started from Pine Flat Road headed east.  The Ice Cream Grade is immediately signed with "Icy" advisory signs.  Considering the elevation on the Ice Cream Grade is somewhat low I can only assume someone had a sense of humor placing a somewhat ironic sign.


Commercial loads over 10,000 pounds are prohibited on Ice Cream Grade.


The alignment of the Ice Cream Grade is very haggard and alternates between two-lane to one-lane.  The Ice Cream Grade crosses Laguna Creek about mid-way between Pine Flat Road and Empire Grade before climbing a large hill.









The Ice Cream Grade ends at Empire Grade.  The road continues eastward as Felton-Empire Road through the Fall Creek unit of Henry Cowell State Park.


I'm honestly surprised that the street blades are so large and displayed so prominently on both ends of the Ice Cream Grade.  The unique name would tend make me think they are the target of signage theft.  The remote terrain probably deters most would be thieves.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

One Long Drive - Allegheny County's Orange Belt

When I trace my early interest in traveling and the hobby of roadgeeking, I always go back to where I grew up. Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 48, and the Orange Belt. I grew up on Route 48 in Elizabeth Township on the Orange Belt. One of my family's favorite stories of me growing up is when I was around three years old - so 1980 - I told one of my aunts, "It's not that hard to get to our house - we live on the Orange Belt!"  The Allegheny County Belt System is one of the many things that are uniquely Pittsburgh. A series of existing roadways - minor and major - developed in post-World War II Allegheny County to navigate the region. Never intended to be a "beltway" in the modern sense - a full freeway encircling a city - the Allegheny County system is more like a wayfinding system connecting you throughout the county. It is uniquely Pittsburgh - it's been asked about , written about , and videoed .  On a recent visit home, I decided to drive the entire

Mosquito Road Bridge

The Mosquito Road Bridge is a wooden suspension span crossing the South Fork American River of El Dorado County.  The Mosquito Road Bridge incorporates elements in it's foundation which date back to 1867 making it likely the oldest highway bridge in California still is in service for it's original purpose.  The Mosquito Road Bridge can be found approximately 6.5 miles northeast of downtown Placerville.    Author's Note; Gribblenation's 2,000th published blog This blog serves as the 2,000th published entry on the Gribblenation blog site.  Ironically the the 2,000th blog entry closely aligns with the 20th anniversary of Gribblenation.  Adam and Doug recently discussed the history of Gribblenation on the Gribblenation 20th Anniversary Podcast: https://anchor.fm/gribblenation/episodes/Gribblenation-20th-Anniversary-Podcast-ep2nh8 For my own part I (Tom) have been part of Gribblenation since late 2016, it has been an honor to be part of one of the longest lived highway pages