Ridge Route

The Ridge Route, officially the Castaic–Tejon Route, was a two-lane highway between Los Angeles County and Kern County. It was the first paved highway directly linking the Los Angeles Basin with the San Joaquin Valley over the Tejon Pass and the Sierra Pelona Mountains. The road was bypassed by the three-lane Ridge Route Alternate, then U.S. Route 99, to handle increased traffic and remove curves. The four-lane US 99 was completed in 1953 and replaced by an eight-lane freeway, Interstate 5, in 1960-70.

About Ridge Route in brief

Summary Ridge RouteThe Ridge Route, officially the Castaic–Tejon Route, was a two-lane highway between Los Angeles County and Kern County, California. It was the first paved highway directly linking the Los Angeles Basin with the San Joaquin Valley over the Tejon Pass and the Sierra Pelona Mountains. The road was bypassed by the three-lane Ridge Route Alternate, then U.S. Route 99, to handle increased traffic and remove curves. The four-lane US 99 was completed in 1953 and replaced by an eight-lane freeway, Interstate 5, in 1960-70. Much of the old road runs through the Angeles National Forest, and passes many historical landmarks, including the National Forest Inn, Reservoir Summit, Kelly’s Half Way Inn, Tumble Inn, and Sandberg’s Summit Hotel. The portion of the road in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 was added to the list by the efforts of Harrison Scott. The Ridge Route has been largely buried by the Ridge Route alternate and Interstate 5, but some remnants are used by local traffic. It is now part of The Old Road, which runs from Castaic to Grapevine. The official limits of the ridge route, as built in the 1910s, were SR 126 at Castaic Junction and the bottom of the grade at Grapevine, with the official limits at the end of the route at San Fernando Pass. Until 1930, the road from San Fernando to Castaic ran through the Newhall Tunnel and along San Fernando Road, Magic Mountain Parkway, and Feedmill Road to a former bridge over the Santa Clara River. A 1930 bypass of the tunnel and Newhall through Weldon Canyon is nowpart of TheOld Road.

The first piece of Ridge Route Road out of Castaic was realigned as recently as the late 1990s when the North Lake housing development was built. A portion was straightened in 1924 and now is next to the southbound lanes of I-5. Establishments in the forest included the National forest Inn, Kelly’s Half Way inn, Tumbles Inn, Sandberg’S Summit Hotel, and Mountain View Lodge. The Reservoir Café was a popular high-class restaurant on the east side of the Road, closed in the late 1920s; the remains of the foundation of the restaurant remain. The summit of a reservoir was named after a three-dry reservoir, one of three probably for the concrete used in paving the road, and was probably built for the top of the summit. On October 14, 1932, a fire began in the garage, and took over a day to put out. The inn was not rebuilt, and all that remains are concrete steps. On the west side of road, a popular place, composed of white clapboard buildings, it was described in a 1932 highway beautification pamphlet as “the sort of filling station that gets into a national forest and is no addition thereto’”. On the north end of this area, the Road begins to climb after passing North Lake; a portion of road curves away from the newer bypass. About two miles north of Serpentine Drive, where the road curves around the sides of hills as it climbs out of a low point in the route above sea level.