U.S. Highways > Highway 395

San Diego to Poway

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Parsa:
The third section on the trip from San Diego to Poway includes the Poway Grade, or perhaps I should say grades. The historic Inland Route originally took a different path to the summit point.

As can be seen in the first auto club map from about 1917, the road went straight northeast from the bend in Kearny Villa Rd near old Camp Elliott. In the 1922 map this road has been bypassed, but it’s labeled “OLD ROAD.” Both this older road and US 395 on Pomerado Road appear on the 1942 Poway Valley topographic quadrangle (surveyed in 1939). The old road was known simply as the Escondido Road.

Poway Valley Quadrangle

Today the road is known as Huntington Drive near Kearny Villa, and was the main road of the marine base, Camp Elliott, during WWII. Farther northeast, Google Maps labels it Rifle Range Road and Creek Road. Somewhere near the bottom of the older Poway grade was a little post office called Virginia and a stage stop and ranch run by the Tower family. The track of the old road is present today, and resumes as Creek Road north of Stonebridge Pkwy.



Compare the image above to the circa 1917 auto club map.

The topographic map of course also shows circa 1939 US 80. The later winding Poway Grade on Pomerado Road is clearly shown. This road was straightened and the area developed, so that today only traces of the old road appear:



After the Poway Grade, US 395 followed Old Pomerado Road until it merged once again with Pomerado Rd. Does anyone know if Pomerado Road was realigned here before US 395 was shifted to the I-15 corridor? Is that a fairly recent realignment, or was it done a long time ago during the 395 days?

bunthorne:
I realize it has been a long time since this thread has had any activity but I wanted to respond to your question regarding Pomerado Road's realignment (since nobody else has).  The old road was still in use in the 80's but the traffic was heavy and it was extremely dangerous.  I was living in Scripps Ranch at the time and often drove home from Poway on it.  Once I came across a motorcycle crash in the middle of the night.  Anyway, they closed the road in 1989, I believe, and straightened it out.  Scripps Poway Parkway was cut through the mountain to the west and the fill was used to level out a place for the shopping center now at the corner of Scripps Poway Parkway and Pomerado.  Pomerado Rd. reopened in the early 90s.  As you noted, the old road still pokes out to the east here and there.  By the way, you could add a few more blue arrows to your picture just south of the new road at the bottom of the picture.  The old road went through a cut here.  After the realignment, the western side of the cut was leveled and those condos were built.  But the east side of the old cut is intact.

I didn't know about the older Poway Grade until I read your post.  I hiked out there today from Stonebridge Pkwy to take a look.  Now THAT was a grade!  The old roadbed is surprisingly intact given how long it has been abandoned.  When was it built?  My guess is it's much older than auto traffic.  I found some old stage coach route maps online and, sure enough, there is a route that came down from Ramona, through Poway, and up and over the hill into San Clemente Canyon on the way to San Diego.  The old grade has some real history.

Parsa:
Thanks for the information. It always helps to get info from long term locals.

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