Angeles Crest Highway Reopens

Mountain View
View from Mt. Wilson just off Angeles Crest Highway

Last Friday, Caltrans announced that the portion of California State Route 2 known as the Angeles Crest Highway is now open over its full 66-mile length from La Canada Flintridge to Wrightwood (see June 3 press release on this page). This has been a long time coming for Los Angeles area sports car and sport bike enthusiasts, as well as hikers and others who have discovered this nearby escape route over the years. Unfortunately, the Highway has had more destructive disasters than the castle in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.

After discovering the Highway in my road atlas, I had a great date up there in November 2008, enjoying the drive and the scenery, including the short detour to the Mount Wilson Observatory. Even then, however, a middle section of the Highway was closed, and had been since 2005, due to storm-related damage. When the section finally reopened in May 2009, it was only a few months later that the whole thing was ruined, and closed, by the massive Station Fire and ensuing rock slides and mud slides. More recently, even as other sections of the Highway have reopened, drivers have been unable to access the entire beginning section from La Canada Flintridge to the Angeles Forest Highway.

So yes, it’s a big deal that the full Angeles Crest Highway has reopened for the first time in approximately six years. I know I’ll be heading there again soon, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that disaster won’t strike first — again.

2 Replies to “Angeles Crest Highway Reopens”

  1. I love Mt Wilson, and the drive up there…I ‘visit’ it every day online:
    http://obs.astro.ucla.edu/towercam.htm
    which gives a great view, usually of the northeast..I followed the Station Fire on it, felt dread when they shut the site down, cheered when it was back on line and in general, it’s something special that connects me to the mountain.
    I’ve saved screen prints of it in the snow, at night at a full moon and when the towercam is turned toward the west, seen (and saved) a pool of yellow light extending to the horizon.
    The link also offers links to other sites including the Mt Wilson Observatory Association and Institute.
    There used to be people hang gliding from the parking lot when I’d visit and just being able to walk around in the trees, or head out to a trailhead that lead much further east, feeling I’d left the city behind…it’s a special place, I’m so glad the road is open.

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