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Thread: A little Cajon Pass info.

  1. #1
    Graduate Member MrS's Avatar
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    Default A little Cajon Pass info.

    This is some history of roads thru the Cajon Pass. Most in LA know this as the long hill climb in heavy traffic when heading to and from Vegas. For those not familiar with this itís on Interstate 15 between San Bernardino and Victorville

    I donít know a lot about the use of the Cajon Pass by Native Americans, but they used and laid out tails long before others used it.

    The Spanish trail ran thru the Cajon Pass. I seem to recall reading that there where a few routes, and it changed as needed. Like the Spanish Trail circa 1830, the Mojave Rd (Old Government or Bealeís Rd) and the Mormon Trail went though Cajon Pass.

    The basic modern route stated with John Browns Toll road in the mid 1870ís. The first road was steep and prone to weather damage but can still be seen (pic 1) His 2nd road is still in use today as the FS road east of the Freeway down to 138. The section below 138 is the hiking trail down the lower end of Horse Thief Canyon. The Toll Road/ wagon/early car road would have crossed the 15 at the North bound truck scales (this little sub canyon has other names, but I donít recall them right now) into Lytle Creek where it basically got removed when route 66 was built thru the ĎBlue Cutí area.

    IMO what was John Browns got less use once the RR was built, until the car became more common for travel. By that time it was no longer a Toll Road and was paved by the county where needed. Then Route 66, and later Interstate 15 became to road for the masses.

    I took a class thru CSUSB which I enjoyed a lot. The instructor had lots of info, old pictures of places we went to, and they had permission to access closed and private areas.

    Some of the places were; Willow Grove, A-frame eatery (pic 2), and Mathews Ranch. I recalled seeing the road to the tree area of the Mathews Ranch during past dirt road trips up Cajon Pass. It was also neat to see pictures and the area near Blue-Cut where the RR had done both river and rail re-routing. They showed us the Keenbrook Kiln (pic 3), which I had driven past before, but had not noticed.

    If anyone wants info on the CSU class Iíll send it to ya, I highly recommend it to anyone with interest in the San Berdo county history.
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  2. #2
    Starting Member SoCalDesertGal's Avatar
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    Default Cajon Pass

    I would have found that class interesting, especially since I live in the area. I enjoyed seeing you and Anita and having both of you at my house the Friday night before though and you are always welcome to stay when you are in the area.

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    Graduate Member MrS's Avatar
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    Hi Desertgal, good to see you here and posting.

    We really enjoyed seeing you and getting to visit, had been too long since we last saw you. Also thanks for letting us stay overnight.

    I would like to walk the whole trail between the truck scales and 138. Maybe we can do that and travel the old route and show you some of the neat stuff we where shown. Of course the real cool stuff is on private property and we canít go to, also we donít the neat old pictures they have.

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    Starting Member cooksterdog's Avatar
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    So Cal Desert gal, and MrS, does the trail go thru the Mormon Rocks area as well? I have ridden horses thru that area near where it is at the 138. VERY scary when those trains scream by and blow the whistle. Can you say "Hi Yo Silver"? Neat place to explore, but limited on access above the rocks due to the narrow passes. I think some access to Pine Cyn is just west of the intersection of 15 and the 138 and you can access the PCT up that way also. From there the access to Lytle Creek is a single track, and very wild. Ilive half way to Palmdale from the 15, and out in the desert, so have an occassion to go thru that area frequently. I even remember the pass in the early 50's when we came from China Lake to San Berdoo to visit family.
    Steve

  5. #5
    Graduate Member MrS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooksterdog View Post
    .... does the trail go thru the Mormon Rocks area as well?
    Yes, but NOT with a vehicle. After the fire the RR crossings have been removed. The route over Baldy Mesa is still there.

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    Interesting that you are talking about this Steve. Roger & I just went to a talk by author John W. Robinson last night. His latest book, I believe it is called Gateway is about all of the old trails - pioneer, railroad, auto in Southern California, and he showed old pictures of Cajon Pass, and he touched on many of the things you just talked about.
    Last edited by Cecile; 04-11-2007 at 09:10AM.

  7. #7
    Made in Brazil JackSilb's Avatar
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    Steve,

    Nice info. Just let us know when you want to explore that area. I am in.

    -JACK
    So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
    Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

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    quasi-modo crawler#976's Avatar
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    As I recall, Lt. Beale road his white stud Camel over Cajon in Jan of 1858 on his way to LA on the 35th Parallel road/trail building expedition. It's reported he made quite a scene in LA - horses and mules were terrified of camels.


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    Graduate Member MrS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crawler#976 View Post
    As I recall, Lt. Beale road his white stud Camel over Cajon in Jan of 1858 ......

    Yeap, thats correct.

    Hi Cecile, I sure missed going on your Mojave trip. BYW expect an email from me soon with a couple pictures. I a small piece of history from your town in Bizbee Az.

    OK, Jack you'll be on the emailing. To me it's kinda cool to slow down and see the history that we wiz-by at Interstate speeds getting to many of our trail heads.

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    Steve, we missed you, too. June - Land of Volcanoes coming up - one day will be the Mono Basin Historical Society event this time up Lee Vining Canyon ;-) I didn't know I had a town in Bisbee, Arizona. Will look forward to your e-mail.

    Robinson showed pictures of the camels - so you are right on about that. He also showed pics of two Indians he called Mojave Runners. I can't remember why they were running - but they were said to have covered 150 miles a day. Can you imagine?

    A goal for me is to go to Beale's Cut. It's not too far for us, off the Sierra Highway. I don't think there's any dirt driving involved, just a half mile hike to the site. I want a modern day picture. Robinson said that part of it is caved in now, I guess, and someone said something about a developer wanting to put in tract homes nearby. Beale's Cut is significant to the Cerro Gordo story I am always working on, of course. Because Remi Nadeau's freight wagons would have had to go through there back and forth from L.A. to C.G. That must have been a harrowing experience. Also interesting to note that after the invention of the automobile, they paved Beale's Cut - but the poor autos couldn't make it up there. Here's a link on Beale's, by the way:
    http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/bealescut.htm

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