California 152

Return to AARoads
 
 
 
 
Site Navigation
Baja California
California
Colorado
Idaho
Hawaii
Nevada
New Mexico
Oregon
Utah
Washington
Wyoming
 
 

California 152

Westbound (Interstate 5 to Gilroy)

Highway Guides

California 152 west
A California 152 west trailblazer shield assembly is posted immediately after the Interstate 5 south ramp, but omitted is a trailblazer shield for California 33 north. Photo taken 07/05/06.
A reassurance shield for California 152 is posted after the transition ramp from Interstate 5 south to California 152 west merges onto California 33-152 west. Again omitted is a reassurance shield for California 33 north. California 152 over Pacheco Pass is an official scenic route; the character of California 152 will change from Central Valley farmland to the rolling hills of the Diablo Range. Photo taken 07/05/06.
A mileage sign is provided for San Luis Reservoir (seven miles), Gilroy (43 miles), and Watsonville (63 miles). Photo taken 07/05/06.
Northbound California 33 and westbound California 152 have one at-grade intersection between Interstate 5 and the California 33-152 split: at Hilldale Avenue, a right turn. Photo taken 07/05/06.
After Hilldale Avenue, California 33 north and California 152 prepare to divide. California 33 continues its journey north to Santa Nella, Gustine, and Vernalis. Photo taken 07/05/06.
For most motorist services, follow California 33 north to Santa Nella. Restaurants, food, and gasoline are available at the California 33/Interstate 5 interchange in Santa Nella. Photo taken 07/05/06.

Westbound California 152 splits from California 33 north. Use California 33 north to Medeiros Recreation Area and Santa Nella. California 152 continues west to San Luis Reservoir and Pacheco Pass. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Reaching the split with California 33, a variety of power lines converge at a large power substation located south of California 152. In this area, power lines criss-cross in all directions, leading from various power production facilities to population centers. Photo taken 07/05/06.
California 152/Pacheco Pass Highway west
Path 15 500-kV power lines cross over California 152. These massive powerlines carry electricity north-south through California and are owned by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). Generally parallel to Interstate 5, these lines originate in Oregon and travel south to Los Angeles as 500 kV power lines. Photos taken 07/05/06.
After leaving the vicinity of the Los Banos substation, the massive San Luis Dam comes into view on westbound California 152. The massive reservoir behind the dam is nine miles long and five miles wide at its widest points when the reservoir is full. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The next intersection along California 152 west is an access road to San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area. This left turn leads to the reservoir headquarters, Basalt Hill Campground, and Dinosaur Point boat launch. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Continuing west, the foothills of the Diablo Range and the massive San Luis Reservoir Dam all come into view as we pass by the Basalt Hill Campground turnoff. A 230-kV power line parallels California 152; it transmit electricity between the Los Banos substation and the Gianelli Hydroelectric Plant. Pumps carry delta water from O'Neill Forebay into the reservoir during winter and spring; water is released back toward the Central Valley during summer. Photo taken 07/05/06.
To the right of California 152, the O'Neill Forebay comes into view. California 152 is traveling to the northwest to avoid the San Luis Reservoir, which is still hidden by the dam. The 500 kV power lines cross over the O'Neill Forebay on artificial islands. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Westbound California 152 crosses over the O'Neill Forebay on this short bridge, then begins the ascent to Pacheco Pass. Photo taken 07/05/06.
For the next ten miles, as California 152 climbs over Pacheco Pass, gusty winds are likely. Watch for slow vehicles. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The next intersection along westbound California 152 is with the access road to San Luis Creek Recreation Area. Camping, swimming, fishing, and picnicking are among the many activities available. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The next left turn is for Romero Visitors Center, which overlooks San Luis Reservoir. The reservoir was built in 1962 as part of the large-scale water works built by the state and federal governments. San Luis Dam is an embankment dam, and this is the fourth largest such structure in the United States. Photo taken 07/05/06.
A third lane for slow trucks and vehicles begins about mid-way up the hill to Pacheco Pass. Historic Pacheco Pass is named for Don Juan Pacheco, a settler from the 1840s. A popular route from the Central Valley to Gilroy and San Jose, Pacheco Pass briefly hosted a toll road built in 1856 by Andrew Firebaugh and was part of the Butterfieid-Overland Stage Route on the route from San Francisco to Missouri. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Turn left at the Romero Visitors Center for information about San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area. The reservoir functions as part of the federal Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project, storing water that is pumped from the California Aqueduct and O'Neill Forebay into the reservoir during winter. In summer, water is released to users along the aqueduct. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Continuing west along the northern shore of San Luis Reservoir, California 152 retains two westbound lanes, with the San Luis Reservoir coming into view on the south side of the highway. Photos taken 07/05/06.
A California 152 west reassurance shield is posted along the four-lane expressway as California 152 continues to ascend toward Pacheco Pass. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Fire is always a concern in the dry foothills of California. During the winter, these hills are lush and green; during the summer, they are dry and golden, leaving the chance of fire danger very high. Grass fires, such as the one that scorched this hillside off of California 152 west, leave behind a black scar. Photo taken 07/05/06.
A third lane again forms as California 152 begins another steep uphill climb. Traffic remains fairly busy for such a rural road, but that is largely because California 152 is the most direct route from the Central Valley to Silicon Valley and San Jose. The next turnoff is for Upper Cottonwood Creek Recreation Area. Photo taken 07/05/06.
California 152 continues west with three uphill lanes as the state highway approaches Pacheco Pass, which also serves as the boundary between Merced County and Santa Clara County. Photos taken 07/05/06.
Now reaching Pacheco Pass, California 152 leaves Merced County and enters Santa Clara County. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The climbing lane ends, but California 152 retains four lanes. In one-half mile, vehicles may check brakes before heading downhill from Pacheco Pass toward Hollister and Gilroy. Photo taken 07/05/06.
A left turn for Dinosaur Point Road to the San Luis Reservoir and Pacheco State Park is located at the next intersection. Pacheco State Park is the last Mexican land grant from El Rancho San Luis Gonzaga. The land was donated to the state of California in 1992 by a descendent of Don Juan Pacheco, and most of the land remains in its native state. Remains of the original Pacheco adobe are located within this park, as well as 28 miles of hiking trails. The entire park is 6,890 acres, of which the western 2,600 are currently open to the public. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The brake check area is located on the right side of the four-lane expressway. At this point, the landscaped median ends and an asphalt painted median begins. Upon descending from Pacheco Pass, California 152 will have a jersey barrier to separate the two directions of traffic. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The brake check area is located on the right side of the four-lane expressway. At this point, the landscaped median ends and an asphalt painted median begins. Upon descending from Pacheco Pass, California 152 will have a jersey barrier to separate the two directions of traffic. Photo taken 07/05/06.
California 152 descends from Pacheco Pass toward Hollister and Gilroy. The highway retains four lanes, but the two directions are separated by a jersey barrier rather than a wide median. Pacheco Peak (elevation 2,770 feet) lies to the south of the expressway, while Pacheco Lake is located north of the expressway. Photos taken 07/05/06.
At the base of the descent from Pacheco Pass, westbound California 152 approaches Casa de Fruta Parkway. This is the first interchange on California 152 since the California 33 interchange near Santa Nella in the Central Valley. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Casa de Fruta is a large roadside fruit and gift shop located at the Casa de Fruta Parkway interchange. In San Benito County and Monterey County, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are grown, and dried fruit is a particularly popular item that originates from this area and is sold at the Casa de Fruta. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Use Casa de Fruta Parkway for the first services along California 152 since the California 33 interchange near Santa Nella and since leaving the city of Los Banos. Tourist information is also available here. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Westbound California 152 reaches the offramp to Casa de Fruta Parkway. The next major intersection is the split between California 152 west to Gilroy and California 156 west to Hollister and Monterey. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Four-lane California 152 will split into two state highways about a mile west of the Casa de Fruta interchange. Use the left lane for California 156 west to Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Prunedale, Castroville, and the Monterey Peninsula. California 156 also connects to U.S. 101 south to Salinas. The right lane continues west along California 152 to Gilroy and U.S. 101 north to San Jose. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The next left turn is for Walnut Avenue, followed by the connection to California 156. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The left lane becomes exit only for California 156 west to Hollister, and the right lane continues west on California 152. The expressway section of California 152 comes to an end at this interchange. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The best route to Monterey is via California 156. California 156 is a two-lane highway that extends south to Hollister, then follows the bypass around Hollister to San Juan Bautista. Shortly thereafter, California 156 merges onto U.S. 101 south, passes through a eucalyptus forest, then splits from U.S. 101 at Prunedale. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Use the left lane to California 156 west and right lane to remain on California 152 west to Gilroy. Photo taken 07/05/06.
A junction California 156 shield assembly is posted shortly thereafter; the left turn to California 156 west is just ahead. Photo taken 07/05/06.
California 152 and California 156 split at this point. Photo taken 07/05/06.
A California 152 reassurance shield is posted shortly after the split from California 156. While California 156 turns south into San Benito County, California 152 remains in Santa Clara County. Since most of California 152 from here west to Gilroy is two lanes, a daytime headlights section is enforced for safety. This is the first two-lane section of California 152 since its inception at California 99 in the Central Valley near Chowchilla. Photo taken 07/05/06.
This mileage sign along westbound California 152 provides the distance to Gilroy (13 miles), Junction U.S. 101 (13 miles), and Watsonville (28 miles). Photo taken 07/05/06.
Between the California 156 intersection and the town of San Felipe, westbound California 152 passes through undeveloped foothills and valleys. The two-lane highway is often very busy and can be delayed due to heavy volume. Photos taken 07/05/06.
Westbound California 152 meets San Felipe Road, which travels south to California 156. Upon meeting California 156, San Felipe Road becomes Business California 156 southwest to downtown Hollister. Photo taken 07/05/06.
A California 152 reassurance shield is posted shortly after leaving the vicinity of San Felipe; the daytime headlights section remains in effect. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The center divide for California 152 has a small rumble strip to help prevent errant drivers from crossing over the centerline. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Another California 152 reassurance shield is posted along this section of Pacheco Pass Highway. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Westbound California 152 approaches Junction Santa Clara County Route G-7, Bloomfield Avenue. Use Bloomfield Avenue west to California 25/Hollister Road and to U.S. 101/El Camino Real. The signed county route only extends from California 152 west to California 25. Photo taken 07/05/06.
This California 152 west reassurance shield is posted shortly after the Bloomfield Avenue intersection. From here, westbound California 152 briefly turns north. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Passing through the fertile valley, California 152 serves a variety of orchards, vineyards, and farms as it travels northwest toward Gilroy. The distinct smell of garlic may become apparent, as Gilroy is the "Garlic Capital of the World." Here, westbound California 152 approaches Prunedale Avenue. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Westbound California 152 approaches Caņada Road, which travels east and north to Henry W. Coe State Park and Coyote Lake County Park. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Soon thereafter, California 152 approaches its junction with Santa Clara County Route G-9, Ferguson Road. Through traffic on California 152 west to Gilroy, San Jose, and San Francisco will turn left, while Santa Clara County Route G-9 will continue straight ahead on an alternate alignment. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The daytime headlights requirement ends at the Santa Clara County Route G-9 intersection. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Trucks are restricted on Santa Clara County Route G-9/Ferguson Road northbound. Santa Clara County Route G-9 functions as an alternative to westbound California 152. The county road follows Ferguson Road north to Leavesley Road west, meeting U.S. 101 and California 152 at Exit 357 near downtown Gilroy. If traffic is tight on California 152 west, Santa Clara County Route G-9 can be a suitable alternate route. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Oddly, no route shields appear on any of the signs until the intersection. A small California 152 west trailblazer is posted on the left side of the road, and in the distance, a "Begin Ferguson Road/Santa Clara County Route G-9" sign can be seen in the background. Photo taken 07/05/06.
After the Frazer Lake Road intersection, a California 152 reassurance shield is posted. Photo taken 07/05/06.
California 152 widens to four lanes again for the first time since leaving California 156 north of Hollister. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Westbound California 152 will merge briefly with U.S. 101 north at Exit 356, then immediately depart west again on Leavesley Road at Exit 357. Photo taken 07/05/06.
A truck restriction on California 152 over Hecker Pass is posted just prior to the junction with U.S. 101. The shopping center seen ahead is located alongside the U.S. 101/El Camino Real freeway. California 152 enters the city of Gilroy, which is home to 41,464 people as of the 2000 Census and was incorporated as a town on March 12, 1870. Gilroy is best known for the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival and is the southernmost city in Santa Clara County. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Westbound California 152 merges directly onto U.S. 101 north at this freeway entrance. Pacheco Pass Highway finally comes to an end at this interchange. Photo taken 07/05/06.
U.S. 101/El Camino Real north and California 152 west
U.S. 101 north and California 152 are signed together for their brief shared alignment. Photo taken 07/05/06.
The next exit along U.S. 101/El Camino Real north is Exit 357, Junction California 152/Leavesley Road west to downtown Gilroy and Watsonville (via Hecker Pass). Photo taken 07/05/06.
California 152 travels west via Hecker Pass Road to Watsonville on the Pacific coast. The route is somewhat winding and twisting, so trucks are restricted. Photos taken 07/05/06.
Exit 357 connects to California 152/Leavesley Road west to downtown Gilroy. In addition, a right turn connects to Santa Clara County Route G-9/Leavesley Road east to Ferguson Road. Santa Clara County Route G-9 serves as an alternate route for California 152 around Gilroy; it too has truck restrictions. Photo taken 07/05/06.
Northbound U.S. 101/El Camino Real reaches Exit 357, Junction California 152/Leavesley Road west to downtown Gilroy and Junction Santa Clara County Route G-9/Leavesley Road east to Ferguson Road (alternate to California 152 east). Photo taken 07/05/06.
Upon exiting from U.S. 101/El Camino Real, the left lane connects to California 152 west to downtown Gilroy and Watsonville on the coast. A right turn connects to Santa Clara County Route G-9 east. Photo taken 07/05/06.

Continue on California 152 west Back to California 152 Index Return to the California Gateway

Page Updated October 7, 2007.