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California State Route 88

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Title: California State Route 88  
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Subject: California State Route 12, California State Route 104, California State Route 89, List of state highways in California, Nevada State Route 88
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California State Route 88

State Route 88 marker

State Route 88
Route information
Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 388
Maintained by Caltrans
Length: 122 mi[1] (196 km)
Major junctions
West end: SR 99 in Stockton
  SR 49 in Jackson
SR 89 near Lake Tahoe
East end: SR 88 towards Minden, NV
Highway system
SR 87 SR 89

State Route 88 (SR 88), also known as the Carson Pass Highway,[2] is a California State Highway that travels in an east–west direction, from Stockton, crossing the Sierra Nevada at Carson Pass, and ending at the border with Nevada, whereupon it becomes Nevada State Route 88, eventually terminating at U.S. Route 395.

Route 88 is one of only three routes to continue with the same route number after crossing into Nevada, the others being Routes 28 and 266.

Unlike other two-lane California highways through the mountains (Routes 4, 108 and 120), Route 88 stays open through winter, except during the worst snowstorms, making it the third major route through the mountains, after Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 50. In fact, Route 88 over the Carson Pass is designated as Alternate U.S. 50, such that it may be used during floods of the American River Canyon.


  • Route description 1
    • Historical landmarks 1.1
  • History 2
  • Major intersections 3
  • External links 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Route description

Spring storm on 28 May 2008

SR 88 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System[3] and is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System.[4] However, it is only a scenic highway as designated by Caltrans from the Dew Drop ranger station to the Nevada state line.[5] The road is kept open all winter[6] but can be subject to restrictions or short-term closure due to snow (including avalanches) or ice; the current road condition is posted online by Caltrans.[7]

SR 88 begins just outside Stockton as Waterloo Road, heading northeast towards Waterloo. The highway turns north at Waterloo, and SR 88 continues north to an intersection with SR 12, where the latter runs concurrently. SR 88 continues through Lockeford and Clements before continuing into Amador County. Continuing northeast, SR 88 intersects the southern terminus of SR 124 and the eastern terminus of SR 104 before passing through the town of Sunnybrook. In the community of Martell, SR 88 turns south, running concurrently with SR 49 for a brief period of time, before turning northeast again and intersecting the eastern terminus of SR 26. The highway continues northeast into Pioneer Station, Buckhorn, Cooks Station, and Ham's Station before entering the state game refuge. SR 88 continues paralleling the county line with El Dorado County in El Dorado National Forest before passing by Silver Lake and Kirkwood, where SR 88 crosses into Alpine County.[8]

In Alpine County, SR 88 continues by Caples Lake before running concurrently with SR 89 until Woodfords. The highway continues through Paynesville before entering Nevada as Nevada State Route 88.[8]

Historical landmarks

Listed in order from west to east.

  • The Trail of the 1844 John C. Frémont Expedition, at the northwest corner of the Calaveras River (postmile SJ 6.09)[9]
  • Clinton, on Clinton Rd., south of the highway, in Pine Grove—Clinton was the center of a placer mining community during the 1850s and of quartz mining as late as the 1880s. This town once decided Amador County elections as its votes were always counted last.[10]
  • Irishtown, at the intersection of Pine Grove Wieland Rd. in Pine Grove—This was an important stopping place for emigrants on their way to the southern mines. The first white settlers on this spot found it a "city of wigwams," and hundreds of mortars in the rocks testify that this was a favorite Indian camping ground.[11]
  • Mount Zion State Park, Pine Grove
  • Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, Pine Grove
  • Eldorado National Forest, Amador Ranger Station, Pioneer
  • Maiden's Grave, burial place of Rachel Melton (d. 1850), a young girl who died while traveling to California via covered wagon (postmile AMA 61.3)[12]
  • The Old Emigrant Road was a long loop around the Silver Lake basin, starting from Caples Lake and reaching an elevation of 9,640 feet (2,938 m) at one place. This difficult portion of the road was used by thousands of vehicles from 1848 to 1863, when a better route was blasted out of the face of the cliff at Carson Spur (the present highway route). There are two markers. One is at the intersection of Mud Lake Rd (postmile AMA 63.1). The second marker is at postmile ALP 2.4, at Caples Lake.[13]
  • Cooks Station, a roadside stop built in 1863 and still in operation, elevation 5,000 feet (1,500 m)
  • Ham's Station is a roadside stop still in operation as a restaurant and convenience store, located at at an elevation of 6,000 feet (1,800 m). Ham's Station was built by 1879 and originally served as a toll station on the highway.[14][15] Both Cooks and Ham's stations are routinely used by Caltrans to indicate points where tire chains are required for continued travel during snowstorms, as they are two of the only landmarks between Pioneer and the junction with State Route 89.
  • Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Kirkwood
  • Kirkwood's, a resort, stage station, and post office originally built by Zack Kirkwood in 1864. The building straddles the AlpineAmador county line.
  • The Kit Carson Marker (CHL #315, postmile ALP 5.2), at the summit of Carson Pass, marks where Carson carved his name into a tree in 1844 while guiding John C. Frémont through the Sierra Nevada. The original can be found at Sutter's Fort, Sacramento.[16]
  • On some large rocks near Carson Pass, a group of pioneers inscribed their names and the emblem of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1849 (postmile ALP 5.3).[17]


A portion of Route 88 (from Antelope Springs to the border) started as the Amador/Nevada Wagon Route, a toll road completed in 1862, which was a major thoroughfare through the mountains, as California sent timber, food, and particularly gold to the east during the Civil War. Completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 greatly decreased traffic on the wagon road.

Highway 8 in Amador County

The original highway number was 8 in Amador County.[18] Old CA-8 overlaps present CA-88 from Alpine County to Jackson but continues south to Mokelumne Hill, then to Valley Springs and other points south. Present 88 follows a portion of old US-104 but diverges just south of Ione.

Major intersections

Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, based on the alignment that existed at the time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary (for a full list of prefixes, see the list of postmile definitions).[19] Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.

County Location Postmile
Destinations Notes
San Joaquin
SJ 0.00-25.37
  0.00 Waterloo Road Continuation beyond SR 99
  0.00 SR 99 – Sacramento, Fresno Interchange; west end of SR 88
  6.52 Eight Mile Road
  L12.24 SR 12 west (Victor Road) – Lodi West end of SR 12 overlap
Lockeford 14.08 CR J5 (Elliott Road, Tully Road)
Clements 19.17 SR 12 east – San Andreas East end of SR 12 overlap
    CR J12 (Collier Road)
AMA 0.00-71.65
  5.53 SR 124 – Ione, Placerville
  7.39 SR 104 west / Jackson Valley Road – Ione West end of SR 104 overlap
  12.68 SR 104 east (Ridge Road) – Sutter Creek East end of SR 104 overlap
Martell 14.25
5.93[N 1]
SR 49 north – Sutter Creek, Placerville West end of SR 49 overlap
Jackson 4.03[N 1]
SR 49 south – Mokelumne Hill, San Andreas East end of SR 49 overlap
Pine Grove 22.69 Ridge Road – Sutter Creek Unconstructed SR 104 west
23.36 Pine Grove-Volcano Road – Volcano
  R26.79 SR 26 (Red Corral Road) – West Point
  R58.67 Mormon Emigrant Trail (US 50 Alt. west) West end of US 50 Alt. overlap
ALP 0.00-25.28
  13.40 SR 89 north (US 50 Alt. east) / Burnside Lake Road – Meyers, Lake Tahoe West end of SR 89 overlap; east end of US 50 Alt. overlap
Woodfords 19.22 SR 89 south to SR 4 – Markleeville East end of SR 89 overlap
  25.28 SR 88 east – Minden Continuation into Nevada; east end of SR 88
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  1. ^ a b Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 49 rather than SR 88.

External links

  • AARoads: State Route 88
  • Caltrans: Route 88 highway conditions
  • California Highways: State Route 88
  • Eric Buchanan's Highway 88 Photos


  1. ^ January 1, 2006 California Log of Bridges on State Highways
  2. ^
  3. ^ CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  4. ^ CA Codes (shc:260-284)
  5. ^ "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways". California Department of Transportation. December 7, 2007. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ CalTrans road conditions: highway 88
  8. ^ a b California Road Atlas (Map). Thomas Brothers. 2008. 
  9. ^ "Trail Of The John C. Frémont 1844 Expedition". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  10. ^ "Clinton". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  11. ^ "Irishtown". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  12. ^ "Maiden's Grave". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  13. ^ "Old Emigrant Road". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  14. ^ Report of the Chief of Engineers U.S. Army.  
  15. ^ "Ham's Station". Archives - History Center.  
  16. ^ "Kit Carson Marker". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  17. ^ "Memorial To Pioneer Odd Fellows". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  18. ^ Thomas, George C. Map of Amador County. Geo C Thomas. 
  19. ^ a b California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original ( 
  20. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  21. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006

External links

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