California 253

In Boonville, this set of trailblazers points the way to California 128 west to Albion via Navarro River Redwoods State Park and California 253 east to Ukiah. Photo taken 07/05/13.

California 253 is an east-west state route that connects California 128 near Boonville with U.S. 101 (Redwood Highway) and South State Street in Ukiah. Much of the route passes through undeveloped area and has several curves and hills along its short, 16-mile route.

California 253 east
The zero postmile marker for California 253 is located immediately after the intersection with California 128. When we visited in 2013, there was no initial reassurance shield for California 253 east. Photo taken 07/05/13.
Trucks are not recommended for the middle section of California 253 where the twists and turns are greatest. Photo taken 07/05/13.
Slower vehicles on California 253 east must use the turnouts per the California Vehicle Code to permit passing. Photo taken 07/05/13.

California 253 passes by the Anderson Valley Brewing Company on its way out of Boonville. Photo taken 07/05/13.
Eastbound California 253 starts off relatively straight, but the route will ascend out of Anderson Valley to Pine Ridge, then descend into Ukiah. Along the way, California 253 sees plenty of curves and changes in grade. Photo taken 07/05/13.
Now on the other end of the state highway, California 253 (Boonville-Ukiah Road) crosses over Pine Ridge to meet U.S. 101 at the south end of Ukiah. California 253 enters the city of Ukiah (the seat of Mendocino County and is located at an elevation of 610 feet and receives an annual average of 36.96 inches of rain). Here, eastbound California 253 meets South State Street and approaches the ramps to U.S. 101 south and north. Turn left to follow State Street (unsigned U.S. 101 Business) north to downtown Ukiah and connect to U.S. 101 north; turn left to follow South State Street directly onto U.S. 101 south. California 253 turns left here, even though no shields advise of such, and it will end at the connecting ramp to U.S. 101 north. Photo taken 05/25/06.
Ukiah became county seat when Mendocino County split from Sonoma County in 1859; Ukiah incorporated in 1876. Home to 15,497 people as of the 2000 Census, Ukiah is another major wine-producing region and is home to the Mendocino Brewing Company (which was formerly the Hopland Brewing Company). A button copy trailblazer for U.S. 101 north is posted here on northbound State Street (and eastbound California 253). Photo taken 05/25/06.
California 253 turns right here onto the U.S. 101 freeway northbound. Continue straight ahead to follow Old U.S. 101 into Ukiah. Photo taken 05/25/06.
This short stub connects South State Street with U.S. 101 north. It is officially part of California 253. Photo taken 05/25/06.
A California 253 postmile appears along the ramp to northbound U.S. 101. The ramp crosses over the U.S. 101 freeway, then loops onto northbound. Photo taken 05/25/06.
This set of freeway entrance shield assemblies for U.S. 101 north is posted after crossing over the freeway. Photo taken 05/25/06.
California 253 west
California 253 trailblazer posted on the ramp from northbound U.S. 101 (Redwood Highway) to the state route west along South State Street (former U.S. 101). After crossing the freeway on this bridge, a left turn is required to follow California 253 west to Boonville. Photo taken 05/25/06.
For all services, follow South State Street north. South State Street should be a business route for U.S. 101, but it is not signed as such. To follow California 253 west, turn left. Photo taken 05/25/06.
This view shows the connection from westbound California 253 to northbound South State Street. Photo taken 05/25/06.
A small destination sign points the way to Boonville (west) and Ukiah (north). Photo taken 05/25/06.
Another California 253 shield is posted at the end of the ramp from U.S. 101 to South State Street. Photos taken 05/25/06.
Now traveling south on South State Street, California 253 turns west onto Boonville-Ukiah Road at this intersection. Continue straight ahead to follow U.S. 101 south to Santa Rosa. Photos taken 05/25/06 and 07/05/13.
Continue straight ahead to join U.S. 101 south toward Hopland and Santa Rosa. Turn right for California 253 west to Boonville. Photo taken 07/05/13.
Westbound California 253 passes by vineyards and ranches as it begins its trek west toward Boonville. This is a windy and hilly trip, but it does save travel time between Ukiah and the coast. Photo taken 07/05/13.
This mileage sign along California 253 west provides the distance to California 128 (16 miles), Boonville (16 miles), and California 1 (Shoreline Highway) (46 miles via California 128 west). Photo taken 07/05/13.
California Vehicle Code requires that slower vehicles use the turnouts to allow faster vehicles to pass. California 253 has several such turnouts along its route. Photo taken 07/05/13.
Leaving the vicinity of Ukiah, California 253 proceeds west by following Robinson Creek a short distance, then curves onto a ridge turning south and then southwest. Pine Ridge rises near the midpoint of California 253, and then the state highway descends into Anderson Valley, culminating its run at California 128 near Boonville. Anderson Valley is part of the Navarro River watershed. Little development is found along the route, meaning most intersections are for private ranch access. Services are available in Ukiah and in Boonville. This series of pictures follows the entire westbound state route, starting outside of Ukiah and extending southwest to the vicinity of Anderson Valley Brewing Company, just prior to the junction with California 128. Photos taken 07/05/13.
After the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, westbound California 253 approaches its terminus at its junction with California 128. Turn left for California 128 southeast to Cloverdale and U.S. 101. Turn right for California 128 northwest to downtown Boonville, Anderson Valley, and California 1. Photo taken 07/05/13.
An end California 253 route marker is posted shortly thereafter. A California 128 sign assembly is missing its California 128 shield. Photo taken 07/05/13.
A zero postmile marker is located near the end shield. California 253 remains in Mendocino County for its entire length. Photo taken 07/05/13.
At the northeastern corner of the intersection of California 253 and California 128 is a water tank advertising Anderson Valley Brewing Company. Photo taken 07/05/13.
A California 128 trailblazer is posted at the end of California 253. Photo taken 07/05/13.
Use California 128 west to Hendy Woods State Park, which features redwood groves along the Navarro River. Photo taken 07/05/13.

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Page Updated September 2, 2013.

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