U.S. Highway 97


Looking east from U.S. 97 between Grass Lake Summit and Weed, Mount Shasta (el. 14,162 feet) dominates the view. Photo taken 04/01/05.

U.S. 97 is a major north-south U.S. highway in the Pacific Northwest, but it only has a short section in northern California. The U.S. route begins at Interstate 5 (Old U.S. 99) in Weed, then continuing northeasterly into Oregon near Dorris, passing through several small towns along the way. The route becomes more important as it continues north, serving the cities of Klamath Falls, Bend, Madras, and Biggs in Oregon and Yakima and Wenatchee in Washington. In the 1950s, plans called for U.S. 97 to be commissioned in Alaska at the northern end of the Alaska Highway if the Canadian territory of Yukon decided to renumber its section of Alaska Highway as Yukon 97. The territory refused to do this, so U.S. 97 was never extended into Alaska. Nevertheless, in California, U.S. 97 remains a relatively minor route even though it is one of the survivors of the 1964 California U.S. Highway Purge. U.S. 97 did not have its routing altered in that tumultuous year (another similarly unaltered route is U.S. 95, while U.S. 199 was removed from Crescent City and its overlap with U.S. 101 eliminated). U.S. 6, 50, 101, and 395 were each curtailed to some degree as a result of the 1964 legislation, but they retained at some (or most) of their mileage in the Golden State.

Highway Guides

U.S. 97 scenes
At the Mount Shasta Vista Point, this plaque provides information about Mount Shasta, including some staggering statistics about it. Mount Shasta is the second tallest peak in the Cascade Range, and five named glaciers are permanently located on its slopes. The mountain last erupted in 1786, and the volcano is considered likely to erupt again (but no one knows when any eruption may occur). Photo taken 04/01/05.
As a recent storm departs the region, the vista point sat under clouds, while Mount Shasta towered over the valley. Photo taken 04/01/05.
This view of Mt. Shasta is taken a bit further south of the vista point. Photo taken 08/02/11.

And so, looking south from U.S. 97 between 99-97 Cutoff Road (Siskiyou County A-12) and Big Springs Road (Siskiyou County A-29) is this incredible view of one of California's tallest peaks: Mount Shasta. Photos taken 04/01/05.
These signs are found at the offramp from Interstate 5 south at Exit 747, Business Loop I-5/U.S. 99 (Weed Boulevard) and U.S. 97 north to Klamath Falls. Photos taken by Jerry Mullady, 03/99.

Back to California 96  Return to the California Gateway  Continue to California 98

Page Updated December 26, 2011.

© AARoads