RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

California's Historic Ridge Route


February, 2008

The Ridge Route faithful are still working diligently to ensure that this famous road will be reopened to the public. The latest inside scoop according to Harrison Scott is that the companies charged with repairing the gas and other pipelines have been issued the appropriate permits. If the work can be completed without further interruptions from inclement weather, then there is a possibility that the road could be opened to the public as early as June of this year.

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS! The Ridge Route Preservation Organization is organizing another work day, (Saturday, February 16th at 9:00 am) to repair damage near the Reservoir Summit area. If you would like to see the condition of the road and be a part of the 2008 solution, click here for more information.

March, 2006

Call for Volunteers! Would you like to see the current condition of the historic Ridge Route firsthand and be one of the very limited number of people allowed on the road? On Saturday, April 8th, 2006, the Ridge Route Preservation Organization is holding a workday to assist the US Forest Service in cleaning the drains that are clogged with dirt and debris. The meeting point is at Brian's Diner (a 1960s-style diner adjacent to the Sizzler Restaurant) in Gorman at 9:00 am. If you are interested in participating in the project you should contact organizer Carl Marsee by email to, or call him at 661-242-2726.

February, 2006—

Repair work on the old highway is underway, but the road is still closed to all non-authorized use. The USFS is enforcing a "no trespassing" order for the entire area. This means that no one can drive, walk or bike into the closed area without becoming subject to a stiff fine. Southern California Edison crews are restringing new wire on the high-voltage towers that crisscross the highway, and there are still several sections where the road has slid down the canyon. At the present time, the best guess for when the road will be reopened for use is mid-2007. The road is open on the north end from Sandberg's south to the former Tumble Inn site, where a new gate has been installed. Occasionally this gate is left open by the repair crews, but the trespass order is still in force. Please do not go past this gate, as you may endanger the utility crews working in the area. We will post additional updates as repair work progresses on this historic highway.

August, 2005

Historic Legal Milestone! After countless meetings and negotiation, on July 26, 2005, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed to release their "ownership" of a major section of the 1915 Ridge Route. For years the legal ownership of this historically significant road was somewhat murky. As a result, none of the governmental bodies that could have established jurisdiction over the Ridge Route stepped up and took responsibility for maintaining the road, although the Angeles National Forest made occasional fire road repairs. Under this new agreement, the US Forest Service will "be responsible" for the road and will be applying for the funds necessary to repair it and, hopefully, reopen it to public use. This is a victory for all who love the Ridge Route and a tribute to the thousands of hours that Harrison Scott and his dedicated band of volunteers have invested to preserve this road.

March 27, 2005

Harrison Scott, the author of Ridge Route: The Road That United California, and the acknowledged expert of this historic highway that linked early Los Angeles with the central valley, surveyed some of the rain-caused damage in early March. The worst washout was about 1.5 miles south of Serpentine Drive as approached from Highway 138. The good news is that most of the slides have now been cleared by the utility companies who use the road as access to their pipelines and transmission towers. Some of the dramatic photos of the slides are shown below:

The bad news, and the problems that will keep the road closed to the public for the foreseeable future, are that several sections are severely undermined and a seventy-five section of the road slipped fifteen feet down the canyon.

In addition, Mr. Scott reported that a 220 thousand volt metal high line tower was lost in a slide and there has been significant damage to both natural gas and a crude oil pipelines in the area. For more information click here. We will add information about the road and accessibility conditions as it becomes available. Unauthorized visits to the area could lead to citations being issued by the local authorities, so we urge restraint in visiting this area now.

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