U.S. Highway 95

U.S. 95, which traverses a portion of the Mojave Desert parallel to the Colorado River between Blythe and the Nevada state line, has the distinction of being the only route to enter and exit the Golden State without returning. Every other route (including U.S. 395) that enters California is destined to end in California. U.S. 95 begins in San Luis, Arizona, at the Mexican Border, and it continues north to Eastport, Idaho, at the Canadian Border. U.S. 95 was extended in phases to the south, as its original southern terminus was at U.S. 40 (now Interstate 80) in Winnemucca, Nevada. U.S. 95 is relatively unique in that it was not eliminated in the 1964 California U.S. Highway Purge, and the only freeway segments are the portions of U.S. 95 that merge with Interstate 10 and Interstate 40. Much of U.S. 95 is in desolate parts of the desert, and even the two main destinations (Blythe and Needles) are fairly small compared to other Southern California cities.

U.S. 95 California Highway Guides

While U.S. 95 originally was designated a short north-south route in Idaho as part of the original U.S. Highway System in 1926, it was extended south from its original southern terminus in Weiser, Idaho, in stages. First it was extended south to Winnemucca, Nevada, by 1937; to Blythe by 1939-1940; and finally to San Luis, Arizona, by 1960-1961 (by replacing Arizona 95 south of Quartzsite). Prior to 1939, today's U.S. 95 route was designated as California 195, perhaps in anticipation of its ultimate numerical designation. (today's California 195 is a short route connecting California 86 and California 111 in the Coachella Valley).

U.S. 95 scenes
On the south side of the Vidal Junction Cafe building is this map, which shows some of the resorts along the Colorado River along the California 62 and U.S. 95 corridors. Note that the map extends as far south as El Golfo in Mexico. Photo taken 03/14/09.

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Page Updated August 2, 2009.

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