We’ve all heard of U.S. 50 in Nevada as the loneliest road in America (even though some might argue that certain other federal highways in Nevada — such as U.S. 6 or U.S. 93 — are more deserving of this title), and we all know that one of the busiest freeways in the country is Interstate 10/Santa Monica Freeway just west of downtown Los Angeles. However, did you know that only 140 miles north of downtown Los Angeles lies a highway that can gain the mantle of busiest and loneliest two-lane highway in the state? The highway I am talking about is California 58, which is busy as any freeway (including the two-lane sections near U.S. 395) between California 99 and Interstate 15. But the section of California 58 west of Interstate 5, especially west of McKittrick, takes the opposite prize: loneliest. On a recent summer evening around 4:30-5:00 p.m., California 58 eastbound from California 229 to California 33 was so empty of cars that I only passed 11 in the other direction… a distance of nearly 70 miles! No other state highway in California carries less traffic for that great distance in my journeys… and trust me, I’ve driven quite a few state routes in California. Even the routes in Death Valley carried more traffic, as do many county routes in the Central Valley. While the central section of California 58 through the Carrizo Plain is long and straight as an arrow, the mountains on either side of it offer some winding, twisting driving that probably keeps the average driver from enjoying this desolate yet beautiful stretch of road. For the hardy, California 58 is a winner. If you are eager to see photos of California 58, write me, and I’ll think about moving it higher on the priority list. Cheers!
About the Author: Andy
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