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U.S. Highway 395: How Have I Missed This?

I was reading an article by science writer, Geoff Manaugh the other day over at Wired Magazine called,  Move Over, San Andreas: There’s an Ominous New Fault in Town, .  It’s a fascinating article that explains how U.S. Highway 395, from the Mojave Desert in California to Reno, Nevada, is pretty close to the same route of a fault line that’s been experiencing increasing tectonic instability that geologists say might just make beachfront property of that stretch of land. In 8-10 Million years.

I love reading things like this, and this is a great article, but I have to admit, my lack of knowledge about U.S. 395 was gnawing at the back of my head the entire time I read it. As I researched more information about the highway, it hit me that, thus far, I’ve missed the epitome of the Western American road trip.

Current Route of U.S. Highway 395.

Have you taken it?

From my own records, I found that U.S. 395 is one of the original 1926 highways. It was designated as a spur for U.S. 95 that runs to its east, though the two never directly connect (spur 195 brings them together). 395’s current route runs from Laurier, Washington (at the British Columbia border) to Hesperia, California where it begins at I-15. (It once began in downtown San Diego). Route 395’s current mileage is 1,569 and it runs through Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada…..and California again.

A quick Google search immediately brought me to this YouTube video from TheChevyKibs of the California leg.

Yep, I’ve missed quite a trip:

Part of the California section of U.S. 395. Photo by Escape Vans.

And, of course, some vintage U.S. 395 Scenes:

U.S. 395 at Susanville, California. Circa 1930s.

Tom’s Place at Rock Creek, California in Mono (pronounced moh-no) County.

Fales Hot Springs in Bridgeport, California.

Three Flags Trading Post, Walker, California

Chef John’s, San Bernardino, California.

Bishop, California Motel on U.S. 395

Olancha, California

The Super Chief Diner, Carson City, Nevada

The Frontier Motel, Carson City, Nevada

Washoe Valley, Nevada

Eagle Creek Bridge, on the Columbia River Highway, where 395 exits Oregon and enters Washington.

Hotel Pasco, Pasco, Washington

U.S. 395 in Connell, Washington

Ok, ok. Stop. The vintage scenes are great, and the stories about ghost towns and characters are interesting…

Owens Valley, California. viz Orbitz

…but this time it’s the landscape that got me. One day I’ll post images from my own U.S. 395 road trip, but until then, I’ll be inspired by and dreaming on stories like these:

Links to road trips on Route 395:

Cruising Down Highway 395 – The Undending Journey
Road Trip: Bishop, CA to Reno, NV via Hwy 395 – beautiful You Tube Video of the California leg of Highway 395, circa 2013
Lonely Planet – Highs and Lows of of the 395: Road tripping down California’s Highway of Superlatives
The Outbound Collective – Why Highway 395 is California’s Most Underrated Road Trip
The Scenic Route to Mammoth: U.S. Route 395 – MarilynMeetsWest blog
California Through My Lens – You Tube Video

Other Sources:
Wired – Move Over San Andreas: There’s a New Fault in Town

How in the world have I missed this?


  1. Fabulous images. I LOVE that vehicle parked outside the Three Flags Trading Post in the postcard.

    Great video, too! You can enjoy the sights of travel without leaving your living room couch. Awesome!

    • I do too! That thing makes me wanna take it on any road trip. Even just to the grocery store, lol!

      Thanks for the visit!

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