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Pacific Highway is the name of several highways in the United States, either by legislation officially designating it as such or by common usage.

Road-building pioneer Sam Hill built the Pacific Highway, from the Peace Arch on the United StatesCanada border to the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon, as an "auto trail" in the early 20th Century – long before the U.S. Highway System was established. The road also extended north to Vancouver, British Columbia and south to San Diego, California.

The auto trail became Highway 99 from Vancouver to the Canada-U.S. border, U.S. Route 99 from the border to Red Bluff, California, U.S. Route 99W from Red Bluff to Davis, California, U.S. Route 40 from Davis to San Francisco, and U.S. Route 101 from San Francisco to San Diego. This alignment is now mostly Interstate 5 except between Woodland, California and Los Angeles, where it uses State Route 113, Interstate 80 and US 101.

In Oregon, Interstate 5 is now officially the Pacific Highway No. 1 (see Oregon highways and routes). First completed in 1923, Oregon's Pacific Highway was the first border to border paved highway west of the Mississippi River.[1]

In California, State Route 1 south of San Francisco, never part of the Pacific Highway, is the Pacific Coast Highway. An old freeway section of U.S. Route 101 parallel to Interstate 5 near the San Diego International Airport is known as Pacific Highway; it is now locally maintained.

History

An extensive section of the Pacific Highway (over 600 miles), from approximately Stockton, California to Vancouver, Washington, followed very closely the track of the Siskiyou Trail. The Siskiyou Trail was based on an ancient network of Native American footpaths connecting the Pacific Northwest with California's Central Valley. By the 1820s, trappers from the Hudson's Bay Company were the first non-Native Americans to use the route of the Pacific Highway to move between today's Washington State and California. During the second half of the 19th Century, mule trains, stagecoaches, and the Central Pacific Railroad also followed the route of the Siskiyou Trail.

In the early 20th century, entrepreneur Sam Hill lobbied the governments of Washington and Oregon to build automobile roads along the path of the Siskiyou Trail, with the ultimate goal of building a paved auto route from Canada to Mexico.

References

External links

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