California 17

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California 17

Routing

California 17 is the main freeway/expressway from Santa Cruz north to San Jose. It is the only remaining portion of the original California 17 that used to continue north of San Jose via modern Interstate 880 and Interstate 580 to Oakland, Richmond, and San Rafael. The section of California 17 is four lanes, but only a small portion of it (essentially the part north of California 85) is Interstate standard.

Highway Guide

California 17 north
Traveling north on Ocean Street in the city of Santa Cruz (population 54,593 as of 2000 Census), California 17 begins at the intersection with Pryce Street and Plymouth Street. Turn right on the ramp to Plymouth Street northeast onto California 1/Cabrillo Highway south (east) to Capitola and Monterey. Continue straight ahead onto California 17 north to San Jose. Turn left to follow Ocean Street north to the onramp to California 1/Mission Street north (west) to Half Moon Bay. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 meets Plymouth Street east and Pryce Street west at this traffic signal. After this intersection, the California 17 freeway begins its northerly journey. Through traffic to San Francisco should use California 17 north to Interstate 280 north. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The lanes for California 17 north pass under the California 1 southbound lanes. A begin freeway sign is posted as California 17 begins its journey north. This interchange is known as the Fishhook Interchange due to the loop ramp that carries California 1 north (west) through here. No loop ramp is required for through traffic on California 17 or for traffic on California 1 south (east). At the time this photo was taken, there was some construction on California 17 at the California 1 interchange in Santa Cruz. This is part of the "Highway 1/17 Widening for Merge Lanes" improvements, which will add merge lanes on both California 1 and California 17 in the vicinity of the Fishhook interchange, as well as reconstruct various ramps at the California 1/California 17, California 1/Emiline Street, and California 1/Morrissey Boulevard interchanges. Construction started in April 2007, and is expected to last through Spring 2009. Visit the Caltrans District 5 website for more information. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Still within the California 1 interchange, the first California 17 reassurance shield is posted prior to the trumpet interchange between California 1 south and California 17 north. Upon passing under this bridge, California 17 leaves the city of Santa Cruz and enters unincorporated Santa Cruz County. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The first exit along California 17 north is Exit 1, Pasatiempo Drive east to North Plymouth Street and west to the unincorporated community of Pasatiempo. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 1, Pasatiempo Drive. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The next exit along California 17 north is Exit 2, El Rancho Drive and La Madrona Drive. El Rancho Drive is the east side frontage road, while La Madrona Drive is the west side frontage road. Sims Road can be accessed via La Madrona Drive. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).

Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 2, El Rancho Drive and La Madrona Avenue. The sharp turns at Exit 2 (El Rancho/La Madrona) did not allow Caltrans to construct standard freeway ramps; because of this, Caltrans has signs that officially "end" the freeway prior to the ramps, and "begin" the freeway again after them. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The interchange for Exit 2 contains very sharp turns. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The next exit on California 17 north is Exit 3, Junction Business California 17/Mount Hermon Road north to Scotts Valley. This exit also connects to the two frontage roads on either side of the freeway. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Business California 17 follows Mount Hermon Road into Scotts Valley, then turns onto Scotts Valley Drive north to return to California 17 at Exit 5 (Granite Creek Road). Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Use Mount Hermon Road northwest to California 9 north to Felton, Ben Lomond, and Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 3, Junction Business California 17/Mount Hermon Road north into the city of Scotts Valley. The next exit along California 17 north is Exit 5, Junction Business California 17/Scotts Valley Drive south and Granite Creek Road. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
After the business loop interchange, California 17 enters the city of Scotts Valley. Incorporated in 1966, Scotts Valley had 11,385 people as of the 2000 Census. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Exit 5 has the final motorist services for the next 16 miles. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
This guide sign advises of the next exit along California 17 north, which is Exit 5, Junction Business California 17/Scotts Valley Drive south and Granite Creek Road. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Due to its narrowness and winding route over the Santa Cruz Mountains, California 17 is a designated safety corridor by Caltrans. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 5, Granite Creek Road to Scotts Valley Drive (Business California 17). Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The final exit on this stretch of California 17 freeway is Exit 6, Santa's Village Road. Santa's Village Road is named that because many decades ago (circa 1950s), there was a small, Christmas-themed amusement park there, where the headquarters of computer company Borland now stands. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 6, Santa's Village Road. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
After the freeway ends at Exit 6, cross traffic is found on the California 17 expressway for the next six miles. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
This mileage sign provides the distance to Los Gatos (14 miles), San Jose (27 miles), and Oakland (69 miles). For the next ten or so miles, California 17 will cross the Santa Cruz Mountains. Speed limits are reduced on this winding stretch of expressway. Full freeway standards will not be seen again until the California 9 interchange in Santa Clara County. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The next major intersection along northbound California 17 is Vine Hill Road, which travels south to Branciforte Drive, Rodeo Gulch Road, and Laurel Glen Road. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
After Vine Hill Road, this sign advises of the winding road ahead. The speed limit drops to 50 miles per hour. Advisory signs will abound as California 17 takes multiple twists and turns on its way to Patchen Pass (elevation 1,800 feet). Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Through the Santa Cruz Mountains, California 17 carries four lanes (two in each direction) but is mostly an expressway (with only a few interchanges). A jersey barrier typically separates the two directions of travel. Northbound California 17 approaches Sugarloaf Road, which provides residential and local access. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Sight distances are limited as northbound California 17 approaches Glenwood Cutoff west to the residential area of Glenwood and Tucker Road east to an eventual dead end. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The next intersection along northbound is with Laurel Road, which travels northeast into Laurel. Unlike Tucker Road or Sugarloaf Road, Laurel Road is a through street. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The next intersection along California 17 north is with Glenwood Drive south through Glenwood to Scotts Valley. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Surrounded by redwoods, northbound California 17 meets Glenwood Drive. Glenwood Drive south is an old alignment of California 17 through Glenwood to Scotts Valley. The section between Glenwood Drive and Woodwardia Highway (former Old Santa Cruz Highway) is also part of the original highway. For more information on the history of California 17, obtain a copy of the book Highway 17: The Road to Santa Cruz by Richard Beal. The book provides history of the original route, construction of the original and current routes, and history of the small towns (both old and current) that border the highway. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
A reassurance shield for California 17 north is posted after the Glenwood Drive intersection. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Between Glenwood Drive and the Old Santa Cruz Highway turnoff, northbound California 17 widens out a bit. These are the locations of the only two restaurants along the highway (one on each side of the highway). The restaurants have been there for many decades, and have had multiple tenants over the years. We are close to Patchen Pass, the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Photos taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
After the Old Santa Cruz Highway turnoff, the next exit along California 17 north is the junction with California 35/Summit Road. California 35 travels northwest from this point along Summit Road, which changes into Skyline Boulevard, toward Saratoga Gap (where it meets California 9) and eventually San Francisco. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Leaving Santa Cruz County and entering Santa Clara County, northbound California 17 meets California 35/Summit Road at this right turn. California 17 crests at Patchen Pass (elevation 1,800 feet above sea level) and begins its descent toward San Jose. Patchen Pass is colloquially named "The Summit" by Santa Cruz residents. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
This overpass carries Summit Road (California 35) over California 17. This interchange marks the southern terminus of California 35. At the summit, as the highway passes underneath the Summit Road bridge, the road curves to the west. That curve is called "Valley Surprise," because the vertical curvature of the road hides the horizontal curve until you're right upon it. Cars frequently crash at this location, oftentimes tourists from the Bay Area who are unfamiliar with the highway. "Valley" is the name that some Santa Cruzans use for residents of San Jose. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Now descending from Patchen Pass, the expressway has limited sight distance, no shoulders for breakdowns, and lots of trees. Watch for slowing traffic around these downhill curves. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
After the Summit Road (California 35) interchange, there are several intersections, including Redwood Estates Road to Madrone Drive, Brush Road, and Raineri Lane. Most of these roads serve primarily residential areas nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains. After those intersections, northbound California 17 approaches Idylwild Drive southeast to Old Santa Cruz Highway. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
After Hebard Road, California 17 north opens up again as the tree canopy lessens. The next interchange is Exit 17, which connects to Old Santa Cruz Highway south, Bear Creek Road west, Montevina Road north, and Black Road west. The "Old Santa Cruz Highway" sign is located where Old Santa Cruz Highway used to connect to California 17, prior to the Bear Creek Road interchange being constructed. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Prior to the interchange, Old Santa Cruz Highway aligns itself alongside the modern California 17 alignment. The two roads parallel each other for at least a quarter mile before they converge at Bear Creek Road. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 approaches the interchange with Old Santa Cruz Highway south, Montevina Road north, and Bear Creek Road west. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
To Black Road west, use Bear Creek Road west to Montevina Road north. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 17, Bear Creek Road to Montevina Road, Black Road, and Old Santa Cruz Highway. Originally, Old Santa Cruz Highway, Bear Creek Road, Black Road, Montevina Road, and Alma Bridge Road all intersected California 17 via at-grade intersections. The interchange was built in the early 1990s. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Despite the interchange with Bear Creek Road, California 17 remains an expressway alignment. The next intersection is with Alma Bridge Road. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The next three exits along northbound are a left turn to the frontage road; Exit 19, Santa Cruz Avenue; and Exits 20A-B, Junction California 9. The first sign is for Exit 20B, which follows Saratoga Avenue east to Los Gatos Boulevard north to downtown Los Gatos and Exit 20A, which connects to California 9/Saratoga Avenue south (west) to Saratoga. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Old California 17 enters the town of Los Gatos via Exit 19, Santa Cruz Avenue. Exit 19 is a left exit. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Use the left lane to connect to Exit 19, Santa Cruz Avenue north to Main Street east into the downtown section of the town of Los Gatos. The only legal difference in California between a "town" and a "city" is the word used in the town or city charter, and Los Gatos is described as a town in its town charter. (Many thanks to David Friedland for this information.) Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The flashing beacon signal array is for the dead-end frontage road that leads south from here. This intersection provides the connection to the former "The Cats Restaurant," so named for two reasons: 1) where the frontage road turns to meet the highway, there are two large wildcat statues, guarding an access to a private residence, and 2) "Los Gtos" is Spanish for "The Cats," again named for the wildcats that the Spanish explorers found in the area. While the restaurant was not anything spectacular, its location is well-known as a reference point for travelers on the highway. The next exit is Exit 19, a left exit to Santa Cruz Avenue to Main Street and downtown Los Gatos. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
After the frontage road intersection, the California 17 freeway resumes again. This sign, which is mostly obscured by foliage, is located near the gore point for Exit 19, Santa Cruz Avenue north. Through traffic to San Jose should use the right two lanes. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 19, Santa Cruz Avenue north. Note the old-style guardrail for the bridge that carries the southbound lanes of California 17 over the Santa Cruz Avenue offramp. A BEGIN FREEWAY sign is posted here as well. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
After the Santa Cruz Avenue offramp, signage immediately appears on California 17 north for Monte Sereno and West Valley College via Exit 20B (loop ramp to California 9/Saratoga Avenue west). Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
California 17 passes under the Main Street overpass, which leads east into downtown Los Gatos. The next exit is Exits 20A-B, Junction California 9 (Saratoga Avenue). Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 20A, Saratoga Avenue east to Los Gatos. The next exit at this cloverleaf interchange is Exit 20B, Junction California 9/Saratoga Avenue west to Saratoga and Monte Sereno. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Immediately thereafter, California 17 north reaches Exit 20B, Junction California 9/Saratoga Avenue west to Saratoga and south to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. This interchange marks the northern terminus of California 9. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Continuing north, the next three exits along California 17 north are Exit 21, Lark Avenue, one and one-quarter miles; Exit 22, Junction California 85/West Valley Freeway; and Exit 23, Camden Avenue and Junction Santa Clara County Route G-4/San Tomas Expressway. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
California 85 connects Mountain View, Cupertino, Saratoga, and San Jose on a continuous freeway alignment, ending at U.S. 101 at both ends. The section of freeway between Interstate 280 southeast to U.S. 101 has truck restrictions as shown on this sign. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Lark Avenue provides local access to the town of Los Gatos. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 21, Lark Avenue. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The next exit along California 17 north is Exit 22, Junction California 85. This is a collector-distributor lane arrangement, so through traffic may use this offramp. The aforementioned truck restrictions on California 85 were placed as a condition of allowing this freeway to be built. Taking California 85 north is one way to reach San Francisco and other peninsula destinations from California 17 north. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
After Exit 22, this mileage sign provides the distance to Campbell (three miles), San Jose (nine miles), and Oakland (via Interstate 880 north, 51 miles). Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
This reassurance shield for California 17 is posted after the Lark Avenue onramp but prior to passing over California 85. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Passing over the California 85 freeway, this view shows the loop ramp from the collector-distributor lanes onto California 85 north. Photo taken by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The next exit along California 17 north is Exit 23, Junction Santa Clara County Route G-4/San Tomas Expressway north and Camden Avenue east to the Cambrian Park neighborhood of San Jose. Photo taken 11/29/04.
The right lane of California 17 becomes exit only for Exit 23, Junction Santa Clara County Route G-4/San Tomas Expressway north and Camden Avenue east. The left three lanes continue north toward San Jose. Around this point, California 17 leaves the town of Los Gatos and enters the city of Campbell ("The Orchard City," pop. 39,200 per 2000 Census). Photo taken 11/29/04.
A standalone Santa Clara County Route G-4 trailblazer shield for the northbound San Tomas Expressway is posted prior to the offramp to Exit 23. The signed county route travels north from this interchange to U.S. 101 Exit 392 through Campbell, western San Jose, and Santa Clara. At that interchange, the expressway turns east, changes into the Montague Expressway, and may or may not lose its signed county route status at this point. The Montague Expressway (County Route G-4) then travels east toward Interstate 680 Exit 6 in Milpitas. Much of the combined San Tomas Expressway and Montague Expressway corridor has a high occupancy vehicle lane for commuting hours. Photo taken 11/29/04.
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 23, Junction Santa Clara County Route G-4/San Tomas Expressway north and Camden Avenue east into the Cambrian Park neighborhood of the city of San Jose. Photo taken 11/29/04.
The next exit along California 17 north is Exit 25, Hamilton Avenue (note sign replacement and new location in 2008). Use Hamilton Avenue west through northern Campbell; exit east into the city of San Jose. After this interchange, California 17 enters the city of San Jose, which is home to 894,943 people as of the 2000 Census. Founded on November 29, 1777, and incorporated on March 27, 1850, San Jose is the third largest city in California (behind Los Angeles and San Diego). San Jose consists of 178.2 square miles and sits at an elevation of 85 feet above sea level. Rainfall in San Jose is much less than San Francisco due to its location at the south end of the San Francisco Bay and enclosure within mountains. The average annual precipitation is 14.4 inches. Photos taken 11/29/04 and by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
This mileage sign provides the distance to the final standalone exit on California 17 north: Exit 25, Hamilton Avenue. The next interchange after the Hamilton Avenue/Downtown Campbell exit is Exit 26A-B, Junction Interstate 280/Father Junipero Serra Freeway north to San Francisco; Interstate 280/Sinclair Freeway east to Downtown San Jose and Interstate 680; and Interstate 880/Nimitz Freeway north to Oakland. As part of Exit 26B is a ramp to Stevens Creek Boulevard and San Carlos Street. Photo taken 11/29/04.
The high rises of the PruneYard come into view on northbound California 17. The PruneYard is a sprawling shopping center and business park built in 1964 located in eastern Campbell at the intersection of East Campbell Avenue and Bascom Avenue. The high rises are distinctive since they are the tallest buildings in this area outside of San Jose. When they were built, the PruneYard towers were the tallest buildings between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Today, a wide variety of stores are located here, as well as plenty of office tenants. Use Exit 25/Hamilton Avenue east to Bascom Avenue south to the PruneYard. The installation of a fourth lane (auxiliary/exit only) completed between 2004 and 2008 necessitated the replacement of the sign. Photos taken 11/29/04 and by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 25, Hamilton Avenue. Exit east to the PruneYard and west to Downtown Campbell. The center city of Campbell is located on the east-west couplet of Civic Center Drive and Orchard City Drive south of Hamilton Avenue. Note that the sign bridge and sign were replaced between 2004 and 2008. Photos taken 11/29/04 and by Jeff Waller (02/10/08).
The next exit along California 17 north is Exits 26A-B, Junction Interstate 280 and Interstate 880. Interstate 280 travels north along the Father Junipero Serra Freeway toward San Francisco by mostly avoiding the cities that dominate the U.S. 101 corridor between San Jose and San Francisco. From this interchange, Interstate 280/Sinclair Freeway travels east toward U.S. 101 and Interstate 680. At this interchange, California 17 ends, and Interstate 880 continues north on the Nimitz Freeway toward Oakland. Photo taken 11/29/04.
The right two lanes of California 17 north become exit only for Exit 26A, Junction Interstate 280/Sinclair Freeway east to Downtown San Jose. Interstate 280 is signed north-south through San Jose, but it mostly travels east-west. Photo taken 11/29/04.
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 26A, Junction Interstate 280 east to downtown San Jose, U.S. 101, and Interstate 680 north to Sacramento. The right two exits will exit onto Interstate 280 east. The next exit is Exit 26B, Junction Interstate 280/Father Junipero Serra Freeway north to San Francisco and Stevens Creek Boulevard/San Carlos Street. Photo taken 11/29/04.
Use Exit 26B to West San Carlos Street, which travels east to downtown San Jose. It briefly carries California 82 as the state highway navigates its way through downtown and ends at San Jose State University, which occupies a six block by four block area in downtown. East of San Jose State University, East San Carlos Street begins and connects directly onto San Antonio Street east toward the Alum Rock neighborhood of the city of San Jose. Photo taken 11/29/04.
Northbound California 17 reaches Exit 26B, Junction Interstate 280/Father Junipero Serra Freeway north to San Francisco. From this interchange, Interstate 280/Sinclair Freeway travels east toward U.S. 101 and Interstate 680. Use this ramp to Stevens Creek Boulevard and West San Carlos Street. Photo taken 11/29/04.
This view shows the connecting ramp from California 17 north to Interstate 280 north (loop ramp) and to Stevens Creek Boulevard and West San Carlos Street. At this interchange, California 17 ends, and the three main lanes shift onto Interstate 880/Nimitz Freeway north toward Oakland. No END shield is present; a reassurance shield for Interstate 880 north is posted after this interchange. Photo taken 11/29/04.
California 17 south
This view shows the beginning of southbound California 17 as seen from the Interstate 280 north to California 17 south transition ramp in San Jose. Photo taken 12/27/01.
This photo shows the merge onto California 17 southbound from Interstate 280 in southwest San Jose. Photo taken 12/27/01.
After the Interstate 280 and Interstate 880 interchange, nascent California 17 south first meets Hamilton Avenue interchange at Exit 25. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Silhouetting of the skyline is the city of Campbell's PruneYard office and shopping complex as seen from California 17 south near Milepost 24. The PruneYard was built sometime in 1964 and for a long time was the tallest building between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Despite being a landmark, they may look a bit out of place, since few other high rise complexes are located near here or are visible from California 17. The nearest high rises are in downtown San Jose, off of California 87 and Interstate 280. Many thanks to David Friedland assisting with PruneYard information. Photo taken 12/27/01.
The next exit along southbound California 17 is Exit 23, Camden Avenue, one-half mile. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 reaches Exit 23, Camden Avenue. Photo taken 12/27/01.
This mileage sign along southbound California 17 provides the distance to the next three exits: Exit 22, Junction California 85; Exit 21, Lark Avenue; and Exit 20B, Junction California 9 South. Photo taken 05/23/03 by Pete Sison.
The next exit along southbound California 17 is Exit 22, Junction California 85, 0.50 mile. Photo taken 05/23/03 by Pete Sison.
California 85 is a major freeway corridor, connecting and relieving U.S. 101 between northern and southern Santa Clara County. Photo taken 05/23/03 by Pete Sison.
Southbound California 17 reaches its junction with California 85/West Valley Freeway. Use California 85 north to reach Interstate 280 northbound in Cupertino and U.S. 101/Bayshore Freeway northbound in Mountain View. Heading southeast, California 85 connects to U.S. 101 south of San Jose. Photo taken 05/23/03 by Pete Sison.
The next exit along southbound California 17 is Lark Avenue (Exit 21). Photo taken 12/27/01.
Following Exit 21, southbound California 17 approaches Exit 20B, Junction California 9 in Los Gatos. California 9 offers a slower, yet more scenic route over the Santa Cruz Mountains between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 at the exit for California 9 southbound (Exit 20B). Photo taken 12/27/01.
The other half of this modified cloverleaf interchange is Exit 20A, Junction Santa Clara County Route G-10/Blossom Hill Road east into East Los Gatos. Use Santa Clara County Route G-10 east to reach the southern terminus of California 87/Guadalupe Parkway as well as California 82 and U.S. 101. Photo taken 12/27/01.
California 17 reaches the end of its freeway section around Milepost 19. From here, the highway remains expressway, but it generally contours to the landscape a bit more than it does north of here. California 17 will not regain freeway characteristics until just north of Santa Cruz. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 at the end of the freeway and beginning of expressway section around Milepost 19. Photo taken 12/27/01.
California 17 passes through the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains. During winter storms, mudslides may become a problem, but scenes such as this (near Milepost 18) betray the simple beauty of the area. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Through the mountains, California 17 has been designated a Safety Corridor, as evidenced by this sign near Milepost 16. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 approaching Bear Creek Road, around Milepost 16. Note the substandard signage for this exit. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 at Bear Creek Road, around Milepost 16. Bear Creek Road leads west to meet Summit Road (California 35) and California 9 just north of Boulder Creek. On its way, Bear Creek Road passes by a few wineries and scenic areas. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 approaching California 35, Summit Road. For whatever reason, the California 35 shield is omitted from this sign. The overpass for Summit Road is just barely visible around the next bend in the highway. This exit marks the southern terminus of California 35, although Summit road continues south to connect to Soquel San Jose Road. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 meets Laurel Road around Milepost 10. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 reaches Glenwood Cutoff around Milepost 9. Photo taken 12/27/01.
This scene shows southbound California 17 after the Glenwood Cutoff (closer to Milepost 8). Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 approaches Exit 5, Scotts Valley Road/Business California 17. Photo taken 12/27/01.
This standalone "Business California 17 next right" shield assembly is found prior to the Scotts Valley turnoff along southbound. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 reaches Exit 5, Junction Business California 17/Scotts Valley Road. The next exit is Mount Herman Road. Photo taken 12/27/01.
The next exit along California 17 south is Exit 3, Mount Herman Road. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 reaches Exit 3, Mount Herman Road. Photo taken 12/27/01.
The next exit along California 17 south is an intersection with Graham Hill and Sims Roads around Milepost 2. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Soon thereafter, California 17 south approaches Exit 1C, Pasatiempo Drive. The next exit is for California 1 (Exit 1A-B). Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 reaches Exit 1C, Pasatiempo Drive. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Now approaching its southern terminus, southbound California 17 approaches southbound California 1 (Exit 1B). Photo taken 12/27/01.
Southbound California 17 approaches Junction California 1 northbound/southbound. The left lane leads into downtown Santa Cruz. Photos taken 12/27/01.
This view shows California 17 south connecting onto the California 1 south transition ramp. This marks the southern terminus of California 17. All traffic enters the city limits of Santa Cruz (population 54,593 as of 2000 Census) and seat of Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz was incorporated as a town in 1866 and was chartered as a city ten years later, in 1876. Photo taken 12/27/01.
Afterward, California 17 south merges onto California 1 south. From here, California 1 travels south toward Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, Seaside, and Monterey as a freeway. The state highway will downgrade to a two-lane highway for the scenic trip through the Big Sur. Photo taken 12/27/01.

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Page Updated February 20, 2008.