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

Yes, the color of your nearby fire hydrant matters...

...and here's why. You will find White, Red, Yellow and Violet colored fire hydrants pretty much everywhere.  But there's a reason for this - and it's because of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  This association has issued guidelines for color coding standards for fire hydrants.  These color codes from the body of the hydrant, top of the hydrant, and in some municipalities the outlet caps are designed to allow fire fighters to know what type of system, water flow rate (Gallons Per Minute or GPM), and level of water pressure.  This guideline is known as NFPA 291 and is intended to be used universally throughout the United States. The NFPA guidelines are specific to the body and the top cap of the hydrant.  If a hydrant is WHITE or YELLOW - it means that it is connected to a public/municipal water system.  If a hydrant is RED - the hydrant is connected to a private system, typically a well.  These are most common in rural or unincorporated areas

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page Ridge Route corridor introdution The Ridge Route as originally envisioned was a segment of highway which was completed in 1915 between the northern Los Angeles city limit

Establishing the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates

The Federal Highway Aid Act of 1956 brought the Interstate Highway System into existence which would largely be constructed by Federal Highway Administration fund matching.  The Interstate Highway System was deliberately numbered to run opposite the established conventions of the US Route System.  While the Interstate Highway numbering conventions are now well established there was a period during the late 1950s where they were still being finalized.  This blog examines the history of the establishing of the chargeable Interstate Highway route numbers in California.  The above blog cover depicts the Interstate Highway route numbers requested by the Division of Highways in the Los Angeles area during November 1957.  The establishment of the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates The Interstate Highway System was not created in a vacuum by way of the passage of the 1956 Federal Highway Aid Act.  The beginning of the Interstate Highway System can be found in the