California 1

California 1 is the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and Cabrillo Highway, following the coastline from San Juan Capistrano in Orange County in Southern California to Leggett in Mendocino County in Northern California. One of the longest state routes in California (after Interstate 5 and U.S. 101), California 1 sees some of the most scenic terrain the state, making many "Best Drives in the U.S.A." lists. In addition to following the coast and passing through the beautiful Big Sur, it is also the route to the Hearst Castle. Northward California 1 also forms a freeway bypass around Monterey, crosses the Golden Gate Bridge along side U.S. 101 from San Francisco, and runs along Tomales Bay by Point Reyes National Seashore.

Within the city of Dana Point, California 1 was officially decommissioned, with the Pacific Coast Highway and Del Prado Avenue turned over to city maintenance. The relinquished section of SR 1 in Dana Point stretches west from the San Juan Creek Bridge to Eastline Road and the Laguna Beach city line.1 This allowed the city to move forward with a project to consolidate traffic along the PCH, which previously formed a one-way couplet northbound with Del Prado Avenue southbound. Del Prado Avenue was redesign as a two-lane, tree lined boulevard as part of the Lantern District town center project. The Lantern District plan was formally adopted in June 2008, following years of debate and compromise.2 PCH was converted to two-way traffic from Copper Lantern to Golden Lantern streets on September 15, 2014 and between Copper Lantern to Amber Lantern streets on September 17.3

Additional relinquished segments of SR 1 are between Jamboree Road and Newport Coast Drive in the city of Newport Beach, from the south city line to Interstate 10 in the city of Santa Monica, and between Pleasant Valley Road and U.S. 101 within the city of Oxnard.1

California 1 Highway Guides

California 1 scenes
While not directly on California 1, the Pacific Coast Highway comes close to the Discovery Well at Signal Hill Field (Alamitos #1). Tapped in 1921, the oil well yields hundreds of barrels of oil a day at its peak. This plaque was placed in 1952 by the Shell Oil Company to commemorate the finding of this well and its impact on the economy of Southern California. Oil wells abound in the Signal Hill - Long Beach area, some of which are situated in parks, backyards, and vacant lots due to the oil reserves several thousand feet below the ground. This particular oil well is located at the intersection of Hill Street and Panorama Drive in the city of Signal Hill. Photo taken 02/13/11.
Hilltop Park, which is located in the city of Signal Hill at the intersection of Skyline Drive and Dawson Avenue, offers a 270-degree view of Greater Los Angeles. This series of photos offers some of the views to the south, west, and north. Downtown Long Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, the Pacific Ocean, and downtown Los Angeles are visible on a clear day from this beautifully landscaped park. An oil derrick remains in operation near the restroom building. Although this was a somewhat smoggy day, the views toward the south included the offshore islands and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Photos taken 02/13/11.
Eastbound Colorado Avenue approaches its intersection with Seventh Street, one block west of Lincoln Boulevard (Historic U.S. 66 and California 2) in Santa Monica. Seventh Street leads to the on-ramp for California 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) north to Malibu and Oxnard while Colorado Avenue continues to access for I-10 (Santa Monica Freeway). Photos taken 10/30/05.
This view looks east at California 1 as it emerges from the McClure Tunnel and becomes the Santa Monica Freeway. Beyond the Main Street arch bridge, California 1 departs the freeway as Interstate 10 begins. Photo taken 10/30/05.
Main Street spans the Santa Monica Freeway (California 1) across this arch bridge. Photo taken 10/30/05.
Looking east from Main Street at the Santa Monica Freeway and the slip ramp that carries California 1 from the freeway to Lincoln Boulevard. Photo taken 10/30/05.
This view looks west from Main Street toward the McClure Tunnel, which connects the Santa Monica Freeway with the Pacific Coast Highway. Photo taken 10/30/05.
A plaque commemorating the efforts of Robert E. McClure in developing the Los Angeles Freeway System, and the Santa Monica Freeway in particular, is posted on Ocean Avenue near the point where the tunnel passes underneath. Although the plaque shows a dedication date of April 1970, the tunnel itself was built in 1935 per the Caltrans Bridge Log. Photo taken 10/30/05.
California 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) basks in the evening glow of a colorful sunset as it passes by the Santa Monica palisades and cliffs. This view looks north from the Santa Monica Pier. Photo taken 10/30/05.

This California 1 trailblazer appears along westbound Clark Avenue in unincorporated Orcutt, south of the city of Santa Maria. Photo taken 09/29/07.
Westbound Clark Avenue enters Downtown Orcutt. Photo taken 09/29/07.
Leaving Old Town Orcutt, drivers pass by another trailblazer for California 1 on Clark Avenue west. Photo taken 09/29/07.
Westbound Clark Avenue meets California 1 (Cabrillo Highway) at this intersection in Orcutt. Photo taken 09/29/07.
California 1 trailblazer sign posted on north Walnut Street prior to Santa Rosa Street in Downtown San Luis Obispo. Photo taken 02/02/08.
View of Hearst Castle on top of hill as seen from the Hearst Pier just west of California 1. Photo taken 08/18/03.
Looking east at California 1 from the motel circle in San Simeon, south of Hearst Castle. Photo taken 08/18/03.
California 1 scenes - Aliso Beach
Near the outfall of Aliso Creek is Aliso Beach County Park in the city of Laguna Beach. These pictures were taken after a winter storm had passed through the area, bringing storm water to the ocean (hence the different colors between murky freshwater and blue ocean water). Photos taken 02/26/11.
The Aliso Creek bridge carries California 1 over Aliso Creek. The concrete arch bridge was built in 1926 and expanded in 1932. Photos taken 02/26/11.
California 1 scenes - Laguna Beach
This view looks southward along Main Beach from a bluff near Heisler Park in the city of Laguna Beach. Photos taken 01/31/10.
Busy California 1 (Coast Highway) winds its way through Downtown Laguna Beach beside Main Beach. Photo taken 01/31/10.
This series of photos shows Main Beach and Main Beach Park by Downtown Laguna Beach. A landscaped lawn separates California 1 (Coast Highway) from the sandy beach. Photos taken 01/31/10.
California 1 scenes - Huntington Beach
This statue of Duke Kahanamoku, considered by many to be the Father of Surfing, is located near the southeastern corner of the intersection of California 1 and Main Street in downtown Huntington Beach across from the Pier. Photo taken 10/24/09.
Just south of the Huntington Beach Pier at the intersection between California 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) and Huntington Street is the Ultimate Challenge statue (situated on the west corner). The bronze statue was placed in 1976 and is unique as the surfer is "au naturel," which is most likely an illegal way to surf in public waters today. Photos taken 02/26/11.
The Huntington Beach Pier is located southwest of the intersection of California 1 and Main Street. Known for sightseeing and fishing, a small plaza adjacent to the highway acts as a gateway to the 1,860 foot long pier.4 Photos taken 10/24/09.
These views look west from the plaza near the pier' north end out toward the sandy beaches and surf of Huntington City Beach. Photos taken 10/24/09.
An expansive, sandy beach helps define Huntington Beach as a vacation destination. Photos taken 10/24/09.
Waves crash on Huntington Beach to the north of the pier. Photos taken 10/24/09.
Surfers wait for the next best wave near Huntington Beach Pier. Distant oil platforms come into view along the north and western horizon. Photos taken 10/24/09.
A restaurant lies at the end of the Huntington Beach Pier. Photo taken 10/24/09.
Looking back toward the mainland from Huntington Beach Pier. Lifeguard Tower Zero overlooks the area beach from the pier. Photos taken 10/24/09.
Built in 1904,4 Huntington Beach Pier extends a third of a mile over the Pacific from near the intersection of the PCH and Main Street. Photos taken 10/24/09.


  1. California Highways ( Routes 1 through 8.
  2. "Hansen: A dividing line in Dana Point." Los Angeles Times (CA), July 18, 2015.
  3. "Dana Point sees two-way traffic flow on Pacific Coast Highway." The Orange County Register (CA), September 16, 2014.
  4. Huntington Beach Pier | Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street. Visit Huntington Beach | Surf City USA Travel Info, web site.

Back to County Route S-24 Return to the California Gateway  Continue to California State Route 2

Page Updated March 13, 2011.

© AARoads