U.S. Highway 199

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U.S. Highway 199

Routing

U.S. 199 carries the Redwood Highway from U.S. 101 north of Crescent City to Interstate 5 at Grants Pass, Oregon.

History

Prior to 1964, U.S. 199 used to extend south on a concurrent alignment with U.S. 101 south into the city of Crescent City. The overlap was eliminated, and now U.S. 199 reaches its southern terminus at the U.S. 101 interchange.

Highway Guide

U.S. 199/Redwood Highway north
The first northbound U.S. 199 reassurance shield is posted on the transition ramp from northbound U.S. 101 to northbound U.S. 199. It is "neutered" since it does not contain "US" like most U.S. highway cutout shields found in California. While U.S. 199 is known primarily as the Redwood Highway, it is also part of the long Winnemucca to the Sea Highway. This highway, which originates in Winnemucca, Nevada, travels north on U.S. 95, turns west on Nevada 140, changes into Oregon 140, uses U.S. 395, follows Oregon 62 west, connect to Interstate 5 north to Grants Pass, and follows U.S. 199 south to Crescent City, or "the sea." This route was considered at one time to be unified under a single U.S. highway number (probably 140, given the designation in Nevada and Oregon), but it was never adopted. Photo taken 05/26/06.
The directional ramp from U.S. 101 north to U.S. 199 north comes to an end as U.S. 199 north approaches Junction Del Norte County Route D-2, Elk Valley Road. Use Elk Valley Road north (left) to return to U.S. 101 north. Photo taken 05/26/06.
A small END FREEWAY sign is posted alongside U.S. 199/Redwood Highway as the highway begins its journey northeast to Grants Pass, Oregon. Most of the route is two-lane highway, but a few sections have been upgraded to controlled access (Super Two) without any interchanges. Photo taken 05/26/06.
After Del Norte County Route D-2, the next intersection is with Kings Valley Road/Parkway Drive. Photo taken 05/26/06.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Hiouchi (five miles), Gasquet (14 miles), and Grants Pass, Oregon (78 miles). U.S. 199 is one of the shortest U.S. highways in the country with a length less than 100 miles (U.S. 266 in Oklahoma and U.S. 123 in South Carolina-Georgia are shorter). Photo taken 05/26/06.
The bridge over the Smith River was built in 1990 and carries two-lane U.S. 199 to its first major intersection, with California 197/North Bank Road northwest to U.S. 101 en route to Brookings, Oregon. California 197 is a very short state highway, connecting U.S. 101 with U.S. 199 along the north bank of the Smith River. From here, U.S. 199 will follow the Smith River Middle Fork for much of its journey northeast toward Grants Pass. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Tiny Hiouchi is split by U.S. 199 as the federal route travels through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Redwood National Park. An antique store, gas station, and general store can be found alongside U.S. 199. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Ascending out of Hiouchi, northbound U.S. 199 enters the Smith River National Recreation Area, which is managed as part of the Six Rivers National Forest. Recreational opportunities include camping, fishing, hiking, and rafting. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Sections of U.S. 199 pass closely along the edge of cliffs and climb above the forest (slides are relatively common along this route), while other sections remain shrouded within the forests that dominate the Six Rivers National Forest. A very long and narrow national forest, Six Rivers National Forest is named due to fact it contains portions of six major rivers watersheds: Smith River, Klamath River, Trinity River, Mad River, Van Duzen River, and Eel River. It was formed in 1947 as part of a consolidation of sections of the Siskiyou, Klamath, and Trinity National Forests that were more coastal in nature and is managed in Eureka. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Northbound U.S. 199 approaches South Fork Road to the Stout Grove and Howland Hill Scenic Drive. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Shortly thereafter, U.S. 199 crosses one of several older bridges. This one crosses the Myrtle Creek and is a concrete arch bridge, built in the 1920s or 1930s and redecked in 1984. Photo taken 05/26/06.
A roadside pull out for Myrtle Beach is located north of the Myrtle Creek arch bridge. Plenty of other roadside stops can be found along U.S. 199 as it passes through the recreation area. Photo taken 05/26/06.
The Smith River wends its way alongside U.S. 199/Redwood Highway north, offering magnificent vistas such as this one. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Northbound U.S. 199 crosses the Hardscrabble Creek on this 1929 bridge. Photos taken 05/26/06.
A tiny hint of sunshine peaks through the clouds in the distance as northbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway continues toward Gasquet. The "end divided highway" sign is a bit odd, since the road is certainly not divided at this point. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Northbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway approaches Gasquet Flat Road. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Gasquet is a small town that follows along U.S. 199 and provides some services and tourist facilities. Leaving town, this mileage sign provides the distance to three Oregon destinations: Cave Junction (Junction Oregon 46, 34 miles), Grants Pass (Junction Interstate 5, 63 miles), and Portland (308 miles via Interstate 5 north). Photo taken 05/26/06.
A sidehill viaduct (1976) is required to carry three-lane U.S. 199 northeast above the Smith River Middle Fork. Photo taken 05/26/06.
This U.S. 199 north reassurance shield is posted with a national scenic byway companion shield. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Northbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway approaches Patricks Creek Road and Patrick Creek Lodge. Photo taken 05/26/06.
The next historic bridge on U.S. 199 is this concrete arch bridge over the Middle Fork Smith River, which was built in 1925 and rehabilitated in 1972. Photo taken 05/26/06.
U.S. 199 north begins to climb toward Hazel View Summit on Oregon Mountain. The Collier Tunnel is located near the summit, and it carries U.S. 199 below the actual summit of Oregon Mountain. A rest area is located prior to the tunnel on the west side of the highway. Look for Oregon Mountain Road on the left; this is the old alignment of U.S. 199 that climbs over the top of Hazel View Summit. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Warning signs for the Collier Tunnel include one warning for bicyclists (press a button to activate warning lights) and another that advises all motorists to use headlights within the tunnel. Photos taken 05/26/06.
The Collier Tunnel was built and opened to traffic in 1963 as a bypass for U.S. 199, avoiding Old Oregon Mountain Road over the summit. The tunnel cuts off a series of switchbacks and makes the journey much faster than it was previously. Photos taken 05/26/06.
Named for Randolph Collier, the Collier Tunnel offers two lanes under Oregon Mountain. Randolph Collier was a state senator who represented multiple North Coast counties (including Del Norte and Siskiyou Counties as identified on the tunnel plaque) from 1938 through 1976. Senator Collier was known for innovation in the funding of highways (such as the Collier-Burns Act), hence the nickname "Father of the California Freeways." Ironically, most of these freeways ended up in the southern two-thirds of the state, not in his home counties. The Collier Tunnel is 574.9 feet long. Photos taken 05/26/06.
Standing at the entrance to the Collier Tunnel during a rainy afternoon, rumbling trucks and cars can be heard for miles around as they enter the Collier Tunnel on U.S. 199. While investigating Oregon Mountain Road (Old U.S. 199), we could hear each vehicle pass through the tunnel due to the reverberations of the cars and trucks that passed through the tunnel. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Continuing through the Collier Tunnel, overhead lights maintain constant light even during inclement or snowy weather. Photo taken 05/26/06.
On the other side of Oregon Mountain, U.S. 199 north begins to descend toward the Oregon state line. Photo taken 05/26/06.
A fruit quarantine is signed on northbound U.S. 199 as the Oregon State Line draws closer. Photo taken 05/26/06.
Welcome to Oregon! U.S. 199/Redwood Highway north leaves the Golden State of California and enters the Beaver State of Oregon. The highway remains two lanes wide as it crosses the state line. During 2006, construction was underway to replace older bridges with newer bridges. Photo taken 05/26/06.
U.S. 199/Redwood Highway south
A button copy mileage sign is posted shortly after U.S. 199 enters the state of California. The sign provides the distance to Gasquet (22 miles), Crescent City (40 miles), and for the first time Eureka (119 miles). Brookings, Oregon, which was a destination city on previous mileage signs, is omitted on this sign. Photo taken 05/27/06.
A welcome to California sign, complete with state flower (California poppy) is posted on southbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway. Photo taken 05/27/06.
A variable message sign is posted to advise of inclement conditions on Oregon Mountain and within Collier Tunnel. An END truck route sign is posted prior to the variable message sign. Photo taken 05/27/06.
An agricultural inspection station is located near the state line between Oregon and California. All southbound traffic must stop to declare backyard and home grown fruit and other produce. The objective is to prevent quarantined fruit from entering the state, which is richly dependent on its agricultural economy. Photo taken 05/28/06.
The agricultural inspection station is impressive in its own right, with tall roofs and three bays. A bypass allows vehicles to pass by the station on days when it is closed. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Welcome to Del Norte County, "The Redwood Gate to the Golden State." Photo taken 05/28/06.
Southbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway approaches Oregon Mountain Road. This is the original alignment of U.S. 199 that precedes the construction of Collier Tunnel. The entire old route over the top of Oregon Mountain is still passable and features old highway grades and curves. Photo taken 05/28/06.
U.S. 199 ascends to the entrance of Collier Tunnel. A climbing lane helps facilitate uphill traffic flow. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Emerging from the Collier Tunnel, U.S. 199 travels down a six percent grade to travel southwest off Oregon Mountain and into the Smith River valley. Photo taken 05/27/06.
After the second Oregon Mountain Road (Del Norte County Route 324) intersection, this reassurance shield is posted for U.S. 199 south. Photo taken 05/28/06.
U.S. 199 passes through tall trees as part of national forest as the highway descends from Oregon Mountain. Photo taken 05/28/06.
The highway widens briefly to four lanes, allowing for passing. Photo taken 05/28/06.
U.S. 199 is part of the Redwood Highway, which extends from Grants Pass south to San Francisco. The majority of the route follows U.S. 101, but the northern-most section follows all of U.S. 199. Photo taken 05/28/06.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Gasquet (14 miles), Crescent City (31 miles), and Eureka (111 miles). Photo taken 05/28/06.
As U.S. 199 continues its descent following the Smith River, some tight curves can be found (such as this one). Photo taken 05/28/06.
U.S. 199 is one of the prettiest U.S. highways in California, with its narrow canyons and road cuts. Photo taken 05/28/06.
To cross the Middle Fork of the Smith River, U.S. 199 uses the Allen F. Lehman Memorial Bridge. Photo taken 05/28/06.
A U.S. 199 reassurance shield is posted shortly after the Lehman Bridge and after the intersection with Little Jones Creek Road. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Continuing south, U.S. 199 south approaches a concrete arch bridge. See northbound U.S. 199 photos for details on history and views of the substructure. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Open rock cuts line U.S. 199 as the highway continues to descend toward Gasquet alongside the Smith River. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Southbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway approaches Patricks Creek Road. Photo taken 05/28/06.
After Patricks Creek Road, a brief divided highway begins in two miles. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Shortly thereafter is another reassurance shield for U.S. 199 south. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Continuing south, U.S. 199 crosses the Middle Fork Smith River again, this time via the Howard Griffin Memorial Bridge. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Upon reaching the divided highway segment of U.S. 199, the median is painted but both directions get two lanes for passing. A U.S. 199 shield is posted in the opposite direction, and the Middle Fork of the Smith River can be seen at the bottom of the canyon. Photo taken 05/28/06.
A botanical trail turnoff is located along the divided highway segment prior to the Pioneer Road intersection. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Southbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway meets Pioneer Road at this intersection. The "divided road" continues with four lanes. Photo taken 05/28/06.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Hiouchi (10 miles), Crescent City (26 miles), and Eureka (106 miles). Photo taken 05/28/06.
Entering the town of Gasquet, U.S. 199 reduces to two lanes with a center turn lane. A bypass was proposed for U.S. 199 around Gasquet, but it has not been constructed. A national forest visitors center is located on the northwest side of U.S. 199 north of Gasquet. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Soon thereafter, U.S. 199 again enters the national forest, with the Smith River flowing in the canyon below. Photo taken 05/28/06.
U.S. 199 again crosses the Smith River, this time via the Mary Adams Peacock Memorial Bridge. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Another concrete arch bridge carries U.S. 199 over Hardscrabble Creek (via the Viggo "Vic" Meedom Memorial Bridge). See the northbound direction for additional photos of the arch bridge. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Another U.S. 199 south reassurance shield is posted along with a scenic route shield. Photo taken 05/28/06.
U.S. 199 south crosses Myrtle Creek on this concrete arch bridge located just after South Fork Road (to Howland Hill Scenic Drive). Photo taken 05/28/06.
Continuing south, U.S. 199 skirts through another rock cut. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Exiting from the Smith River National Recreation Area, U.S. 199 south prepares to enter Hiouchi. Photo taken 05/28/06.
On the west side of U.S. 199 is a visitors center and ranger station for the Redwood National Park, which incorporates several nearby state parks. Photo taken 05/28/06.
A left turn connects to Jedediah Smith State Park, which features a grove of redwood trees. For the first time, the Redwood Highway enters a redwood grove (between here and Junction California 197/North Bank Road). Photo taken 05/28/06.
Emerging from the redwood grove, southbound U.S. 199 approaches its junction with California 197/North Bank Road. Use U.S. 199 south to Crescent City and California 197 west to Smith River and U.S. 101 north to Brookings, Oregon. To be consistent with the Oregon mileage signs that featured Brookings as a control city on U.S. 199 south, Brookings should be mentioned here. Photo taken 05/28/06.
California 197 is a short connecting route that follows North Bank Road between U.S. 199 in Jedediah Smith State Park and U.S. 101 at Smith River. U.S. 199 ends only four miles from here, at the point where it meets U.S. 101 north of Crescent City. Photo taken 05/28/06.
Scenes Pertaining to U.S. 199
At the intersection with Oregon Mountain Road (between the Oregon State Line and Collier Tunnel) is this sign, which shows U.S. 199 as "State Hwy 199" and Oregon Mountain Road as "Oregon Mnt Rd." Photo taken 05/28/06.
This U.S. 199 shield is posted at the north end of Oregon Mountain Road, which is also the old alignment of U.S. 199. Photo taken 05/28/06.
This mileage sign (at the same intersection with Oregon Mountain Road north of Collier Tunnel) provides the distance to Crescent City (46 miles southwest) and Grants Pass (43 miles northeast). Photo taken 05/28/06.
Old U.S. 199: Oregon Mountain Road
This suite of photos follows old U.S. 199 over Oregon Mountain Road (southbound). Oregon Mountain Road is the original route of U.S. 199, and it passes over the current route of U.S. 199 through the Collier Tunnel. The old route is passable, with one gravel section near the Oregon Mountain Summit. Some portions of the route are overgrown with weeds and trees, and other parts have exposed rocks and earth. Certain curves are switchbacks with a 10 mile per hour advisory speed. Some remnant white striping can still be seen on portions of the road. In addition, some old guardrail and curbing can be found. At no point along the route is the Collier Tunnel visible. The old alignment is mileposted as Del Norte County Route 324. The old road reconnects with U.S. 199 on the south end of the tunnel. Photos taken 05/28/06.

Continue north on U.S. 199 toward Grants Pass Continue north to Grants Pass, Oregon

Back to California 198 Return to the California Gateway Continue to California 200

Page Updated November 5, 2007.