Interstate 10 East - Dillon Road to Arizona state line


Interstate 10 east
After the Dillon Road interchange, Interstate 10 begins its long climb to Chiriaco Summit, at 1,710 feet. Since Indio sits just below sea level, this will represent a 1700+ foot elevation climb. Most of Interstate 10 across Chiriaco Summit and through the Chuckwalla Valley was built in the mid-1960s (1964-1967). Photo taken 11/10/06.
A mileage sign is posted on Interstate 10 east for Chiriaco Summit (26 miles), Blythe (93 miles), and Phoenix (241 miles). Phoenix will be the control city for Interstate 10 east for the remainder of its journey in California. A set of 220kV power lines (Southern California Edison) carry power generated by geothermal plants located in the Imperial Valley. This particular line originates at hot springs located near the intersection of Old U.S. 80 and the Highline Canal southeast of Holtville. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The Colorado Desert (Sonora Desert) is known for extremely hot summers that can exceed 110 degrees in the summer months. While air conditioning can provide comfort, it can also cause undue strain on vehicle engines, so these signs advise motorists about to make the climb to Chiriaco Summit to turn off the air conditioning to ensure maximum vehicle efficiency climbing uphill. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Stark yet beautiful, the surrounding desert offers compelling views not seen elsewhere in the country. Photo taken 11/10/06.
With only two eastbound lanes on the ascent, watch for slow vehicles (especially trucks and recreation vehicles) in both lanes. Photo taken 11/10/06.
To avoid this climb, Old U.S. 60-70 used to pass through Box Canyon via former California 195/Box Canyon Road between Mecca and Chiriaco Summit. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Path 46 (West of Colorado River) 500kV power lines appear on the north side of Interstate 10; these lines have not been from the freeway since the wind turbines located near San Gorgonio Pass. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Radiator water is available to motorists with overheating cars at regular intervals on the uphill climb. Photo taken 11/10/06.
A mileage sign is posted on Interstate 10 east for Chiriaco Summit (17 miles) and Blythe (84 miles). Omitted is the control city of Phoenix. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 159, Rest Area (two miles). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 159, Rest Area. The next rest area is 63 miles ahead. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Breathtaking scenery appears as Interstate 10 passes the rest area and flattens out. Photos taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 162, Frontage Road. The Path 46 500kV power lines cross over the freeway at this point. Future plans call for these power lines to be doubled to allow better interconnection with power generating facilities in Arizona and points east. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 162, Frontage Road. This exit provides local and ranch access. Photo taken 11/10/06.
An Interstate 10 reassurance shield is posted after the on-ramp from Exit 162. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Interstate 10 is also designated the Veterans Memorial Freeway. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 168, Box Canyon Road west to Box Canyon and Mecca and Cottonwood Springs Road north to Joshua Tree National Park. Box Canyon Road is part of the old alignment of U.S. 60-70 between Coachella, Mecca, and Chiriaco Summit. The route was briefly known as California 195 after U.S. 60 and U.S. 70 were truncated and removed from California. Today, California 195 is a short connecting route between California 86 and California 111 south of Coachella at the northwest edge of the Salton Sea, and the Box Canyon Road segment is now maintained by Riverside County. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Use Cottonwood Springs Road north to Joshua Tree National Park, 29 Palms, Amboy, Kelso, and Baker. Attractions in Joshua Tree National Park include hiking, rock climbing, and sightseeing, although there are no permanent overnight facilities inside the park. Also be mindful of gas, since precious little is available in the park. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 approaches Exit 168, Box Canyon Road west to Mecca and Cottonwood Springs Road north to 29 Palms. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Reaching Exit 168, Interstate 10 intersects with Box Canyon Road and Cottonwood Springs Road. No services are available at this interchange; continue east to Chiriaco Summit for gas and food. Photo taken 11/10/06.
A mileage sign is posted on Interstate 10 east for Chiriaco Summit (4 miles) and Blythe (71 miles). Omitted is the control city of Phoenix. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 173, Chiriaco Summit. While services are available at this interchange, no more services are available for 60 miles after this interchange. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Chiriaco Summit is billed as "a desert oasis for travelers and tourists located at the summit of the I-10 Freeway route between Indio and Blythe in Southern California." Home to the General George S. Patton Museum, Chiriaco Summit features a gas station, restaurant, and ice cream shop. The summit is named for Joe Chiriaco, who emigrated to Los Angeles from Alabama and became a surveyor for the Los Angeles Bureau of Water and Power. By 1933, Mr. Chiriaco had opened a gas station and general store at Shaver Summit, which was later renamed in his honor (in 1958 when a post office was established at this location). Being at a choice location on the busy corridor and adjacent to the Desert Training Center used by General Patton to train troops during World War II brought more business to the area. Although Mr. Chiriaco passed away in 1996, his children still operate the business at the summit that bears the family name. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 173, Chiriaco Summit. The next services are 60 miles ahead. For travelers looking for Old U.S. 60-70, a segment parallels the south side of Interstate 10 between the Box Canyon Road interchange and Chiriaco Summit. East of here, the old alignment is mostly overtaken by the freeway. The next extant section of U.S. 60-70 appears in Chuckwalla Valley east of here. Photo taken 11/10/06.
An Interstate 10 reassurance shield is posted after the on-ramp from Exit 173. Photo taken 11/10/06.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Desert Center (California 177/Desert Center-Rice Road, 19 miles) and Blythe (68 miles). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Cresting over Chiriaco Summit (el. 1,710 feet), expansive yet desolate desert looms in the distance. The dry patch seen on the north side of the freeway is Hayfield Dry Lake, which is accessible at the next interchange, which is Exit 177, Hayfield Road. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 177, Hayfield Road (0.75 mile). Photo taken 03/14/09.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 177, Hayfield Road. No services are available at this interchange, which serves local traffic and connects the freeway to the Hinds Pumping Station along the Colorado River Aqueduct. The aqueduct, which delivers Colorado River water to the urban regions of Southern California, parallels Interstate 10 from the Coachella Valley and along the southern edge of the Cottonwood and Eagle Mountains. At California 177, the aqueduct turns northeast toward Parker, Arizona. Photo taken 11/10/06.
An Interstate 10 reassurance shield is posted after the on-ramp from Exit 177. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 182, Red Cloud Road (one mile). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 182, Red Cloud Road. Photo taken 03/14/09.
An Interstate 10 reassurance shield is posted shortly thereafter. Photo taken 03/14/09.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Desert Center (California 177/Desert Center-Rice Road, nine miles) and Blythe (58 miles). Photos taken 03/14/09 and 11/10/06.
Unlike any other section of Interstate 10 in Southern California, the route through the Chuckwalla Valley can be devoid of traffic. Photos taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 189, Eagle Mountain Road (one mile). This sign was added in 2009 to replace missing advance signs. Photo taken 03/14/09.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 189, Eagle Mountain Road north to Victory Pass and Eagle Mountain. Photo taken 03/14/09.
No signs were posted for Exit 189 besides the gore point sign in 2006. Photo taken 11/10/06.
By 2009, the gore point sign was replaced with an exit number sign. Photo taken 03/14/09.
After the Eagle Mountain Road on-ramp, an Interstate 10 east reassurance shield is posted. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 192, California 177/Rice Road north to Desert Center and California 62. Photo taken 03/14/09.
Descending from Chiriaco Summit into Chuckwalla Valley, Interstate 10 passes the 1,000-foot elevation at this point. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Use California 177 north to Riverside County R-2/Kaiser Road north to Lake Tamarisk and Eagle Mountain. Photo taken 11/10/06.
California 177 is a north-south state route that originates at Interstate 10 in Desert Center and connects to California 62 west of Rice. The route follows the route of the Colorado River Aqueduct on its way to Parker. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Desert Center is an unincorporated community with a population of 125 people, founded in 1921 by Stephen Ragsdale. The town was a stopover along Old U.S. 60-70 and today is located alongside Interstate 10. To the north, the community of Eagle Mountain is the location of a closed iron ore mine. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Kaiser Road connects Desert Center with Eagle Mountain and is shown on maps as Riverside County R-2 (but no shields for the county route are seen from California 177). Use California 177 north to California 62 east to Vidal Junction, which is situated at the intersection of California 62 and U.S. 95 west of Parker and north of Blythe. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10/Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway (Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway) reaches Exit 192, California 177/Rice Road north to Desert Center, Eagle Mountain, and Vidal Junction. Photo taken 11/10/06.
From the Department of Redundancy Department comes this sign assembly on the off-ramp from Interstate 10 east to California 177 north: two signs for Lake Tamarisk, one green and the other brown. Photo taken 11/10/06.
A California 177 trailblazer is posted at the end of the off-ramp. Photo taken 11/10/06.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Blythe (48 miles) and Phoenix (195 miles). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Interstate 10 continues east through the Sonora Desert on its way toward Arizona. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 201, Corn Springs Road (two miles). Use Exit 201 to Old U.S. 60-70/Chuckawalla Road, a nice old section of historic highway that was not removed when the Interstate was built through Chuckwalla Valley. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 201, Corn Springs Road south and Old U.S. 60-70/Chuckawalla Road east. Photo taken 11/10/06.
This view shows the off-ramp for Exit 201, Corn Springs Road south and Old U.S. 60-70/Chuckawalla Road east. Photo taken 03/14/09.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Blythe (38 miles) and Phoenix (186 miles). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Sixteen miles of Chuckwalla Valley desert separate Exits 201 (Corn Springs Road) and 217 (Ford Dry Lake Road). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Another mileage sign provides the distance to Blythe (31 miles) and Phoenix (179 miles). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Perhaps to warn drivers in advance that Interstate 10 is about to curve a bit, a set of over-sized curve ahead signs are posted in the desert. A second set is visible in the distance. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The curves in the freeway are located near Ford Dry Lake. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 217, Ford Dry Lake (two miles). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 217, Ford Dry Lake. Old Historic U.S. 60-70 (Chuckwalla Road) returns to the freeway at this interchange. Photo taken 11/10/06.
This Interstate 10 east reassurance shield is posted after the Chuckwalla Road and Ford Dry Lake interchange. Photo taken 03/14/09.
After the Ford Dry Lake Road interchange, this mileage sign provides the distance to Blythe (23 miles) and Phoenix (171 miles). Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 222, Wiley' Well Road. Use Wiley' Well Road south to Chuckwalla Valley State Prison and Wiley' Well Long Term Visitor Area. A warning sign advises motorists not to pick up hitchhikers. Photo taken 03/14/09.
A rest area is also located at Exit 222; picking up hitchhikers is not a good idea there, either. Photo taken 03/14/09.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 222, Wiley' Well Road and Rest Area. Photo taken 11/10/06.
A gore point sign for Exit 222 is posted at the off-ramp; it did not have the exit number in 2006. Photo taken 03/14/09.
An Interstate 10 east reassurance shield is posted after the on-ramp from Wiley' Well Road. Photo taken 11/10/06.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Exit 236, California 78 southwest to Brawley and Business Loop I-10 (Old U.S. 60-70) west to Blythe and Exit 236, Lovekin Boulevard north to downtown Blythe. Photo taken 11/10/06.
About ten miles separates the Wiley' Well interchange (Exit 222) with the Blythe Airport interchange (Exit 232). The area between the interchanges is more unspoiled desert lands. The distant mountains are the Dome Rock Mountains in the state of Arizona. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Another curve lies ahead as Interstate 10 will soon enter the metropolitan area of Blythe. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 232, Mesa Drive to the Blythe Airport and Nicholls Warm Springs (one mile). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Use Exit 232 to Mesa Verde. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 232, Mesa Drive. This interchange hosts the first motorist services to be seen since leaving Chiriaco Summit (unless services are restored at Desert Center). Photo taken 03/14/09.
Prior to the on-ramp from Exit 232, a second mileage sign provides the distance to Exit 236, California 78 southwest to Brawley and Business Loop I-10 (Old U.S. 60-70) west to Blythe and Exit 236, Lovekin Boulevard north to downtown Blythe. Photo taken 03/14/09.
This Interstate 10 east reassurance shield is posted after the on-ramp from Exit 232. Photo taken 03/14/09.
The next three exits serve the city of Blythe: Exit 236, California 78 southwest to Brawley and Business Loop I-10 (Old U.S. 60-70) east to Blythe; Exit 239, Lovekin Boulevard north to downtown Blythe; and Exit 240, Seventh Street. Photo taken 11/10/06.
A pair of "H" frame single circuit power lines cross over Interstate 10 prior the California 78 interchange; a small power plant is located north of the freeway. Photos taken 03/14/09.
Interstate 10 enters the city of Blythe, a "Community with a Charming Past, Compelling Present, and Dynamic Future." Incorporated on July 21, 1916, Blythe is the only incorporated city along Interstate 10 east of the Coachella Valley. Consisting of motorist and traveler services as well as bustling agricultural foundation, Blythe has a population of 12,155 as of the 2000 Census. The city is named for Thomas Blythe, a gold prospector who secured rights to the water of the Colorado River in the late 1800s. The city consists of 25 square miles and is the last stop before Interstate 10 enters the state of Arizona. Photo taken 03/14/09.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 236, California 78 southwest to Brawley and Business Loop I-10 (Old U.S. 60-70) east to Blythe. California 78 is a major east-west state route that originates in Oceanside at the Interstate 5 (San Diego Freeway) interchange, then proceeds east as a freeway to the city of Escondido. East of Escondido, California 78 reverts to a conventional two-lane highway to cross the Laguna Mountains to the Anza-Borrego Desert and joins California 86 (Old U.S. 99) near the Salton Sea. At Brawley, the two state routes divide, and California 78 proceeds east past the Imperial Sand Dunes, then turns north through Palo Verde to end at Interstate 10 just west of Blythe. Photos taken 03/14/09 and 11/10/06.
Neighbours Boulevard is the designation for California 78 south. Business Loop I-10 follows Neighbours Boulevard north briefly, then turns east on the old alignment of U.S. 60-70 through Blythe along Hobson Way. The business loop will return to Interstate 10 at Exit 243, Riviera Drive just prior to the Colorado River crossing. Photo taken 03/14/09.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 236, California 78 (Neighbours Boulevard) south and Business Loop I-10/Neighbours Boulevard north to Old U.S. 60-70/Hobsonway east to Blythe. end shields for both Business Loop I-10 and California 78 were present at this interchange as of November 2006. Interstate 10 around the city of Blythe was constructed in 1972. Photos taken 03/14/09 and 11/10/06.
The gore point signage for Exit 236 includes the exit number. Photo taken 03/14/09.
Turn right at the top of the ramp to California 78 south to Cibola National Wildlife Refuge along the Colorado River between California and Arizona. Photo taken 03/14/09.
California 78 proceeds south to Ripley and Palo Verde, then turn southwest and west toward Brawley in the Imperial Valley. A bridge crosses the Colorado River to Cibola, Arizona. To the left is Business Loop I-10 east to Blythe via an old alignment of U.S. 60-70. Photo taken 03/14/09.
A pair of trailblazers point the way to California 78 south and Business Loop I-10 east. Photo taken 03/14/09.
Another Business Loop I-10 shield is posted next to one of two freeway entrance shield assemblies for Interstate 10 east. Photo taken 03/14/09.
This freeway entrance shield flanks the other side of the on-ramp to Interstate 10 east. Photo taken 03/14/09.
Returning to the mainline, an Interstate 10 east reassurance shield is posted after the California 78 interchange. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 239, Lovekin Boulevard north to Business Loop I-10/Hobsonway (one mile). This interchange also serves the city of Blythe. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The city limits of Blythe used to be located at this point; they have since been extended west. Photo taken 11/10/06.
To Business Loop I-10, follow Lovekin Boulevard north to Hobsonway. Photo taken 11/10/06.
All motorist services (food, gas, lodging) are available at the Lovekin Boulevard interchange. Use Lovekin Boulevard to Palo Verde College and the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10/Christopher Columbus Transcontinental (Pearl Harbor Memorial) (Veterans Memorial) Highway reaches Exit 239, Lovekin Boulevard to Business Loop I-10/Hobsonway. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 240, Seventh Street (0.75 mile). This interchange also serves the city of Blythe. Photo taken 11/10/06.
A wide Interstate 10 east reassurance shield is posted after the on-ramp from Lovekin Boulevard. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 240, Seventh Street. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 241, U.S. 95 (Intake Boulevard) (0.75 mile). From this interchange, U.S. 95 passes east of downtown Blythe and proceeds north on a path parallel to the Colorado River toward Needles, a city located on the Interstate 40 and U.S. 66 corridor. From there, U.S. 95 aims north toward Las Vegas, northern Nevada, southeastern Oregon and Idaho. Overall U.S. 95 extends from the Mexico border north to Canada. Photo taken 11/10/06.
U.S. 95 will merge onto Interstate 10 east after Exit 241. The U.S. highway will then cross the Colorado River on its way to Quartzsite, Arizona. At Quartzsite, U.S. 95 will again turn south toward Yuma and San Luis Colorado, its southern terminus at the Mexican border. Because U.S. 95 enters the state of California north of Needles and leaves it again here at Blythe, U.S. 95 is the only route that manages to enter California and also leave it. All other state and U.S. routes that enter California also end there. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 241, U.S. 95 (Intake Boulevard). This is the only direct interchange between Interstate 10 east and a U.S. highway in California (as there is no direct access from Interstate 10 east to U.S. 101 north in downtown Los Angeles except via California 110). Photo taken 11/10/06.
The final California exit along Interstate 10 east is Exit 243, Business Loop I-10 and Riviera Drive (one mile). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Interstate 10 east and U.S. 95 south
This Interstate 10 east and U.S. 95 south reassurance shield is posted after the on-ramp from Intake Boulevard. Cosigned Interstate and U.S. routes are rare in California these days; it is more common to find a shared alignment between an Interstate and a California state route. Photo taken 11/10/06.
This mileage sign provides the distance to three destinations in Arizona: Wickenburg (115 miles), Phoenix (147 miles), and Tucson (263 miles). This is the first appearance of Tucson on a mileage sign, and the sign omits Quartzsite (where Interstate 10 meets Arizona 95 and U.S. 95 splits south toward Yuma). The distance to Wickenburg is via U.S. 60 east, as that city is not on Interstate 10. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Eastbound Interstate 10 reaches Exit 243, Business Loop I-10 and Riviera Drive. The next interchange along eastbound is Exit 1 to Ehrenberg (after crossing the Colorado River). Photo taken 11/10/06.
Upon exiting, Riviera Drive proceeds east toward the river, but then it will turn north to pass under the freeway and merge onto Hobsonway (Business Loop I-10) west. Photo taken 11/10/06.
The next exit along Interstate 10 east and U.S. 95 south is Exit 1, Ehrenberg-Parker Highway north to Ehrenberg, Poston, and Parker in Arizona. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Interstate 10 crosses the Colorado River on this bridge. Originally, this bridge also carried U.S. 60-70 when it was built in 1960, but the bridge was widened to become Interstate standard in 1974. Photo taken 11/10/06.
Midway across the span, Interstate 10 and U.S. 95 leave the Golden State of California and enter the Grand Canyon State of Arizona. Photo taken 11/10/06.

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Page Updated July 9, 2009.

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