California 68


Routing

California 68 connects Pacific Grove and Monterey with the city of Salinas along the U.S. 101 corridor. Originally conceived as a freeway corridor, only a small portion of the route west of the Salinas city limits and the concurrent section with California 1 are currently at that level. Most of the rest of the road is two- to four-lane highway or city street.

Highway Guide

California 68 east
We begin our journey on southbound Asilomar Avenue at the entrance to the Asilomar Conference Grounds in the city of Pacific Grove just south of the Point Pinos Lighthouse. California 68 begins its eastbound journey at this four-way stop intersection. A left turn connects to eastbound Lighthouse Avenue; a right turn enters the conference grounds. Photo taken 11/27/04.
A stone pillar with the word "Asilomar" is located on either side of the entrance to the conference grounds. A Caltrans-installed sign advises against trucks using this section of California 68 as it takes over southbound Asilomar Avenue straight ahead. Photo taken 11/27/04.
The first California 68 reassurance shield is posted shortly thereafter on southbound Asilomar Avenue after the intersection with Lighthouse Avenue. Photo taken 11/27/04.
California 68 is designated as the W.R. Holman Highway from here south to the interchange with California 1. From here, California 68 travels almost due south along Asilomar Avenue, then turns southeast on Sunset Drive near the Pacific Drive Gate to world-famous 17 Mile Drive. The state highway gradually widens as it gains more Pacific Grove traffic. Photo taken 11/27/04.
Eastbound California 68/Sunset Drive departs Pacific Grove and enters unincorporated Monterey County as it heads south for a rendezvous with California 1. California 68 will form the western boundary of the city of Monterey before meeting California 1/Juan Cabrillo Highway. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.

As eastbound California 68/W.R. Holman Highway winds its way through the Del Monte Forest, it approaches a turnoff to California 1 and the 17-Mile Drive. The 17-Mile Drive heads west and north past Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay to rejoin California 68 in Pacific Grove. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
These shields correctly feature California 68 but also include California 1 south, which has not yet merged. After this shield assembly, the two routes merge, then head north through Monterey and separate at Seaside. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
After California 1 and California 68 split near Seaside, eastbound California 68 approaches Monterey County Route G-20 south, Laureles Grade Road. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
This eastbound California 68 shield is located east of the intersection with Monterey County Route G-20 near Corral de Tierra. Note that this is an official scenic route. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
As eastbound California 68 approaches Toro County Park, it changes from a two-lane rural highway into a four-lane rural freeway. The freeway only extends for a few miles before changing back into a conventional highway west of Salinas. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
California 68 changes into a very old freeway in the vicinity of Toro Regional Park. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
This California 68 shield is located after the Reservation Road on-ramp (Exit 20). Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
The California 68 freeway ends as it approaches the urban limits of Salinas. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
After passing the Toro County Park, California 68 shifts from a freeway to an undivided, five-lane highway with middle turn lane. Signs of development and the outskirts of Salinas alter the agrarian vistas enjoyed along the highway since departing Seaside. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
Incorporated in 1872, the city of Salinas is perhaps most famous as the home of author John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath and many other novels and short stories. Salinas was named for a nearby salt marsh and has about 14.4 inches of precipitation per year. Agriculture reigns in this community, as farms are a key economic engine to this region. Home to 143,920 people in 2000, Salinas is expected to continue to grow dramatically in the coming years. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
Eastbound California 68 meets San Miguel Avenue within the city of Salinas. From here, the state highway follows Main Street north to John Street, then turns east to follow John Street to its end at U.S. 101. Photo taken by Pete Sison, 05/26/03.
After turning off Main Street onto westbound John Street, this California 68 east reassurance shield is posted prior to the Pajaro Street intersection. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The next signalized intersection is with California Street, two blocks east of Pajaro Street. Downtown Salinas is located north and west of this point, mostly along the Main Street corridor. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Another California 68 east reassurance shield is posted after the California Street intersection. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Eastbound California 68/John Street approaches its junction with Business U.S. 101. The business route follows an old alignment of U.S. 101. Follow Business U.S. 101/Front Street north to Market Street and a junction with California 183 northwest to California 1 and Castroville. To the south, Business U.S. 101/Abbott Street eventually reunites with U.S. 101/El Camino Real southeast of town. The local NBC television affiliate (KSBW-8) is located at the southwest corner of this intersection. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Shortly thereafter, eastbound California 68/John Street crosses the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Prior to meeting U.S. 101/El Camino Real, eastbound California 68/John Street intersects with Work Street at this intersection. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Shortly thereafter, California 68 reaches its eastern terminus once it meets U.S. 101 at the John Street interchange (Exit 327) in downtown Salinas. Photo taken 07/05/06.
California 68 west
California 68 begins its westbound journey at U.S. 101/El Camino Real Exit 327 (John Street interchange). Upon exiting southbound U.S. 101 at Exit 327, this sign is the first to advise of California 68 turning right (west) onto John Street into the city of Salinas, the seat of Monterey County and home of the John Steinbeck Center. Incorporated in 1872, Salinas is the largest city in Salinas Valley, which is known as "The Salad Bowl of the World" due to the presence of farms and ranches throughout the area. As of the 2000 Census, 143,920 people lived in Salinas. Photo taken 07/05/06.
After departing U.S. 101, westbound California 68/John Street crosses the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and approaches downtown Salinas. The first major intersection (seen in the distance ahead) is with Business U.S. 101/Front Street north and Business U.S. 101/Abbott Street south. Continue west on California 68 to downtown Salinas and the Steinbeck Center. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Westbound California 68/John Street meets Business U.S. 101/Front Street north and Business U.S. 101/Abbott Street south at this traffic signal. The business route follows an old alignment of U.S. 101. Follow Business U.S. 101/Front Street north to Market Street and a junction with California 183 northwest to California 1 and Castroville. To the south, Business U.S. 101/Abbott Street eventually reunites with U.S. 101/El Camino Real southeast of town. Photo taken 07/05/06.
A California 68 west reassurance shield is posted on John Street after the Front Street/Abbott Street intersection. From here, California 68 leaves Salinas and eventually finds its way to Pacific Grove. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Now in Pacific Grove, California 68/W.R. Holman Highway ends at the entrance to the Asilomar Conference Grounds at Lighthouse Avenue. Asilomar Avenue continues north past the Point Pinos Lighthouse and El Carmelo Cemetery before ending at Ocean View Boulevard. Turn right (southeast) on Ocean View Boulevard to downtown Pacific Grove and downtown Monterey, home of Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photo taken 11/27/04.
Asilomar Avenue north
About a quarter mile north of the Lighthouse Avenue intersection, northbound Asilomar Avenue meets its end at Ocean View Boulevard. The state highway does not make it this far north. Photo taken 11/27/04.
Here is another view of northbound Asilomar Avenue at Ocean View Boulevard. Turn left to Point Pinos and the turn to Sunset Drive south to Asilomar State Beach. Turn right to follow Ocean View Boulevard southeast to downtown Pacific Grove and downtown Monterey. Photo taken 11/27/04.
Scenes Pertaining to California 68
Although California 68 does not actually come into view of the ocean or Monterey Bay, views such as these are afforded from various locations along Ocean View Boulevard from the Monterey city limits northwest to Point Pinos, a distance of a couple miles. Ocean View Boulevard is easily reached by following Asilomar Avenue north from the terminus of California 68 at Lighthouse Avenue. A walking/biking path parallels the waterfront. Photos taken 11/27/04.
Just north of the western terminus of California 68 and the entrance to the Asilomar Conference Grounds, Asilomar Avenue passes the Point Pinos Lighthouse. These photos show the lighthouse near dusk on Thanksgiving Day 2004. Photos taken 11/27/04.


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Page Updated October 6, 2007.

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