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Route 152--Pacheco Pass Road

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Quick Facts
Designation: California State Scenic Highway
Length, One-Way: 14 Miles (23.33 Kilometers)
Time: 15 minutes @ 50 mph

General Information

Description - Route 152--Pachec Pass Road travels from Santa Clara County line to the junction of Interstate 5. In addition to traversing rich agricultural farm lands, a considerable distance of the route provides drivers with views of the extensive San Luis Reservoir. The byway does not terminate in a town or at any other definite stopping point.

Attractions - Long ago when the Ausaymus Indians inhabited the region, they carved a path from the coast to the San Joaquin Valley. Their trade route eventually became the route of missionaries, then military forces, and then gold miners. As the route became increasingly popular, the fertile soil was cultivated thus becoming the prevailing Central Valley. Today, Pacheco Pass is one of the most popular routes for those traveling from Silicon Valley into Central Valley.

This historic route leads through San Luis Reservoir, a storage reservoir for the federal Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project. It stores runoff water from the Delta that would otherwise flow into the ocean. The water arrives through the California Aqueduct and the Delta-Mendota Canal, and is pumped from the O'Neil Forebay into the main reservoir during the winter and spring. The Los Banos Creek Reservoir was built to prevent storm runoff from flooding the canals. A visitor center at the Romero Overlook provides full information on the reservoirs and water projects through audiovisual and printed materials. Telescopes are also available for viewing the area.

Recreation - Area attractions include boating, fishing, waterskiing, camping, picnicking, swimming, and viewing exhibits and audiovisuals relating to the California Aqueduct system.

Climate - Summer temperatures here average in the mid-90s and occasionally exceed 100° F but evenings are usually cool and pleasant. Rainfall averages eight to nine inches a year, mostly between November and April. In winter, temperatures seldom go below freezing, and tule fogs are frequent. In the spring, the golden-brown hills are coated with a fleeting green, highlighted by bursts of wildflowers colors.

Location - The byway begins a couple of miles west of Los Banos on Highway 152, at approximately the junction with Interstate 5. Follow 152 west past the San Luis Reservoir, and a few miles beyond. The byway does not terminate in a town or at any other definite stopping point.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Route 152--Pacheco Pass Road
ICON Viewing Scenery Route 152--Pacheco Pass Road

More Information

Additional Information:
California Scenic Byways - California offers one All American Road, two National Scenic Byways, and well over 50 state and National Forest designated scenic byways.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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