One Of LA's Most Beautiful Highways Has Been Closed For 45 Years

Screenshot: AdventureEveryDay/YouTube
Screenshot: AdventureEveryDay/YouTube

Nestled among the San Gabriel Mountains is a stretch of picturesque highway that comes to an abrupt end near a scenic overlook. California closed the road, once a vital link between mountain communities outside of Los Angeles, way back in 1978 due to an emergency. The highway has never reopened.

Highway 39 beats a broken path through some of the most beautiful scenes in Los Angeles County. Starting near the ocean in Huntington Beach, it breaks 22 miles north, picking back up again in Azusa, California, before winding north up through the San Gabriel Mountains.

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It’s around the 49:00 minute mark when the drive ends at a heavily graffitied orange gate. This spot is marked as the San Gabriel Canyon Lookout on Google Maps. The only motor vehicles allowed beyond this gate are emergency vehicles, which the YouTuber encountered while exploring the stretch of highway beyond the barrier. On what may be one of the most beautiful stretches of road in California, hikers and bike riders rule.

Even just a few feet into exploring the abandoned highway it’s clear as day why the road remains closed: rock falls and landslides make this stretch hazardous. Google satellite view shows just how treacherous Highway 39 has become.

Screenshot: SidetrackAdventure/YouTube
Screenshot: SidetrackAdventure/YouTube

Yeah, I’d skip that, though SidetrackAdvetures found evidence that some work is being done to keep the route safe, like some recently installed guardrails, these are likely for the various emergencies vehicles that still use the route, such as CAL Fire.

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