California "S" County Routes

Group Two: S-6 to S-11


A uniform numbering system has been adopted to uniquely identify county routes across the state of California. Within this system, each route designation has a letter and number combination. The first digit is a letter, and the second and third digits are numbers. The lower letters are generally to the north of the state, and the higher numbers are generally located in the southern part of the state. The lowest route is Lassen County Route A-1, and the highest route is Imperial County Route S-80.

County Route Group S -- along with Groups N, P, and R -- are in the Southern California group of counties: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. The letters O and Q are omitted, and county routes in Group P have not been assigned.

Index to "S" Series County Routes:

San Diego County Route S-6

San Diego County Route S-6 south
This is the first southbound San Diego County Route S-6 reassurance shield, which is posted at the exit from the Palomar Observatory parking lot. The county highway will proceed downhill and then uphill to the unincorporated community of Palomar Mountain. Photos taken 11/11/10 and 06/16/06.
S-6 begins its journey by connecting the Palomar Observatory with the unincorporated community of Palomar Mountain. Photo taken 06/16/06.
Leaving the vicinity of the observatory, traffic on S-6 is relatively sparse. Photo taken 06/16/06.
Fall colors abound on top of Palomar Mountain while driving S-6 in early November. Photo taken 11/11/10.
S-6 enjoys towering trees along the drive between the observatory and a small commercial strip near the intersection with S-7. Photo taken 06/16/06.
Much of the drive along San Diego County Route S-6 on Palomar Mountain in tree-lined and rustic. Soon after a series of twists and turns, S-6 will emerge in the community of Palomar Mountain and will connect with San Diego County Route S-7, which travels west to Palomar Mountain State Park. S-6 and S-7 will share pavement together briefly, then separate before S-6 proceeds downhill toward Pauma Valley and Valley Center. Photo taken 11/11/10.
Southbound S-6 approaches its junction with S-7/State Park Road, which travels northwest to the Palomar Mountain State Park entrance. Ahead, S-6 and S-7 join together to share pavement briefly, then will separate. Ahead on the right is a small commercial area (post office, restaurant, shops). There is no gas station on Palomar Mountain. Photo taken 06/16/06.
Southbound S-6 meets S-7/State Park Road at this intersection. S-6 and S-7 proceed together ahead briefly, then separate. Photo taken 06/16/06.
San Diego County Route S-6 south and S-7 east
Almost immediately after joining together in Palomar Mountain, San Diego County Routes S-6 and S-7 prepare to split. Turn right here to follow S-6 south to Valley Center and Pauma Valley, or proceed ahead for S-7 east to Lake Henshaw. Photos taken 11/11/10 and 06/16/06.
San Diego County Route S-6/South Grade Road south
San Diego County Route S-6 south and California 76 west
San Diego County Route S-6/Valley Center Road south
San Diego County Route S-6/Valley Parkway west
In downtown Escondido, westbound San Diego County Route S-6 follows Valley Parkway, while eastbound San Diego County Route S-6 follows Second Avenue (two blocks south of Valley Boulevard). In between the two directions of S-6 is Grand Avenue, which passes through a shopping strip in the center of downtown. Here, County Route S-6 meets Escondido Boulevard. The California Center for the Arts - Escondido is located at the northeastern corner of this intersection. Photo taken 04/23/05.
A San Diego County Route S-6 trailblazer/reassurance marker is posted on westbound Valley Parkway just before meeting the Centre City Parkway (Business Loop I-15) intersection. Photo taken 04/23/05.
Now approaching Business Loop I-15/Centre City Parkway, motorists can turn right onto northbound Business Loop I-15 to connect to California 78/Ronald Packard Freeway west to Vista, San Marcos, and Oceanside. Photo taken 04/23/05.
Westbound S-6/Valley Parkway meets Business Loop I-15/Centre City Parkway. Turn left for Business Loop I-15 south to San Diego (Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, and points south) and right for Business Loop I-15 north to Fallbrook, Temecula, and Riverside. Use Business 15 north to connect to California 78/Ronald Packard Freeway west en route to Vista, San Marcos, and Oceanside. Photo taken 04/23/05.
San Diego County Route S-6/Del Dios Highway south
San Diego County Route S-6/Via de la Valle west
Skipping ahead into the city of San Diego, this view along westbound S-6 (Via de la Valle) is taken west of the El Camino Real intersection, just west of the Santa Fe Downs residential development. Overhead, several San Diego Gas & Electric power lines (including a double circuit 230kV line) pass high above Via de la Valle. S-6 proceeds west toward its rendezvous with Interstate 5 and the Del Mar Racetrack, one of the most popular and well-known venues in San Diego County. Photo taken 09/01/12.

S-6, which follows the San Dieguito River from near Del Dios/Rancho Santa Fe southwest to Del Mar/Solana Beach, stays on the northern edge of the San Dieguito Lagoon. This lagoon travels inland to east of Interstate 5. As a result, there is not much development along this stretch of S-6, at least until we reach Flower Hill Promenade. Photos taken 09/01/12.
The tenor of westbound S-6/Via de la Valle changes dramatically when it enters Flower Hill Promenade. The road widens to four lanes, and congestion frequently occurs at the upcoming traffic signals due to people entering and leaving the shopping areas on both sides of Via de la Valle. Beyond the promenade is the interchange with Interstate 5. Photo taken 09/01/12.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-6/Via de la Valle meets San Andreas Drive at this traffic signal. A second traffic signal along S-6/Via de la Valle west offers a connection to the shopping areas on both sides of the street. Photo taken 09/01/12.
Westbound S-6 (Via de la Valle) meets Interstate 5. The first right connects to Interstate 5 north, and the second right links to Interstate 5 south. Watch for additional traffic joining S-6 westbound from the Interstate 5 offramp (green signal with no turns permitted visible in this picture). Photo taken 09/01/12.
Westbound S-6/Via de la Valle meets the offramp to Interstate 5/San Diego Freeway north to the northern San Diego County cities Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside as well as the control cities of Santa Ana (seat of Orange County) and Los Angeles (seat of Los Angeles County and largest city in the state of California). Interstate 5 is a very busy road, paralleling old U.S. 101 north along the coast toward Orange County. Once reaching downtown Los Angeles, Interstate 5 continues north along the old U.S. 99 corridor through the Tehachapi Mountains toward the Central Valley. Photo taken 09/01/12.
A second Interstate 5 freeway entrance shield assembly is posted on the right flank of the onramp from S-6/Via de la Valle. Photo taken 09/01/12.
After the ramp to Interstate 5 north, westbound S-6/Via de la Valle passes under the massive freeway. After passing under the freeway, S-6 will meet the onramp to Interstate 5 south (right turn) as well as a left turn to Jimmy Durante Boulevard to the Del Mar Racetrack. Note that during events at the Del Mar Racetrack, the center lane (striped yellow) can function as an additional westbound lane to help move traffic to Jimmy Durante Boulevard and the various parking lots located adjacent to the fairgrounds. The overhead sign here says "WHEN LANE," which means that the center lane can get motorists to the fairgrounds only when the lane is in service. Usually there are orange cones and traffic enforcement on site to handle the traffic volumes through here on event days. Photo taken 09/01/12.
Westbound S-6/Via de la Valle meets the offramp to Interstate 5/San Diego Freeway south to downtown San Diego (right turn). The ramp makes a loop onto the freeway. Ahead, stay left for access to the Del Mar Racetrack and downtown Del Mar or stay right for the continuation of Via de la Valle to Solana Beach. Prior to the late 1990s, the remaining section of Via de la Valle between Interstate 5 and Highway 101 (Camino Del Mar) was also designated as Business Loop I-5. While a few green shields still persist, the route has been decommissioned. Photo taken 09/01/12.
The left two lanes of westbound S-6/Via de la Valle connect to Jimmy Durante Boulevard southwest to the main entrance to Del Mar Racetrack, which is home to many events throughout the year including the marquee events San Diego County Fair in June and early July and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which features horse racing in late July, August, and September. The venue opened in 1937, and the Thoroughbred Club's slogan for its horse racing season is "Where The Turf Meets The Surf." Photo taken 09/01/12.
Westbound S-6/Via de la Valle meets Jimmy Durante Boulevard at this traffic signal. Turn left for Del Mar Racetrack or downtown Del Mar, or continue ahead for Solana Beach. Upon crossing this intersection, Via de la Valle leaves the city of San Diego and becomes the dividing line between the city of Del Mar (to the south) and Solana Beach (to the north). Del Mar had a population of 4,161 as of the 2010 Census, was incorporated on July 15, 1959, consists of 1.71 square miles, and is surrounded by the city of San Diego to the south and east and the city of Solana Beach to the north. The city of Solana Beach had a population of 12,867 as of the 2010 Census, consists of 3.52 square miles, and was incorporated on July 1, 1986. Photo taken 09/01/12.
Prior to Summer 2000, this Business Loop I-5 sign was in place along westbound San Diego County Route S-6/Via de la Valle, just prior to the Jimmy Durante Boulevard intersection. With some roadwork in the area, this sign was removed, perhaps by the cities of Del Mar and/or Solana Beach. This sign was a remnant from the 1960s-era Business Loop I-5 that used to extend from Del Mar north to Oceanside along Coast Highway 101 via Solana Beach, Encinitas (including Cardiff and Leucadia), and Carlsbad. However, most of the business loop signs along the U.S. 101/County Route S-21 corridor were removed. Only a few signs remain, mostly clustered at the Interstate 5 and Via de la Valle interchange. Two remaining signs, still in place as of 2012, include an END Business Loop I-5 along eastbound County Route S-6 as it passes through the Interstate 5 interchange (located on a section of Via de la Valle within the city of San Diego and thus the sign is part of San Diego's inventory) as well as a trailblazer Business Loop I-5 shield on the northbound offramp from Interstate 5 onto Via de la Valle (part of Caltrans' inventory). Prior to 2000 there was a "Business Route 5 Next Exit" sign on the approach to Via de la Valle, but it is gone (having been removed during the Interstate 5 expansion project underway throughout the 2000s). We have no photos that show the "Route 5 Business" sign before its removal. Photo taken 09/98.
On the left side of Via de la Valle is the Del Mar Racetrack, which is within the city of limits of Del Mar. On the right side of Via de la Valle are commercial and residential developments within the city of Solana Beach. Photo taken 09/01/12.
For its final distance to Highway 101 and Camino Del Mar, Via de la Valle narrows to one westbound lane. Photo taken 09/01/12.
After cresting over this hill, Via de la Valle will head downhill until the beach comes into the view. Photo taken 09/01/12.
Westbound S-6/Via de la Valle approaches its final junction with Camino Del Mar (left turn/south) and Highway 101 (right turn/north). Camino Del Mar and Highway 101 are signed as Historic Route U.S. 101 and also as San Diego County Route S-21. Photo taken 09/01/12.
Prior to crossing over the railroad tracks and before intersecting S-21/Highway 101 and Camino Del Mar, westbound S-6/Via de la Valle meets Cedros Avenue. Turn right on Cedros Avenue north to the Cedros Design District, which is located in downtown Solana Beach. A wide variety of art houses, restaurants, antique stores, and entertainment venues are located along Cedros Avenue closer to Lomas Santa Fe Drive (San Diego County Route S-8). Photo taken 09/01/12.
San Diego County Route S-6/Via de la Valle crosses over the railroad tracks between Cedros Avenue and San Diego County Route S-21 (Camino Del Mar and Highway 101). Photo taken 09/01/12.
This view, looking north from Via de la Valle, shows the trench the railroad follows through Solana Beach. Grade separations are made easier by the railroad remaining below ground level. This railroad track is used by the Coaster commuter rail, which connects San Diego and Oceanside. Amtrak and freight rail also use this line. Photo taken 09/01/12.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-6/Via de la Valle reaches its western terminus at this signalized intersection with San Diego County Route S-21/Camino Del Mar south (left turn) to Del Mar and San Diego County Route S-21/Highway 101 north (right turn) to Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Oceanside. Both Camino Del Mar and Highway 101 are alignments of Historic U.S. 101; brown historic route signs are posted up and down the old highway. Photos taken 09/01/12.
San Diego County Route S-6 east (north)
San Diego County Route S-6 begins its eastbound journey at the intersection of Via de la Valle, Camino Del Mar, and Highway 101 on the city limits between Solana Beach and Del Mar. S-6 will follow Via de la Valle east away from the ocean, passing by the Del Mar Racetrack and linking to Interstate 5 while skirting the northern reaches of the city of San Diego. From there, S-6 will follow a meandering course northeast alongside the San Dieguito River en route to Escondido via the busy Del Dios Highway. Photo taken 09/01/12.
This sign, posted on the "ramp" between northbound Jimmy Durante Boulevard and eastbound Via de la Valle, indicates that turning traffic should stay right for Interstate 5 south or stay left for Interstate 5 north. However, once on Via de la Valle, look for both onramps to begin from the right side of Via de la Valle. Photo taken 08/18/12.
Leaving the intersection with Jimmy Durante Boulevard, eastbound S-6/Via de la Valle immediately approaches Interstate 5. Stay right for both connections. The first right links to Interstate 5 south to San Diego, while the second right links to Interstate 5 north to Santa Ana and Los Angeles. Photo taken 08/18/12.
A freeway entrance shield assembly is posted on eastbound Via de la Valle for Interstate 5 south. Photo taken 08/18/12.
Now within the city limits of San Diego, we find an extant END Business Loop I-5 shield still posted on eastbound S-6/Via de la Valle as the highway passes under Interstate 5. The business route was largely decommissioned and unsigned by 2000, but this and one other sign remain in place as of 2012. San Diego County Route S-6 continues east into San Diego, passing by Flower Hill on its way to Rancho Santa Fe and Escondido via Del Dios Highway. It provides directions to the Del Mar Fairgrounds via the left two lanes. Photo taken 04/23/06.
A loop ramp connects eastbound San Diego County Route S-6/Via de la Valle (former Business Loop I-5) with northbound Interstate 5. Photo taken 04/23/06.
Skipping much further ahead and now in Escondido (we skipped the Rancho Santa Fe and Del Dios segments of S-6), north-eastbound San Diego County Route S-6 takes a slightly jagged route through downtown Escondido, with eastbound traffic using Valley Parkway and Second Street. Westbound traffic stays on Valley Parkway, which has a one-way segment near downtown Escondido. This picture shows eastbound San Diego County Route S-6 at Rose Street in Escondido. Photo taken 05/20/02.
This series of pictures follows San Diego County Route S-6/Valley Center Road north between Escondido and Valley Center. Portions of S-6, which is designated as Valley Center Road, were widened to four lanes between the city of Escondido and unincorporated community of Valley Center. Some of the increased traffic can be attributed to expanded housing and residential development along the corridor, while gambling associated with Indian casinos also brought increased traffic to this corridor. Photos taken 06/16/06.
As we proceed north on S-6 toward Valley Center, the county highway will crest over a summit to meet Ridge Ranch Road, then proceed downhill into Valley Center. The highway used to narrow to two lanes at Ridge Ranch Road, but it has since been widened downhill to Woods Valley Road (next traffic signal) and onward to Cole Grade Road. Photos taken 06/16/06.
Leaving the intersection with Woods Valley Road in Valley Center, we find an S-6 reassurance route marker. Most county routes in San Diego County are signed without directional banners (i.e., north, south, east, west). Lilac Road travels northwest from S-6 toward the Interstate 15 corridor, ending at Old Highway 395 on a ridge to the south of the San Luis Rey River. After the Lilac Road intersection, S-6 curves east toward Cole Grade Road, which is where the four-lane highway currently ends. The intersection with Cole Grade Road is not shown. Beyond that, S-6 proceeds east through a flat, straight stretch. Photos taken 06/16/06.
At the eastern end of the valley, S-6 approaches Lake Wohlford Road. A mileage sign advises of the distance to several Indian reservations: Rincon, La Jolla, Pauma, and Pala, as well the distance to Palomar Mountain (16 miles via S-6 north). Turn right on Lake Wohlford Road south to San Pasqual Indian reservation and Valley View Casino and Hotel. S-6 then loses elevation and enters another rugged stretch. Turning north again, S-6 skims the edge of a magnificent valley as Palomar Mountain comes into view. Photos taken 06/16/06.
S-6 proceeds downhill into the Rincon Indian Reservation. Photos taken 06/16/06.
Passing through Rincon Indian Reservation, northbound S-6 (Valley Center Road) proceeds across the San Luis Rey River on a bridge that opened in May 2011. The 2006 pictures show the old, 1939 bridge that used to cross the river; this bridge is now gone and replaced with the 2011 bridge. The 1939 bridge had classic bridge features such as divoted curbing and white, wooden railing that harkened back to an earlier era of bridge building. However, the bridge was deficient in terms of lane width, lack of shoulders, lack of sidewalks, and bridge foundations susceptible to scour damage caused by high water flows. Between 2009 and 2011, the 1939 bridge was replaced, and the earlier artifacts of the original bridge were modernized. We'll have to return for pictures to show the modern bridge. Once on the north bank of the river, S-6 approaches Harrah's Rincon Casino and Resort, which features its high rise hotel. The casino-resort opened in 2002 and has since expanded. Photos taken 06/16/06.
Leaving the vicinity of Harrah's Rincon Casino and Resort, S-6 continues north through the Rincon Indian Reservation toward a rendezvous with California 76. S-6 again sees rolling hills and rugged terrain as it continues along Valley Center Road north. Approaching the California 76 intersection, a mileage sign points the way to Pauma and Pala Indian Reservations via California 76 west (left turn) and La Jolla Indian Reservation and Palomar Mountain via California 76 east and S-6 north (right turn). Photos taken 06/16/06.
Northbound San Diego County Route S-6/Valley Center Road approaches its junction with California 76. The two routes will merge together briefly, before S-6 curves north up Palomar Mountain and California 76 aims east toward Lake Henshaw, Santa Ysabel, Warner Springs, and Julian. At the intersection with California 76, turn left for California 76 west to Pauma Indian Reservation, Pala Indian Reservation, Interstate 15, Oceanside, and Temecula or turn right for California 76 east and S-6 north to La Jolla Indian Reservation, Palomar Mountain, Lake Henshaw, and Julian. Photo taken 06/16/06.
San Diego County Route S-6 and California 76 east - for overlap, see California 76
San Diego County Route S-6/South Grade Road north
After splitting from California 76, we find the first San Diego County Route S-6 reassurance shield on northbound South Grade Road at the foot of Palomar Mountain. Photo taken 11/11/10.
One of the primary tourist attractions along San Diego County Route S-6 north is the Palomar Observatory, which is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) astronomy program. The observatory has limited hours (fewer in the winter) and is famous for its 200-inch Hale Telescope, 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope, and 18-inch Schmidt Telescope. The site of the observatory was selected in the 1930s to be away from light pollution that had made nighttime astronomical views difficult at an observatory at Mt. Wilson near Los Angeles. S-6 and S-7, both county routes leading up Palomar Mountain, were improved around 1936 once design and construction began on the observatory on top of Palomar Mountain. Construction on the dome occurred in the same year, and the mirror needed for the telescope was constructed in the ensuing decade. The observatory was dedicated on June 3, 1948. Photo taken 11/11/10.
Just like California 76, San Diego County Route S-6 sees quite a few twists and turns as it ascends Palomar Mountain. In addition to the observatory, several residences are located on the mountain, as well as Palomar Mountain State Park and a scenic drive via San Diego County Routes S-6 and S-7 along the spine of Palomar Mountain. Photo taken 11/11/10.
San Diego County Route S-6 ascends from Pauma Valley to Palomar Mountain. This series of pictures follows S-6 as it proceeds between California 76 and San Diego County Route S-7 on top of Palomar Mountain. The rule here is sharp turns and slow speeds. Stopped/slow traffic may be found for slow-moving vehicles. Unlike Caltrans, San Diego County uses green mileposts on its county-maintained roadways, so occasional milemarkers track mileage from S-6's southern terminus at Historic U.S. 101 and San Diego County Route S-21 in Del Mar/Solana Beach. The switchbacks take turns east, west, and north as we proceed uphill. Photos taken 11/11/10.
Nearing the top of the grade, northbound San Diego County Route S-6 approaches its junction with San Diego County Route S-7/East Grade Road. San Diego County Route S-7 leads east toward Lake Henshaw and west toward Palomar Mountain State Park after a very brief overlap with S-6. If you intend to leave the mountain, turn right on S-7. Turning left leads to the ends of both S-6 and S-7. Photo taken 11/11/10.
Northbound San Diego County Route S-6 meets San Diego County Route S-7 at this wide intersection, which is governed by a yield sign. Turn left for the continuation of S-6 north and S-7 west. This is a rare instance where two signed county routes share pavement, albeit briefly, in California. Photo taken 11/11/10.
San Diego County Route S-6 north and S-7 west
Almost as soon as San Diego County Routes S-6 and S-7 merge together, the two routes divide. Turn left ahead for S-7 west to Palomar Mountain State Park or continue straight ahead for S-6 north to the Palomar Observatory. Photos taken 11/11/10, 01/21/02, and 07/24/02.
San Diego County Route S-6 north
San Diego County Route S-6 and San Diego County Route S-7 divide at the intersection with State Park Road (S-7). On the left is a small business district for the unincorporated community of Palomar Mountain, including a post office, restaurant, and general store. Photo taken 11/11/10.
Leaving the intersection with S-7, northbound San Diego County Route S-6 proceeds past the Palomar Mountain general store and restaurant, then continues north toward the observatory. The highway continues to the observatory. In winter months, snow is common (as seen in the 2002 pictures), so travelers should be preparing for such conditions. Photos taken 01/21/02 and 11/11/10.
San Diego County Route S-6 continues north between the community of Palomar Mountain and the Palomar Observatory. While icy conditions may exist, fall colors abounded in the 2010 pictures. Photo taken 11/11/10.
This series of pictures follows San Diego County Route S-6 between the community of Palomar Mountain and the Palomar Observatory. The county highway loses elevation briefly then regains elevation to get to the high point on the roadway. Watch for snow and ice in winter months. Occasionally, we can see the observatory (which looks like a tiny white ball sitting amidst a stand of trees. A few national forest campgrounds and recreational areas are also located along this final segment of S-6. Photos taken 11/11/10.
Northbound San Diego County Route S-6 as it approaches the Palomar Observatory. A yellow sign warns of the pending end of the county road. The observatory is free to visit during business hours, and there is a display inside the observatory that explains how the equipment required for it was transported up Palomar Mountain. Photo taken 11/11/10.
Northbound San Diego County Route S-6 approaches the gate to the observatory. Obey the signs; if the gates are closed, there's ample room to U-turn and head back toward the intersection with S-7 and Palomar Mountain. Photo taken 11/11/10.
San Diego County Route S-6 ends when it reaches the entrance to the Palomar Observatory parking lot. The elevation here is 5,550 feet above sea level, the highest point along S-6. If the gates are open, continue ahead into the Palomar Observatory parking lot. Admission to the observatory is free of charge; a small gift shop operates near the observatory. Beyond the gate and END sign, traffic from San Diego County Route S-6 north ends up in a parking lot for the Palomar Observatory. Photos taken 11/11/10, 06/16/06, and 01/24/02.
Scenes Pertaining to San Diego County Route S-6: Palomar Observatory
This series of pictures show the Palomar Observatory building and grounds on top of Palomar Mountain. An asphalt path begins at the parking lot near the end of S-6 and proceeds alongside a grove of trees to connect to the visitors center/museum and the observatory. A gift shop, museum, and restrooms are available in the first building along the pathway before approaching the actual observatory. The design of the building lends itself to art deco design standards common to that era. Photos taken 11/11/10 and 06/16/06.
This view shows S-6 as it travels southwest down South Grade Road between Palomar Mountain and California 76. This view is taken from the intersection of Crestline Road and S-7/East Grade Road. Photos taken 11/11/10.
Scenes Pertaining to San Diego County Route S-6: Del Mar Fairgrounds
This series of pictures showcase the Del Mar Fairgrounds, which is used for several popular events every year (including the San Diego County Fair and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club horse racing). It is interesting to note the heavy advertising presence, especially in the second picture. Photos taken 08/18/12.

San Diego County Route S-7

San Diego County Route S-7/State Park Road southeast
The first San Diego County Route S-7 reassurance route marker is posted after the exit from Palomar Mountain State Park. Ahead, S-7 will follow State Park Road east toward a rendezvous with San Diego County Route S-6. Photo taken 06/16/06.
Two-lane San Diego County Route S-7 carries mostly recreational traffic to and from Palomar Mountain State Park. Photo taken 06/16/06.
A few privately owned properties also take their access from San Diego County Route S-7. Photo taken 06/16/06.
Eastbound (southbound) San Diego County Route S-7 approaches its junction with San Diego County Route S-6 on Palomar Mountain. Photo taken 06/16/06.
At this initial intersection with S-6, turn left for S-6 north to the Palomar Observatory. Turn right for S-6 south to Pauma Valley and Valley Center and S-7 southeast to Lake Henshaw. Photo taken 06/16/06.
Southbound S-7 meets S-6 at this yield sign on Palomar Mountain. Photo taken 06/16/06.
This side view also shows the intersection between San Diego County Route S-7 and San Diego County Route S-6 near Palomar Mountain's commercial area. Take S-6 north to the Palomar Observatory (as well as the general store and restaurant); take S-6 south (right turn) down the mountain to Valley Center and California 76. Photo taken 01/24/02.
San Diego County Route S-6 south and S-7 southeast
Almost immediately after joining together in Palomar Mountain, San Diego County Routes S-6 and S-7 prepare to split. Turn right here to follow S-6 south to Valley Center and Pauma Valley, or proceed ahead for S-7 east to Lake Henshaw. Photos taken 11/11/10 and 06/16/06.
San Diego County Route S-7/East Grade Road (Highway to the Stars) southeast
Leaving the southeastern intersection with S-6, southeastbound S-7/East Grade Road (Highway to the Stars) proceeds toward Lake Henshaw. An S-7 reassurance route marker and mileage sign to Lake Henshaw are both posted after the S-6 intersection. Photo taken 11/11/10.
Turn left from S-7 to Crestline Road, which travels north and then east to Palomar County Park. Photo taken 11/11/10.
Continuing southeast of the Crestline Road intersection, S-7 (East Grade Road also known as Highway to the Stars) follows a series of gentle curves as it journeys downhill from Palomar Mountain toward Lake Henshaw. S-7 is considered to be the gentler and easier of the two main highways onto Palomar Mountain, but it is significantly longer than S-6, which has quite a few switchbacks and a steeper descent. On S-7, watch for a scenic overlook of Lake Henshaw about three miles before the terminus at California 76. Photos taken 11/11/10 and 06/16/06.
Southbound San Diego County Route S-7/East Grade Road ends at its junction with California 76 just west of Lake Henshaw. From here, California 76 travels east to California 79 and west to Pala and Interstate 15. Photo taken 11/11/10.
San Diego County Route S-7/East Grade Road (Highway to the Stars) northwest
On Palomar Mountain, northbound San Diego County Route S-7/East Grade Road proceeds past Crestline Road and approaches the local fire station. A short distance further west beyond this point, S-7 will connect with S-6. Photos taken 06/16/06.
San Diego County Route S-6 north and S-7 northwest
Almost as soon as San Diego County Routes S-6 and S-7 merge together, the two routes divide. Turn left ahead for S-7 west to Palomar Mountain State Park or continue straight ahead for S-6 north to the Palomar Observatory. Photos taken 11/11/10, 01/21/02, and 07/24/02.
This picture provides a close-up of the San Diego County Route S-7 trailblazer route marker that is posted along northbound S-6 and westbound S-7 at the point where the two routes divide on Palomar Mountain. Photo taken 01/24/02.
San Diego County Route S-7/State Park Road northwest
On top of Palomar Mountain, northbound San Diego County Route S-7 separates from San Diego County Route S-6 and proceeds northwest toward its final destination at the entrance to Palomar State Park. Snow is common at this elevation in the winter months, as seen in the January 2002 picture. Photos taken 06/16/06 and 01/24/02.
San Diego County Route S-7 proceeds northwest along State Park Road. Essentially a dead-end route, S-7 will travel along the edge of Palomar Mountain offering stunning views of the San Luis Rey River and Pauma Valley below while proceeding toward the entrance into Palomar Mountain State Park. The highway is generally not very busy and handles mostly recreational traffic. Pull-outs along the roadside allow for slower traffic to stop and also offer places to take in the scenic views from the mountain top. While S-7 ends at the entrance to Palomar Mountain State Park, a very narrow backroad (Nate Harrison Grade) leads from the state park down toward the valley floor. This road is not a good choice for most vehicles due to the narrow roadbed, extensive unpaved segments, and occasional closures for weather, fire, or other reasons. Therefore, we recommend the best ways off the mountain to be via S-7/East Grade Road southeast to Lake Henshaw or S-6/South Grade Road south to Pauma Valley. Photos taken 06/16/06.
Northbound San Diego County Route S-7 enters Palomar Mountain State Park. Activities at this park include hiking, camping, and nature watching. A popular trail takes hikers past Doane Pond. Hidden in the scrub on the right side of the road next to the state park entrance is an END San Diego County Route S-7 route marker. San Diego County is usually reliable when signing the beginning and endings of its signed county routes, and S-7 is no exception. A wide turnout here allows larger vehicles to turn around before entering the state park. Beyond the entrance sign to the state park, watch for a ranger station where park users are charged a fee for entry into the park. Photos taken 06/16/06.
Scenes Pertaining to San Diego County Route S-7
This series of pictures showcases Palomar Mountain State Park, which is located at the northwestern end of San Diego County Route S-7. Doane Pond is one of the most popular hiking destinations, and a loop hiking trail leads around the park. Photos taken 06/16/06.
A scenic overlook about three miles northwest of the S-7 and California 76 intersection offer scenic views of Lake Henshaw, a reservoir owned by the Vista Irrigation District. The Henshaw Dam, built in 1923, holds back the waters within the lake. Below the dam, the water flows into the San Luis Rey River. These pictures were taken in 2010 and 2006 to showcase the valley and lake. Note the difference in lake levels; the level was lower in November 2010 based on the time of year (early in the annual rainy season). Photos taken 11/11/10 and 06/16/06.

San Diego County Route S-8

San Diego County Route S-8/Lomas Santa Fe Drive east
San Diego County Route S-8/Linea del Cielo east
San Diego County Route S-8/Linea del Cielo west
San Diego County Route S-8/Lomas Santa Fe Drive west
San Diego County Route S-8 is a major east-west arterial that connects Solana Beach with Rancho Santa Fe. Here, westbound S-8 follows Lomas Santa Fe Drive in the city of Solana Beach as it passes through the Interstate 5 interchange. Turn right here for Interstate 5 north to Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Santa Ana, and Los Angeles. Continue ahead to the second right for Interstate 5 south to San Diego. Photo taken 09/01/12.
The next right turn connects San Diego County Route S-8/Lomas Santa Fe Drive with a loop ramp to Interstate 5 south. This wide bridge accommodates sufficient space for a bike lane on the right side. Photo taken 09/01/12.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-8/Lomas Santa Fe Drive meets the onramp to Interstate 5 south to San Diego. Ahead, S-8 will proceed to downtown Solana Beach, connecting to the popular Cedros District and linking to Highway 101, which is old U.S. 101. Photo taken 09/01/12.
Scenes Pertaining to San Diego County Route S-8
San Diego County Route S-9/Encinitas Boulevard
San Diego County Route S-10/Rancho Santa Fe Road


Back to County Route S-1  Return to the California Gateway  Continue to County Route S-11

Page Updated December 15, 2012.

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