California "S" County Routes

Group Three: S-11 to S-22


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-11/El Camino Real north
San Diego County Route S-12/Palomar Airport Road east
San Diego County Route S-12/San Marcos Boulevard east
San Diego County Route S-12/Twin Oaks Valley Road north
San Diego County Route S-12/Deer Springs Road northeast
San Diego County Route S-13/Vista Village Drive north
San Diego County Route S-13/Vista Way and Historic U.S. 395 north
California 76/Mission Road east, San Diego County Route S-13, and Historic U.S. 395 north
San Diego County Route S-13/Mission Road and Historic U.S. 395 north
San Diego County Route S-13 splits from California 76 at the intersection with Mission Road. S-13 follows Mission Road, which is the original alignment of U.S. 395 before it was moved to parallel the modern Interstate 15 alignment east of here. A Historic U.S. 395 route marker is posted almost immediately after leaving the California 76 intersection. S-13 is not signed here, however. The roadway begins with two northbound lanes that will quickly narrow to just one northbound lane. Photo taken 06/07/08.
A "Mile 9" marker indicates that we are nine miles north of the southern terminus of San Diego County Route S-13, which began at California 78 Exit 6. Ahead, S-13 proceeds north toward the community of Fallbrook. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-13/Mission Road sees a steady stream of traffic on its two-lane path north through rural areas en route to Fallbrook. Photo taken 06/07/08.
When we passed through in 2008, we found an old railroad crossing crossbuck sign (visible on the left side of S-13 as traveled north) next to a house. The crossbuck appeared to be owned by the adjacent property owner and was no longer in use (as there is no parallel railroad here). Photo taken 06/07/08.
Briefly devoid of traffic, S-13 (former U.S. 395) proceeds north toward Fallbrook. Photo taken 06/07/08.
S-13/Mission Road passes under some San Diego Gas & Electric power lines south of Fallbrook. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Northbound S-13/Mission Road approaches Green Valley Road, which travels northeast to connect to San Diego County Route S-15/Reche Road east of Fallbrook. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Another Historic U.S. 395 route marker is posted after the Green Valley Road intersection, but S-13 is again not signed. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-13 and Historic U.S. 395 enter the community of Fallbrook at the signalized intersection with Winterhaven Road. After this intersection, S-13 passes alongside the western edge of Fallbrook High School. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Northbound San Diego County Route S-13 and Historic U.S. 395 meet Olive Hill Road (left turn) south to Bonsall. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Turn right on Stage Coach Lane east to Fallbrook High School. Stage Coach Lane loops east of downtown Fallbrook and will rejoin Mission Road and S-13 east of the central business district. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-13 and Historic U.S. 395 proceed north along Mission Road after the Stage Coach Lane intersection. Another historic route marker for U.S. 395 is posted here, too. It's likely that these signs replaced the S-13 shields, which were in place on Mission Road back in 2002. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Northbound San Diego County Route S-13 and Historic U.S. 395/Mission Road meet Sterling Bridge at this traffic signal. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Mission Road carries four lanes north as we approach the central business district of Fallbrook. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-13 and Historic U.S. 395 split at the intersection of Mission Road and Main Avenue. Turn right to follow Historic U.S. 395/Main Avenue north into downtown Fallbrook or continue straight ahead for S-13/Mission Road north to bypass the downtown area. S-13 serves as the truck route, while Main Avenue is restricted from trucks as noted on the white regulatory sign. S-13 and Historic U.S. 395 will reconnect north of downtown Fallbrook. Photo taken 06/07/08.
A Historic U.S. 395 route marker is posted at the southern Main Avenue intersection. S-13 and U.S. 395 will split at this point and rejoin at the northern Main Avenue and Mission Road intersection. Mission Road will proceed north to bypass downtown Fallbrook, then turn east toward the Interstate 15 corridor. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Skipping ahead to the northern Mission Road and Main Avenue intersection, San Diego County Route S-13 and Historic U.S. 395 proceed east from downtown Fallbrook toward Interstate 15 and Rainbow. S-13 will head due east from Fallbrook to Interstate 15. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-13 and Historic U.S. 395 proceed east along Mission Road in Fallbrook. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Eastbound San Diego County Route S-13/Mission Road splits with Gumtree Lane. Photo taken 06/07/08.
A San Diego County Route S-13 route marker is posted along eastbound Mission Road after the Gumtree Lane split. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Eastbound San Diego County Route S-13 and northbound Historic U.S. 395/Mission Road again meet Stage Coach Lane at this traffic signal. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Another San Diego County Route S-13 route marker is posted near the intersection with Hamilton Lane. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Eastbound San Diego County Route S-13 and Historic U.S. 395 meet Live Oak Park Road at this intersection about four miles east of Fallbrook. Use Live Oak Road southwest to meet S-15/Reche Road. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Another San Diego County Route S-13 route marker is posted along eastbound Mission Road after the Live Oak Park Road intersection. Photo taken 06/07/08.
The 2007 Wildfires from November 2007 caused significant damage to rural, agricultural, and residential areas throughout northern San Diego County. Some of the damage was still evident when we passed through in June 2008. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-13 curves south for the final distance to connect with Interstate 15. At the next intersection, turn left to connect to the Interstate 15 interchange, or proceed ahead for southbound Old Highway 395 and westbound San Diego County Route S-15. Old Highway 395 is the second generation of U.S. 395, after the route was transferred off Mission Road and moved onto a more direct alignment that parallels today's Interstate 15 corridor. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Since this picture was taken, a traffic signal had been installed at the intersection between S-15/Old Highway 395 and S-13/Mission Road. Continue ahead for S-15 west to Fallbrook or Old Highway 395 south to Escondido. Turn left for S-13 east and Historic U.S. 395 north to Rainbow. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-13/Mission Road reaches its northern/eastern terminus at the interchange with Interstate 15. Historic U.S. 395 proceeds across this bridge, then follows Old Highway 395 north to Rainbow Valley Boulevard north into the community of Rainbow. Turn right on Interstate 15 south to Escondido and San Diego or proceed across the bridge for access to Interstate 15 north to Temecula. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Eastbound San Diego County Route S-13 and Historic U.S. 395 meet the left turn to Interstate 15 north. This marks the northern/eastern terminus of San Diego County Route S-13, although no END shield is posted. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-13 - Scenes Pertaining to
This series of pictures follows Main Avenue through the central business district of Fallbrook along Historic U.S. 395/Main Avenue as it proceeds north past the Alvarado Street and Ivy Street intersections and approaches Mission Road (S-13). At the northern intersection of Main Avenue and Mission Road, traffic may turn right onto San Diego County Route S-13 east to Interstate 15 near Rainbow. Trailblazer signs are posted for Historic U.S. 395, County Route S-13, and Interstate 15. Photos taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Avenue west
San Diego County Route S-14 begins at Business Loop I-15/Centre City Parkway. The county route follows the path of Historic U.S. 395 between Centre City Parkway (Business Loop I-15 in Escondido) and Vista Village Drive in the city of Vista. Through Escondido between Centre City Parkway and Interstate 15, S-14 follows Mission Avenue west. This segment of Mission Avenue has some commercial areas and a swap meet. Photo taken 06/07/08.
The initial stretch of San Diego County Route S-14 in the city of Escondido is essentially unsigned, with no reassurance shields along westbound. Historic route markers for Old U.S. 395 start appearing once we leave the city limits. Here, westbound S-14/Mission Avenue meets Rock Springs Road at this traffic signal. Photo taken 06/07/08.
There is no access between San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Avenue and Interstate 15. Mission Avenue passes below the wide freeway, with several bridges crossing overhead to link Interstate 15 with California 78. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14 meets Andreasen Drive at this traffic signal, while Washington Avenue merges from the southeast. At this point, S-14 shifts from Mission Avenue to Mission Road and changes directions, turning toward the northwest. San Diego Gas & Electric power lines (69kV) pass overhead and will parallel Mission Road ahead. Photo taken 06/07/08.

San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road west
San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road passes through an industrial segment of Escondido west of the Interstate 15 overpass. Photo taken 06/07/08.
More power lines pass over San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road in western Escondido. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road meets Nordahl Road north to California 78 and Auto Park Way southeast into an auto mall. Photo taken 06/07/08.
The Sprinter is an east-west rail link between Oceanside and Escondido that parallels the California 78 corridor (as well as portions of S-14). Turn left at Barham Drive to the Sprinter parking lot. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Before passing under California 78, S-14/Mission Road sees a colorful group of Jacaranda trees. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Mission Road passes under California 78, leaves the city of Escondido, and enters the city of San Marcos (population 83,781 as of 2010 Census and incorporated on January 28, 1963). Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road meets Bennett Avenue north (right) and Rancheros Drive west (left) at this signalized intersection. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Mission Road follows the Sprinter rail corridor briefly, then aims northwest again to split from the railroad. The two will reunite near the intersection with San Marcos Boulevard. Following this intersection, the next major intersection will be with Woodland Parkway. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound Mission Road meets Woodland Parkway. Turn left here to connect to California 78 freeway (a trailblazer shield would be nice here). Photo taken 06/07/08.
Soon thereafter, Mission Road passes by the Mission Hills High School campus in San Marcos. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road continues and widens to three westbound lanes. The next major intersection (not shown) is with Woodward Street (right) and San Marcos Boulevard (left). Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road meets Woodward Street (right) and San Marcos Boulevard (left) to San Diego County Route S-12. A grade separation between S-14/Mission Road and S-12/Twin Oaks Valley Road prevents a direct intersection between the two busy roads. So turn left here to connect to S-12/San Marcos Boulevard west to Palomar Airport Road, S-12/Twin Oaks Valley Road north, or Twin Oaks Valley Road south. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road passes under S-12/Twin Oaks Valley Road. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road approaches Pico Avenue. Photo taken 06/07/08.
This view is taken along westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road between Pico Avenue and Marcos Street. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road meets Aberdeen Avenue at this traffic signal. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road passes by Palomar College. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Continuing west, San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road approaches Las Posas Road and another Sprinter rail station. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road crosses Pacific Street and transitions to the south side of the Sprinter rail. Watch for slow or stopped traffic here, since this is an at-grade crossing. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Back in 2008, this San Diego County Route S-14 route marker was the first one to be found along westbound Mission Road. Westbound S-14 approaches S-10/Rancho Santa Fe Road. S-10 travels southwest along Rancho Santa Fe Road toward Olivenhain. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road meets San Diego County Route S-10/Rancho Santa Fe Road at this traffic signal. Photo taken 06/07/08.
S-14/Mission Road now parallels the Sprinter on the south side of the rail line. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound S-14/Mission Road meets Bosstick Boulevard. Mission Road will leave the city of San Marcos and enter unincorporated San Diego County. Photo taken 06/07/08.
An S-14 county reassurance shield is posted shortly after the city limits. The County of San Diego is fairly good about signing its signed county routes with blue pentagon route markers. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Shortly after the S-14 county reassurance shield, we also find our first Historic U.S. 395 Route sign on westbound Mission Road. These signs were added in 2008 as part of a San Diego County initiative to sign the original route of U.S. 395 through San Diego County. Photos taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road is much narrower along this segment between Azalea Drive and Palmyra Drive. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road meets Palmyra Drive at this traffic signal. Photo taken 06/07/08.
The next traffic signal along San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road west is with Buena Creek Road. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Turn left from San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road west to Robelini Drive south to California 78. Photo taken 06/07/08.
A San Diego County Route S-14 reassurance marker is posted shortly after the Robelini Drive intersection. Photo taken 06/07/08.
After the intersection with Woodland Drive, westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road again crosses the Sprinter rail line. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-14/Mission Road enters the city of Vista (population 93,834 as of the 2010 Census and incorporated January 28, 1963). S-14 changes names from Mission Road to Santa Fe Avenue and curves to the north-northwest. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-14/Santa Fe Avenue west
San Diego County Route S-14/Santa Fe Avenue northwest meets Mar Vista Drive at this traffic signal. An S-14 reassurance shield is posted at this intersection. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Another San Diego County Route S-14 reassurance marker is posted between Monte Vista Drive and Escondido Avenue. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Businesses line both sides of San Diego County Route S-14/Santa Fe Avenue prior to the Escondido Avenue intersection. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Yet another San Diego County Route S-14 reassurance marker is posted just after Escondido Avenue. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Santa Fe Avenue approaches San Diego County Route S-13/Vista Village Drive. These signs are posted at the corner of Eucalyptus Street and Santa Fe Avenue, looking northwest. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Prior to meeting San Diego County Route S-13/Vista Village Drive, westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Santa Fe Avenue first meets Main Street. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Immediately thereafter, westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Santa Fe Avenue meets San Diego County Route S-13/Vista Village Drive. Turn left for S-13 south to California 78 at the Vista Way interchange, or turn right for S-13 and Historic U.S. 395 north to Bonsall and Fallbrook. Photo taken 06/07/08.
After traveling northwest out of downtown Vista, S-14 eventually leaves Vista and enters the city of Oceanside near Guajome County Park. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Santa Fe Avenue approaches its northwestern terminus at California 76. Turn left on California 76 to Mission San Luis Rey. Photo taken 06/07/08.
A mileage sign is posted along westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Santa Fe Avenue just before meeting California 76. S-14 is posted with an END shield. Photo taken 06/07/08.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-14/Santa Fe Avenue ends at California 76. Turn left for Oceanside or right for Bonsall and Fallbrook. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-15/Fallbrook Street east
San Diego County Route S-15/Reche Road east
San Diego County Route S-15 - Scenes Pertaining to
This San Diego County Route S-15 trailblazer route marker is posted along northbound Main Avenue (Historic U.S. 395) in downtown Fallbrook in northern San Diego County. Turn left for S-15 west to San Diego County Route S-13/Mission Road or turn right for S-15 east to follow Reche Road to Interstate 15 near Rainbow. Photo taken 06/07/08.
San Diego County Route S-16 north and Pala Mission Road west
The first reassurance route marker for San Diego County Route S-16 is posted along westbound Pala Mission Road just east of Pala Temecula Road in the unincorporated community of Pala. Photo taken 06/27/09.
Trees line Pala Mission Road. Photo taken 06/27/09.
Alongside Mission San Antonio de Pala, S-16/Pala Mission Road approaches Pala Temecula Road. S-16 will turn right (north) onto Pala Temecula Road en route to Temecula. Continue ahead to follow Pala Mission Road back to California 76. Photo taken 06/27/09.
Northbound S-16 shifts from westbound Pala Mission Road to northbound Pala Temecula Road at this stop sign. Photo taken 06/27/09.
San Diego County Route S-16/Pala Temecula Road north
After turning off Pala Mission Road and passing Mission San Antonio de Pala, northbound S-16/Pala Temecula Road proceeds through the northern edge of Pala en route to Temecula. Photo taken 06/27/09.
Leaving the community of Pala, northbound San Diego County Route S-16/Pala Temecula Road proceeds into scenic rural areas. The two-lane highway will wind its way through a series of twists and turns as it proceeds toward the San Diego-Riverside County line. Some of the curves are fairly tight and require suggested speeds of around 10 miles per hour. Photos taken 06/27/09.
Nearing the San Diego-Riverside County line, San Diego County Route S-16/Pala Temecula Road shifts onto Riverside County Route S-16/Pala Road north. Upon crossing the county line, a final S-16 reassurance route marker and county line marker are posted. The roadway narrows once north of the San Diego-Riverside County line. Photos taken 06/27/09.
Riverside County Route S-16/Pala Road north
After the San Diego-Riverside County line, Riverside County Route S-16/Pala Road proceeds north through rural areas before descending into the Temecula Valley. Traffic increases as we approach the outer limits of the residential development. At the city limits with Temecula, S-16 changes into Pechanga Parkway. The city of Temecula had a population of 100,097 as of the 2010 Census, an elevation of 1,175 feet above sea level, and was incorporated on December 1, 1989. The city has a large residential population and is a popular destination for gambling (at Pechanga Resort and Casino), wine tasting (at Temecula Wine Country), and hot air ballooning. Photos taken 06/27/09.
Riverside County Route S-16/Pechanga Parkway north
This series of pictures follows Riverside County Route S-16/Pechanga Parkway between the Temecula city limits and California 79/Temecula Parkway. S-16 is not signed within the city limits; signs for S-16 that used to be in place in 2001 on California 79 are gone now, most likely removed when routine maintenance of Temecula Parkway shifted from the state to the city of Temecula. Roadway widening and beautification efforts were underway when we drove along Pechanga Parkway in 2009. Overhead signs point the way into the Pechanga Resort and Casino. Photos taken 06/27/09.
Leaving the vicinity of Pechanga Resort and Casino, S-16/Pechanga Parkway proceed north toward its eventual rendezvous with California 79/Temecula Parkway. At Rainbow Canyon Road, Historic U.S. 395 joins northbound S-16. U.S. 395 used to travel south along Rainbow Canyon Road toward San Diego County and the community of Rainbow, but it was largely superseded by the modern Interstate 15 freeway that parallels Rainbow Canyon Road west of here. At the California 79 intersection, turn left for California 79 and Historic U.S. 395 northwest to Old Town Temecula or turn right for California 79/Temecula Parkway southeast toward Temecula Wine Country, Aguanga (via California 371), and Warner Springs in San Diego County. As of 2009, California 79 was essentially unsigned from northbound Pechanga Parkway. The Temecula Parkway intersection marks the northern terminus of Riverside County Route S-16. Photos taken 06/27/09.
San Diego County Route S-16/Pala Temecula Road south
Next to Mission San Antonio de Pala, this San Diego County Route S-16 trailblazer route marker is posted along southbound Pala Temecula Road in the unincorporated community of Pala in northern San Diego County. Turn left for Pala Mission Road (Old California 76) east to Palomar Mountain and Lake Henshaw or turn right for Pala Mission Road west to Interstate 15, Bonsall, and Oceanside. The sign here seems to advise that S-16 turns either left or right; it would be better to use trailblazers showing the connection to California 76 east/west. Essentially, this intersection marks the southern end of S-16. Photos taken 06/27/09.
San Diego County Route S-16: Scenes Pertaining to (Pala Mission Road east)
Eastbound Pala Mission Road approaches Pala Temecula Road in the unincorporated community of Pala. Turn left to follow Pala Temecula Road north to the city of Temecula in Riverside County. An S-16 trailblazer posted here seems to advise that S-16 turns left or proceeds ahead. S-16 continues east on Pala Mission Road for only a short distance before meeting California 76 east. Photo taken 06/27/09.
San Diego County Route S-17 - Bonita Road/Jamacha Road/Sweetwater Road/Jamacha Boulevard
San Diego County Route S-17 begins at the E Street interchange with Interstate 5 in Chula Vista. This overhead sign for Interstate 5 is posted on eastbound on the freeway overpass. As typical, County Route S-17 is not signed on the overhead guide sign. Photo taken 01/18/09.
Eastbound San Diego County Route S-17 approaching Sweetwater Road after the bridge over the Sweetwater River in unincorporated Bonita. Photo taken 12/19/02.
Eastbound San Diego County Route S-17 at Sweetwater Road. The route is well-signed through Bonita. Photo taken 12/19/02.
Eastbound San Diego County Route S-17 passes near Bonita Golf Course. The county road was impacted during construction of the California 125 freeway extension; note the California 125 construction sign. The toll road was completed and opened to traffic in late 2007. Photo taken 12/19/02.
Eastbound San Diego County Route S-17/Sweetwater Road approaching junction California 54 near Spring Valley. Although County Route S-17 merges onto California 54 to reach Jamacha Road, it is not well-signed, especially given the construction of the new California 54-125 freeway interchange. Photo taken 12/19/02.
Eastbound San Diego County Route S-17 at Junction California 54/South Bay Freeway. This signal will be replaced with an interchange once the conversion of California 54 to a freeway between Interstate 805 and California 125 is complete. Photo taken 12/19/02.
Northbound San Diego County Route S-17 at Junction California 94. Although this shield assembly implies that County Route S-17 merges with California 94, this is the last shield along eastbound (northbound). The remainder of the original County Route S-17 is signed as California 54 or Business Route 54 through unincorporated Rancho San Diego and the city of El Cajon. Photo taken 12/19/02.
Orange County Route S-18 - El Toro Road/Santiago Canyon Road north
Northbound Orange County Route S-18 approaches its junction with California 73/San Joaquin Transportation Corridor Toll Road south to San Clemente. Photo taken 03/30/03.
Orange County Route S-18 meets the California 73 Toll Road at this intersection. Photo taken 03/30/03.
An Orange County Route S-18 reassurance shield is posted along northbound El Toro Road after the Interstate 5 interchange. Photo taken 07/13/09.
Orange County Route S-18 - Santiago Canyon Road south
Leaving the intersection with Jamboree Road, southbound Orange County Route S-18/Santiago Canyon Road approaches its junction with California 241 and California 261, both parts of the Orange County Toll Road system. The next right connects to California 261 south to Irvine. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Southbound Orange County Route S-18/Santiago Canyon Road approaches the right turn to Toll California 261 southwest to Irvine. The next next right connects to Toll California 241 south, and the next left connects to Toll California 241 north. Photo taken 03/09/08.
California 261 is a short toll road that travels southwest from here to Irvine, where it connects with Jamboree Road southbound. Photo taken 03/09/08.
As Orange County Route S-18/Santiago Canyon Road crosses over California 261, a high-speed exit ramp connects to California 241 south. The next left connects to California 241 north to California 91 in Santa Ana Canyon. Note the lack of an S-18 shield on the overhead pull-through sign for Santiago Canyon Road. Photo taken 03/09/08.
After the turnoff to California 241 north, Orange County Route S-18/Santiago Canyon Road proceeds south over the California 241 mainline. Photo taken 03/09/08.
S-18 pulls away from California 241, but the county highway will closely parallel California 241 for awhile. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Sure enough, California 241 comes into view again and parallels Santiago Canyon Road briefly, and then the two routes go their separate ways. Loma Ridge will separate the two, until they meet up again near California 241's Exit 22 (with a connection to El Toro Road). Photo taken 03/09/08.
S-18/Santiago Canyon Road is a safety corridor (daytime headlights required) for the next 11 miles. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Southbound S-18/Santiago Canyon Road turns west as the county highway approaches the turnoff for Irvine Lake (left turn). Photo taken 03/09/08.
Turning south again, S-18/Santiago Canyon Road passes under the Blue Diamond Haul Road. Photo taken 03/09/08.
A beautiful mountain vista opens up as S-18/Santiago Canyon Road continues south. S-18 will remain on Santiago Canyon Road until reaching Cook's Corner, when it will transition directly onto El Toro Road. S-18 at that point will also turn southwest. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Bicyclists and motorcyclists are a common sight along S-18/Santiago Canyon Road. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Southbound S-18/Santiago Canyon Road approaches Silverado Canyon Road, which travels west to Silverado Canyon and Black Star Canyon. Much of this area burned during the wildfires of November 2007, and fire damage is evident in this picture on the right side of the road. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Some of the slopes that had burned in the fall then eroded significantly during the winter. New plants brought green to the slope thereafter. Photo taken 03/09/08.
This area endured fire in fall 2007, but it saw dramatic regrowth in the late winter. Green covered the hillsides, and California poppies bloomed in profusion, creating orange swathes amid a sea of green. After this section, S-18 will approach and meet Modjeska Canyon Road, which is the original alignment of S-18 before the current route was built. (We profile the old alignment below.) Photos taken 03/09/08.
Continuing south of the Modjeska Grade Road intersection, S-18 proceeds south toward Cooks Corner. A Southern California Edison 220kV power line crosses over the county highway. Photos taken 03/09/08.
S-18 descends toward Cooks Corner. Look for the upcoming turnoff to Orange County Route S-19/Live Oak Canyon Road south. Photos taken 03/09/08.
Southbound Orange County Route S-18/Santiago Canyon Road approaches its junction with Orange County Route S-19/Live Oak Canyon Road at Cooks Corner. S-18 changes into El Toro Road ahead and turns southwest, while S-19 will travel south toward Coto de Caza. Photos taken 03/09/08.
S-18 meets S-19 at this intersection. S-18 traffic does not stop at this intersection. A signal ahead is with Ridgeline Road, which represents the return of S-18 into civilization and residential development. Photos taken 03/09/08.
Orange County Route S-18 - El Toro Road south
Skipping ahead along El Toro Road to Lake Forest, southbound Orange County Route S-18/El Toro Road approaches its junction with Interstate 5. The first ramp connects to Interstate 5 north to Santa Ana and Los Angeles. Photo taken 07/13/09.
Southbound Orange County Route S-18 approaching Junction Northbound California 73/Toll Road. Photo taken 03/30/03.
Old Orange County Route S-18 - Modjeska Canyon Road and Modjeska Grade Road south
This series of pictures shows the old alignment of S-18, along Modjeska Canyon Road and Modjeska Grade Road heading southbound (with a switchback and older bridge near the community of Modjeska Canyon. Modjeska Canyon Road changes into Modjeska Grade Road as we cross the bridge and head up the grade. This elevation change brings Old S-18 to a terrific view from the top of the grade, and Southern California Edison 220kV power lines cross over the old road as well. Descending back to Santiago Canyon Road, we can see the modern S-18 alignment below. The old alignment ends at a stop sign. Photos taken 03/09/08.
Orange County Route S-19 - Live Oak Canyon Road south
Leaving the S-18/El Toro Road (Santiago Canyon Road) intersection, S-19/Live Oak Canyon Road will pass by Cooks Corner and travel east briefly, then turn south toward O'Neill Park and ultimately Coto de Caza. Photo taken 03/09/08.
The first reassurance shield for S-19/Live Oak Canyon Road south is posted shortly thereafter. O'Neill Park is about three miles ahead. Photo taken 03/09/08.
The two-lane highway continues through rural areas, avoiding the more populated areas to the southwest. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Southbound S-19/Live Oak Canyon Road approaches the entrance to O'Neill Regional Park. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Orange County Route S-19 - Trabuco Canyon Road south
An S-19 reassurance route marker is posted shortly thereafter; the county highway curves east and now follows Trabuco Canyon Road. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Beautiful mountain scenery abounds on S-19/Trabuco Canyon Road as we proceed east through O'Neill Regional Park. S-19 will continue independently for a little while longer, then reach developed areas in Coto de Caza and Trabuco Canyon. Photo taken 03/09/08.
S-19 proceeds south along Trabuco Canyon Road. Photo taken 03/09/08.
S-19/Trabuco Canyon Road crosses over an Arizona crossing bridge at Trabuco Creek. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Dominating views of Santiago Peak (Old Saddleback) (elevation 5,687 feet above sea level) can be seen from S-19/Trabuco Canyon Road as we parallel Trabuco Creek and briefly travel due east. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Suburbia comes back into view along S-19/Trabuco Canyon Road as the county highway turns south again. At the sharp right turn ahead, S-19 will come to an abrupt and unsigned end. Motorists can turn right onto Plano Trabuco Road, then link up with Antonio Parkway south. Arguably, Antonio Parkway south to California 74/Ortega Highway should have been part of S-19, but developers did not incorporate that extension as the area south of Coto de Caza developed. So S-19 ends at the curve ahead. Photo taken 03/09/08.
S-19/Trabuco Canyon Road ends at this curve. All traffic must turn right onto Plano Trabuco Road. Follow Plano Trabuco Road south to Santa Margarita Parkway west to Antonio Parkway south to continue south toward Ladera Ranch. Photo taken 03/09/08.
Decommissioned Santa Barbara County Route S-20 - see California 1/Pacific Coast Highway near Vandenberg Air Force Base
San Diego County Route S-21/Old U.S. Highway 101, known as Genesee Avenue, North Torrey Pines Road, Camino del Mar, Coast Highway 101, Carlsbad Boulevard, Coast Highway (For history, guide, and information, see Historic U.S. 101)
San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road east
San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road begins its eastbound journey after departing from San Diego County Route S-2 near Ranchita. A mileage sign provides the distance to Ranchita (five miles), Borrego Springs (18 miles), and Salton City (48 miles). Photo taken 04/20/13.
Trees line the first several miles of San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road, but the county highway will quickly enter desert terrain as it travels east past Ranchita. By the time it enters Borrego Springs, S-22 is fully within the desert environment. During summer, watch for extreme temperatures in excess of 110 degrees Fahrenheit along the desert portions of S-22. Photo taken 04/20/13.
This view looks east along San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road at Milepost 4. East of the junction with S-2, Montezuma Valley Road travels through the unincorporated community of Ranchita, then proceeds downhill to Borrego Springs. Photo taken 05/29/02.
Now on the descent into Borrego Springs, an overlook/pullout is located on eastbound San Diego County Route S-22 at Milepost 12.4. A small pullout, overlook, and interpretive sign panels are located here. This section of highway was constructed between 1954 and 1964.1 Photos taken 04/20/13 and 05/29/02.
San Diego County Route S-22/Palm Canyon Drive east
Eastbound San Diego County Route S-22 enters Christmas Circle in the center of Borrego Springs. A small, landscaped park complete with turf, restrooms, and drinking water is located within the traffic circle. Parking is available on the center roadside within the circle to access the restrooms and drinking fountain. Photos taken 04/20/13.
Proceeding through Christmas Circle, eastbound San Diego County Route S-22 meets Sunset Road, followed by San Diego County Route S-3/Borrego Springs Road. This intersection marks the northern terminus of S-3, which travels south to meet California 78 in the state park. S-22 will continue east through the circle to rejoin Palm Canyon Drive east en route to Salton City. Photos taken 04/20/13 and 05/29/02.
San Diego County Route S-22/Christmas Circle next meets Avenida Sureste, then again meets Palm Canyon Drive. Eastbound San Diego County Route S-22 will follow Palm Canyon Drive east to the airport, more of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and Salton City. Palm Canyon Drive makes a beeline due east to leave the community and reenter the desert wilderness. Photos taken 04/20/13.
Leaving the central business area of Borrego Springs, eastbound San Diego County Route S-22/Palm Canyon Drive meets Borrego Valley Road at this intersection. Turn right on Borrego Valley Road south to San Diego County Route S-3/Yaqui Pass Road. Turn left on Borrego Valley Road north to local/ranch access, including several citrus orchards located to the north of the valley. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Leaving the Borrego Valley Road intersection, eastbound San Diego County Route S-22/Palm Canyon Drive proceeds toward the Borrego Springs Airport and the state park. Photo taken 04/20/13.
San Diego County Route S-22 east and Peg Leg Road north
San Diego County Route S-22/Borrego Salton Seaway east
This stunning view is afforded along eastbound San Diego County Route S-22/Borrego Salton Seaway at Milepost 27 in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Ahead, S-22 will enter the badlands and will feature a road design built to cross multiple canyons, crests, and hillsides. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Several washes and canyons were filled to allow San Diego County Route S-22 a relatively flat trip across the desert. These "land bridges" over washes are notable for having older design features (such as small boulders acting as curbs) and no curves on the filled-in section. As seen here, a corrugated metal pipe takes storm water from the road surface and drops it into the canyon below the bridge. Photos taken 04/20/13.
Near the land bridges are canyons like this with loose, sandy soil. San Diego County Route S-22 has several such canyons to surmount on its way east. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Continuing east, San Diego County Route S-22 approaches the San Diego-Imperial County line. At the county line, the Borrego Salton Seaway will become Imperial County Route S-22 and continue east toward Salton City and California 86. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Imperial County Route S-22/Borrego Salton Seaway east
San Diego County Route S-22 becomes Imperial County Route S-22 at the San Diego-Imperial County line. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Imperial County Route S-22 proceeds through the badlands located between the county line and Salton City. The county highway will descend below sea level prior to entering Salton City and approaching its final junction with California 86. This particular view is seen near the turnoff to Ro-Geo Notch overlook. Photo taken 04/20/13.
The final Imperial County Route S-22 route marker is posted about a half-mile or so west of the California 86 junction in Salton City. There is no END shield posted at the actual intersection with California 86. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Gas and food are available in Salton City at the intersection between Imperial County Route S-22 and California 86. Salton City is an unincorporated community located on the western shore of the Salton Sea, founded in the 1950s with the intention of creating a resort complete with beach and marina amenities. Plans for the resort were realized for a time, but over the decades and for a variety of reasons, the resort never really succeeded. Issues include significant changes in the water level within the Salton Sea, as well as pollution-related issues within the sea. Despite this, most development is now clustered closer to the California 86 corridor, which had been widened to expressway standards during the 2000s, and the Red Earth Casino is located north along California 86. Salton City had a population of 3,763 as of the 2010 Census, and it sits at an elevation of -125 below sea level. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Eastbound Imperial County Route S-22 approaches its eastern terminus with California 86 in Salton City. California 86 is a major, north-south expressway that replaced Historic U.S. 99. The expressway corridor from Calexico to Indio incorporates portions of California 111, California 78, and California 86. The Borrego Salton Seaway terminates here, but the road continues ahead as South Marina Drive. Those wanting to see the remains of the resort and the dozens of roads that were surveyed and constructed as part of the original development should proceed to the other side of the expressway. South Marina Drive approaches the edge of the Salton Sea, then loops back to California 86 as North Marina Drive. Photo taken 04/20/13.
As of 2013, a stop sign governed the intersection between Imperial County Route S-22 and California 86 in Salton City. Turn left for California 86 north to Indio (35 miles) or right for California 86 south to El Centro (49 miles) as well as connections to California 78 east and California 111 south to Calexico and the international border. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Imperial County Route S-22/Borrego Salton Seaway west
Imperial County Route S-22 proceeds west along the Borrego Salton Seaway after its intersection with California 86 in Salton City. The highway will remain below sea level initially while in Salton City, but it will quickly rise into the badlands located west of Salton City. From there, S-22 will proceed toward the Imperial-San Diego County line. S-22 is fairly well signed along all of its route, although we do not have any pictures of the initial westbound signs due to late-afternoon lighting. Photo taken 04/20/13.
The pavement quality of Imperial County Route S-22 was quite poor when we passed through here in 2013. Note the undulations in the pavement as well as signs of pavement deterioration. Hopefully this will be fixed in the near future. Photo taken 04/20/13.
The mountains loom in the distance, and the badlands can be seen in the foreground. Imperial County Route S-22 is exemplary for scenery, and luckily the bumpy portion of the road ends as soon as the county highway starts to gain elevation. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Imperial County Route S-22 gains elevation and enters the badlands area just west of Salton City. Note the continuing poor condition of the pavement here. Photo taken 04/20/13.
This Imperial County Route S-22 route marker is posted only a mile or two east of the county line. Now well above sea level, S-22 will proceed through the Badlands and enter Anza-Borrego Desert State Park upon crossing the county line. Photo taken 04/20/13.
San Diego County Route S-22/Borrego Salton Seaway west
Imperial County Route S-22 ends and San Diego County Route S-22 begins as the Borrego Salton Seaway leaves Imperial County and enters San Diego County. The county route enters Anza-Borrego Desert State Park upon crossing the county line. Photos taken 04/20/13.
San Diego County Route S-22 enters Anza-Borrego Desert State Park right after crossing the Imperial-San Diego County line. Recreation opportunities abound including scenic overlooks, hiking, and wildlife viewing (especially during winter/spring months -- the oppressive heat of summer limits recreation in this part of the desert). Photo taken 04/20/13.
Leaving the badlands area, San Diego County Route S-22 descends into a floodplain area that may experience flash floods during the summer monsoon storms that occur mostly in July and August. S-22 will leave the state park and enter the unincorporated community of Borrego Springs, which includes a variety of resorts and golf courses as well as extensive citrus orchards. Photo taken 04/20/13.
At Henderson Canyon Road, westbound San Diego County Route S-22 shifts from Borrego Salton Seaway onto Peg Leg Road. S-22 will turn almost due south for several miles, then curve west again via Palm Canyon Drive. Photo taken 04/20/13.
San Diego County Route S-22 west and Peg Leg Road south
Late afternoon sunshine illuminates San Diego County Route S-22 as it briefly travels south on Peg Leg Road. Photo taken 04/20/13.
San Diego County Route S-22 will only follow Peg Leg Road briefly, then curve west toward Borrego Springs. Photo taken 04/20/13.
A 90-degree curve takes San Diego County Route S-22 from Peg Leg Road south onto Palm Canyon Drive west. Photo taken 04/20/13.
San Diego County Route S-22/Palm Canyon Drive west
Now traveling westbound on Palm Canyon Drive, San Diego County Route S-22 passes by the Borrego Springs Airport and approaches Borrego Valley Road. Photo taken 04/20/13.
A four-way stop governs the flow of traffic between San Diego County Route S-22 and Borrego Valley Road. Turn left on Borrego Valley Road south to San Diego County Route S-3/Yaqui Pass Road. Turn right on Borrego Valley Road north to local/ranch access, including several citrus orchards located to the north of the valley. S-22 continues west toward downtown Borrego Springs. Photo taken 04/20/13.
A few miles west, westbound San Diego County Route S-22 enters Christmas Circle, the center of Borrego Springs. The circle moves counterclockwise, so turn right to enter the circle, which encircles a small park with restrooms and drinking water. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Within the Christmas Circle, westbound San Diego County Route S-22 carries two lanes. The first right connects to Avenida Nordeste, and the second right links to Borrego Springs Road north. Photo taken 04/20/13.
The next right turn carries westbound S-22 off the circle and back onto Palm Canyon Drive west. As noted by the guide sign here, to California 78, continue counterclockwise around the circle until reaching the turnoff to S-3. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Christmas Circle carries two lanes with parking available. Ahead, westbound S-22 will turn right onto Palm Canyon Drive, and eastbound S-22 will continue on the traffic circle. The welcome to Borrego Springs sign is posted inside the traffic circle, which is manicured and landscaped with turf. Photos taken 04/20/13.
Beyond Christmas Circle, westbound S-22 proceeds along Palm Canyon Drive through the central business district of Borrego Springs. Motorist services, including gas, food, and lodging, are available here. Photo taken 04/20/13.
San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road west
Westbound S-22 turns from Palm Canyon Drive onto Montezuma Valley Road at the west end of Borrego Springs. S-22 will assume a mountainous configuration from here to Ranchita with mountain grades and curves for the next several miles; the highway reenters Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Approximately 19 miles separate this intersection with the junction with San Diego County Route S-2 at Montezuma Junction just west of Ranchita. Photo taken 04/20/13.
San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road takes a winding, curving route uphill as it ascends southwest toward Ranchita via Montezuma Grade. In late afternoon or early morning, watch for wildlife including the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep, which are known to frequent the area. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Uphill climbing and passing lanes are afforded briefly along San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road, but they do not last. The road will narrow ahead. As we gain elevation, views to the west look down and back toward Borrego Springs. This section of highway was constructed over a ten-year period between 1954 and 1964.1 Photos taken 04/20/13.
San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road continues to climb up Montezuma Grade, leaving the valley floor behind. Photos taken 04/20/13.
Shortly after Milepost 12.5 is a nice overlook of the valley, including interpretive panels. Photo taken 04/20/13.
The interpretive panel turnoff is located on the left side of the road. Photo taken 04/20/13.
An overlook is located on the uphill grade from Borrego Springs to Ranchita. Here, this view looks at westbound San Diego County Route S-22 as it passes the Mile 12.4 overlook above Borrego Springs. Photo taken 05/29/02.
This view looks again at the Milepost 12.4 overlook above Borrego Springs, this time in April 2013. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Reaching the top of Montezuma Grade, westbound San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road again enjoys a westbound passing lane. After the passing lane ends, S-22 will again enter some rugged terrain, then flatten out on the way into Ranchita. Photos taken 04/20/13.
Westbound San Diego County Route S-22 enters Ranchita and sees long, straight stretches of county highway for the first time since leaving Borrego Springs. Photo taken 04/20/13.
On the west side of Ranchita, San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road ends at its junction with San Diego County Route S-2. An END shield for S-22 is posted here. Turn left for S-2 southeast to Ocotillo or right for S-2 northwest to California 79 and Warner Springs. Photo taken 04/20/13.
A mileage sign points the way to California 78 and California 79 via San Diego County Route S-2. Photo taken 04/20/13.
Scenes Pertaining to San Diego and Imperial County Route S-22
An interpretive sign at the overlook provides information about Borrego Springs and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We spotted a peninsular big horn sheep at this overlook on the day this photo was taken. This interpretive sign was replaced (see 2013 pictures below). Photo taken 05/29/02.
The overlook affords expansive views of Borrego Springs and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Photo taken 05/29/02.
This series of pictures shows the overlook from San Diego County Route S-22/Montezuma Valley Road looking down toward Borrego Springs. A set of interpretive panels are also posted here (and had replaced the panels shown in the 2002 picture). Photos taken 04/20/13.
Imperial County Route S-22 has several paved and unpaved overlooks in the badlands area. This series of pictures showcases the Ro-Geo Notch overlook, which is located just a couple miles east of the San Diego-Imperial County line. The Salton Sea and Salton City are visible to the east from this vantage point. Photos taken 04/20/13.

Sources:

  1. DPW Stories: Desert Roads Paved With Past by Tom Davis (San Diego County Department of Public Works). Relevant quote: "Construction of Montezuma Grade began in 1954 and took nearly 10 years to complete. Foremen Ben McManama and Carl Randall were often the only County employees on the job, supervising prisoners from Montezuma Honor Camp. In all, they used 160,000 tons of dynamite to carve a way down San Ysidro Mountain. Gale Gordon, Honorary Mayor of Borrego Springs and star of television’s "The Lucy Show", declared June 24, 1964 a holiday in Borrego Springs to mark completion of the road. Today, Borrego Springs Road Crew Supervisor Dan McManama, Ben’s son, is responsible for maintaining the road his dad helped build."

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Page Updated June 10, 2013.

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