Skip to main content

California State Route 197

Back during 2014 I drove California State Route 197 while exploring rural Del Norte County.  This article traces the history of the short but albeit scenic CA 197.


CA 197 is a 7 mile north/south State Highway signed along North Bank Road.  CA 197 connects US 199 along the Smith River near Hiouchi to US 101 near Fort Dick.



Part 1; the history of California State Route 197

Compared to nearby US 199 the backstory of CA 197 is far more mundane.  While US 199 was built upon the bones of what was the Gasquet Toll Road to Oregon Mountain the route of CA 197 has a considerably less ambitious origin.  North Bank Road was added to the State Highway System during 1933 as Legislative Route 81 ("LRN 81").  LRN 81 simply was a connecting highway between US 199/LRN 1 north to US 101/LRN 71 and can be seen on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Del Norte County.


LRN 81 was an adoption of the already existing North Bank Road.  North Bank Road can be seen on the 1917 California State Automobile Association Map of California.


During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 81 was reassigned as CA 197.  CA 197 can be seen appearing for the first time on the 1964 Division of Highways State Map.


CA 197 first appears to have been signed circa 1969 as indicated by the Division of Highways State Map from said year.



Part 2; a virtual tour of California State Route 197

Our virtual tour of CA 197 begins from US 199 westbound.  US 199 westbound meets CA 197 northbound at approximately Post Mile DN 4.420.  CA 197 traffic is advised the highway is signed on North Bank Road as a cut-off to US 101 headed towards Oregon State Line.  Note; all below images are ripped from Google Street View as I did not have the presence in mind to take photos during 2014. 


CA 197 north traffic is advised that Ruby Van Deventer County Park is 4 miles away.   US 101 is signed as 7 miles away on CA 197 northbound.  The Oregon State Line signed as 17 miles away. 



 
At Post Mile R1.629 CA 197 north meets it's original alignment at Tan Oak Drive.  The "R" suffix in the Post Mile designation indicates that CA 197 is on it's first realignment after the 1964 Highway Renumbering.


Upon crossing Peacock Creek CA 197 north meets the back end of it's former Tan Oak Drive at Post Mile R2.192.


CA 197 north enters the a heavily wooded area along the east bank of the Smith River.  At Post Mile DN 4.500 CA 197 north reaches Ruby Van Deventer County Park.






As CA 197 north approaches US 101 it occasionally closes onto the north bank of the Smith River (hence the name North Bank Road). 



 
CA 197 northbound terminates at US 101 at Post Mile DN 7.08.  The north terminus of CA 197 doesn't carry an end placard and is controlled by a simple pair of dual stop signs.   




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

Former US Route 101 and California State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo

Originally US Route 101 upon descending Cuesta Pass southbound entered the City of San Luis Obispo via Monterey Street.  From Monterey Street US Route 101 utilized Santa Rosa Street and Higuera Street southbound through downtown San Luis Obispo.  Upon departing downtown San Luis Obispo US Route 101 would have stayed on Higuera Street southward towards Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande.  Notably; beginning in 1934 US Route 101 picked up California State Route 1 at the intersection of Monterey Street/Santa Rosa Street where the two would multiplex to Pismo Beach.  Pictured below is the 1 935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County depicting the original alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 1 in the City of San Luis Obispo.   Part 1; the history of US Route 1 and California State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo lies at the bottom of the Cuesta Pass (also known as the Cuesta Grade) which has made it favored corridor of travel for centuries.  Cuesta Pass

Former California State Route 1 over Old Pedro Mountain Road

California State Route 1 in western San Mateo County traverses the Montara Mountain spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  In modern times California State Route 1 passes through Montara Mountain via the Tom Lantos Tunnels and the highway is traditionally associated with Devils Slide.  Although Devils Slide carries an infamous legacy due it being prone landslides it pales in comparison to the alignment California State Route 1 carried prior to November 1937 over Old Pedro Mountain Road.   Old Pedro Mountain Road opened to traffic in 1915 and is considered one of the first major asphalted highways in California.  Old Pedro Mountain Road clambers over a grade from Montara towards Pacifica via the 922 foot high Saddle Pass.  Pictured above an overlook of Old Pedro Mountain Road facing southward towards Montara as it appears today.  Pictured below it the same view during June 1937 when it was part of the original alignment of California State Route 1.  Today Old Pedro Mountain sits abandoned a