Millwood Road can be found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of eastern Fresno County. Millwood Road is a single lane roadway which originates at California State Route 180 and terminates approximately 6.6 miles at Dunlap Road in Dunlap Valley. Millroad Road is an old corridor which traces it's roots back to the Kings River Lumber Company.
Part 1; the history of Millwood Road
The Kings River Lumber Company had been established in 1888 in the form of a 30,000 acre purchase of forest lands in Converse Basin. This purchase lied immediately west of Grant Grove and came to be known as "Millwood." The Kings River Lumber Company originally planned on constructing a railroad from Sanger to Converse Basin but the terrain of Kings Canyon proved too formidable of an engineering challenge. This led to the Kings River Lumber Company beginning construction on the 62 mile Sanger Log Flume which was complete months prior to the establishment of General Grant National Park and Sequoia National Park in mid-year 1890.
Millwood Road was developed as a stage corridor connecting Dunlap Valley and Converse Basin by the Kings River Lumber Company. Millwood Road in its original form can be seen on the 1911 Edward Denny & Company Map of Fresno County. Millwood Road originally incorporated what is now Sequoia National Forest Road 13S97 towards Sequoia Lake. Millwood Road connected with the Don Cecil Trail which continued eastward towards Cedar Grove at the bottom Kings Canyon. Note; the Kings River Lumber Company became the Sanger Lumber Company in 1892 and then the Hume Bennett Lumber Company in 1905.
The 1917 California State Automobile Association Map shows Millwood Road replaced by Dunlap Road as the primary access highway into Grant Grove and General Grant National Park. Dunlap Road became part of Legislative Route Number 41 ("LRN 41") as part of the 1919 Third State Highway Bond Act and CA 180 by August of 1934.
The May 1940 California Highways & Public Works
notes that a new alignment north of Dunlap Road connecting directly
from Squaw Valley to Kings Canyon National Park (still noted as General
Grant National Park) was budgeted.
Part 2; a drive on Millwood Road
Westbound CA 180 intersects Millwood Road at Postmile FRE 104.07 in Sequoia National Forest. Millwood Road is signed as 7 miles from Dunlap. The beginning of Forest Road 13S97 can be seen climbing over the ridge in the distance.
Millwood Road begins with a steep southward descent to the Sequoia National Forest boundary.
Millwood Road descends to an intersection with Todd Elymann Road. Todd Elyman Road would have continued south to the what was the community of Noble (as seen on the 1911 map above). Millwood Road begins a westward turn towards Dunlap which is signed as 6 miles away.
The final 6 miles of Millwood Road continue westward on a descent above Dunlap Valley. The stage route nature of Millwood Road is apparent as it descends through what was once Deer Park (seen on the 1911 map above). Millwood Road levels out upon entering Dunlap Valley terminates at Dunlap Road.