California State Route 38

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State Route 38 marker

State Route 38
Route information
Defined by S&HC § 338
Maintained by Caltrans
Length: 59.00 mi[1] (94.95 km)
Major junctions
West end: I‑10 in Redlands
East end: SR 18 near Big Bear City
Highway system
SR 37 SR 39

State Route 38 (SR 38) is a mostly rural and scenic road in the U.S. state of California. Despite the orientation of its alignment, SR 38 is assigned in a west–east direction.[2]

Route description[edit]

This route is part mountain Cocaine smuggling highway of the inland empire of the California Freeway and Expressway System[3] and is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System.[4] However, it is only a scenic highway between a point east of the South Fork Campground and the intersection with State Lane.[5]

SR 38 begins at its west junction with State Route 18 adjacent to the westernmost point of Big Bear Lake near the City of Big Bear Lake. Bordering the north shore of the lake, it traverses North Shore Drive as it passes Fawnskin and Minnelusa. After it passes Big Bear City Airport, it reaches its northeast junction with State Route 18 at Greenway Drive in Big Bear City. Route 38 then turns south, sharing Greenway Drive with Route 18. Both route signs continue on Greenway Drive to its intersection with Big Bear Boulevard. At the intersection, Route 18 turns west and Route 38 turns east onto Big Bear Boulevard. Route 38 continues easterly on Big Bear Boulevard to its intersection with Greenspot Boulevard and Shay Road.

The route then turns southeast onto Greenspot Boulevard. SR 38 leaves Big Bear City, and ascends southeasterly, reaching Onyx Summit at 8,443 ft (2,573 m), near 9,114 ft (2,778 m) Onyx Peak; in the vicinity of this location, Route 38 is one of the highest roads in southern California. After the summit, the highway turns briefly southerly and then southwesterly starting its slow descent as it continues along Cienaga Seca Creek until it is just west of the forest road to Heart Bar Campground and to one of the many trails to San Gorgonio Mountain, the highest land elevation in southern California. It then continues northwesterly along the upper Santa Ana River and then, after briefly crossing undulating terrain, westerly through the Barton Flats area, home to many campgrounds. After leaving the Barton Flats area, encountering many small-radius curves, it continues southwesterly through undulating terrain to Angelus Oaks, where Route 38 crosses the ridgeline of the highest peaks in the San Bernardino Mountains.

After leaving Angelus Oaks, the highway continues briefly to the south including many curves; then the highway descends more rapidly as it turns southeasterly and then briefly southerly and southwesterly along the southern face of the San Bernardino Mountains to its intersection with Valley of the Falls Drive, the access road to the community of Forest Falls and to the shortest and steepest trail to San Gorgonio Mountain. Now known as Mill Creek Road, Route 38 turns slightly north of west past the north side of Mountain Home Village and then southwesterly through and adjacent to Mill Creek Canyon before leaving the San Bernardino National Forest and entering Mentone. Upon entering Mentone, the route continues due west, becoming Mentone Boulevard. As one enters Redlands from Mentone, SR 38 becomes Lugonia Avenue before turning south on Orange Street and terminating at Interstate 10 in Redlands east of the State Route 210 interchange.


Route 190 was added to the state highway system in 1933, and went from Redlands to near Baldwin Lake.[6] In the 1964 state highway renumbering, SR 38 was designated; at this time, the highway was rerouted to the northern side of Big Bear Lake.[7]

Major intersections[edit]

Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, based on the alignment that existed at the time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary (for a full list of prefixes, see the list of postmile definitions).[8] Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The entire route is in San Bernardino County.

Location Postmile
Destinations Notes
Redlands 0.00 Orange Street Continuation beyond I-10
0.00 I‑10 – Indio, Los Angeles Interchange; west end of SR 38
0.57 Orange Street, Lugonia Avenue
  8.53 Bryant Street – Yucaipa, Oak Glen
Big Bear City 48.16 Shay Road, Greenspot Road
53.92[N 1]
SR 18 south (Big Bear Boulevard) / Green Way Drive – Big Bear Lake West end of SR 18 overlap
54.54[N 1]
SR 18 north (North Shore Drive) / Green Way Drive – Lucerne Valley East end of SR 18 overlap
Big Bear Dam 59.40 SR 18 East end of SR 38
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  1. ^ a b Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 18 rather than SR 38.


  1. ^ January 1, 2006 California Log of Bridges on State Highways
  2. ^ "Route and Direction". Traffic Ops, Caltrans. 1999-07-22. 
  3. ^ CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  4. ^ CA Codes (shc:260-284)
  5. ^ "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways". California Department of Transportation. December 7, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2011. 
  6. ^ California State Legislature (1933). "An act...relating to...the addition of certain highways to the State system". Sessions of the California Legislature. State of California. 1933 chapter 767. 
  7. ^ California State Legislature (1963). "An act...relating to routes on the state highway system". Sessions of the California Legislature. State of California. 1963 chapter 385. 
  8. ^ a b Staff. "State Truck Route List" (XLS file). California Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  10. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing