California State Route 168

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State Route 168 marker

State Route 168
Map of eastern California with SR 168 highlighted in red
Route information
Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 468
Maintained by Caltrans
Length: 124.00 mi[1] (199.56 km)
Existed: 1934 – present
Section 1
West end: SR 41 / SR 180 in Fresno
East end: Huntington Lake
Section 2
West end: Lake Sabrina
Major
junctions:
US 395 in Bishop
East end: SR 266 at Oasis
Location
Counties: Fresno, Inyo, Mono
Highway system
SR 167 SR 169

State Route 168 (SR 168) is a state highway in California, USA, which is separated into three distinct segments, in part by the Sierra Nevada mountains. This route is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System[2] and is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System.[3]

Route description[edit]

Highway 168 along Bishop Creek, Eastern Sierra

The westernmost segment of SR 168 begins in southeast Fresno at the interchange with State Route 180, where it is known as the Sierra Freeway until it becomes Tollhouse Road near the northeast edge of Clovis. Tollhouse Road is a 4-lane expressway from the end of the freeway to Shepherd Avenue, east of which the highway is mostly an undivided 2-lane road. This segment continues east up into the Sierra Nevada, ending at Huntington Lake along the western slope of the range.

Before the reconstruction of urban Route 168 as a freeway, the route started at SR 41 and Shaw Avenue in Fresno. SR 168 ran along Shaw Avenue, Clovis Avenue, Third Street (Clovis), and Tollhouse Road to the current end of the freeway.

SR 168 cannot be used to cross the Sierra Nevada. The closest crossings of the Sierra Nevada are SR 120 via Tioga Pass to the north and Sherman Pass to the south. Both of these passes are accessible in warmer months only.

The middle segment of SR 168 has its western terminus at Lake Sabrina on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. This rural mountain road runs east to US Highway 395 in Bishop.

The easternmost segment of SR 168 begins in Big Pine at US 395, and climbs into the White Mountains through Westgard Pass, passing the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. From here it traverses Deep Springs Valley, home of Deep Springs College, before crossing into Fish Lake Valley, where the segment ends at State Route 266, just west of the Nevada Border.

History[edit]

The easternmost part of the route, from Big Pine over Westgard Pass to the Nevada state line near Lida, Nevada predates the era of numbered highways and dates to the auto trail era, as part of the Midland Trail. The Midland Trail was one of the earliest transcontinental roads in the USA. It was at Big Pine that the Midland trail forked in its westward journey to its eventual western termini, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The western descent from Westgard Pass into the Owens Valley was described as a "Welcome to California" view in the route guides for the Midland trail.[4] Though SR 168 is the original routing of the Midland Trail, the route was realigned numerous times, and signs today mark U.S. Route 6 as the routing of the Midland Trail from California east to Denver, Colorado.

When the state of California began conceiving its own route network, modern SR 168 was conceived as a trans-Sierra highway connecting Fresno and Bishop. However, the two segments were never connected. The rugged Sierra crest would have made construction very difficult and today two congressionally designated wilderness areas block the way.[5]

As originally designated SR 168 extended to the Nevada state line. The easternmost section of SR 168 was transferred to California State Route 266 in 1986.[6]

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).[7] Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.

County Location Postmile
[7][8][9]
Exit
[10]
Destinations Notes
Fresno
FRE R0.29-65.84
Fresno R0.29 1 SR 41 (Yosemite Freeway) / SR 180 (Sequoia-Kings Canyon Freeway) – Lemoore, Paso Robles, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Kerman, Mendota Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; signed as exits 1A (west) and 1B (east); west end of SR 168; SR 41 exit 128A; SR 180 east exit, west exit 60
R0.99 1C McKinley Avenue Signed as exit 1 eastbound
R2.02 2 Shields Avenue
R3.04 3 Ashlan Avenue
R4.26 4 Shaw Avenue Former SR 168; serves California State University, Fresno
Clovis R5.63 6 Bullard Avenue
R6.87 7 Herndon Avenue
R8.04 8 Fowler Avenue
R9.15 9 Temperance Avenue
  East end of freeway
15.47 Academy Avenue – Sanger, Kingsburg
T24.70 Millerton Road – Friant
Prather T30.20 Auberry Road – Millerton Lake
Huntington Lake 65.84 Kaiser Pass Road – Mono Hot Springs, Lake Thomas A Edison, Florence Lake
Gap in route
Inyo
INY R0.00-54.70
R0.00 Lake Sabrina
Bishop 18.31
115.40[N 1]
US 395 north (Main Street) / East Line Street – Bridgeport, Reno West end of US 395 overlap; former US 6 north; East Line Street serves Eastern Sierra Regional Airport
Big Pine 100.83[N 1]
18.32
US 395 south / County Road – Big Pine, Independence, Los Angeles East end of US 395 overlap; former US 6 south
20.81 Death Valley Road – Saline Valley, Eureka Valley, Scotty's Castle
Mono
MNO 0.00-1.45
Oasis 1.45 SR 266 to US 95 – Fish Lake Valley SR 266 north was former SR 168 east; east end of SR 168
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  1. ^ a b Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along US 395 rather than SR 168.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ January 1, 2006 California Log of Bridges on State Highways
  2. ^ CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  3. ^ CA Codes (shc:260-284)
  4. ^ Westgard, A.L. "Motor Routes to the California Expositions". Highway History. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ "State Route 168 Transportation Concept Report" (PDF). California Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  6. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to amend Sections 318, 341, 343, 360, 366, 370, 374, 388, 389, 403, 425, 468, 548, 624, 2104, and 2107 of, to add Section 632 to, and to repeal Sections 322.1, 355.1, 417, and 622.2 of, the Streets...". 1985–1986 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 928 p. 3215–3216. 
  7. ^ a b California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (XLS file) on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  8. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  9. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
  10. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, SR-168 Eastbound and SR-168 Westbound, accessed February 2008

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata