130 East   (Mt. Hamilton Road and San Antonio Valley Road) in California

From 680 or US101, Mt Hamilton Road is about 20 miles per hour through the hills and it is only two lanes wide. Watch for the steep drop offs. After reaching the observatory, the road becomes wider, and is about 30 mph until you reach the San Antonio Valley, where you can do 55 MPH easily, then it climbs into the hills. After crossing into Stanislaus County, it is 20 mph and two lanes wide (wider than 130 up to Mt. Hamilton) to a few miles west of I5, where it becomes 45 - 55 MPH until you reach I5. A trip from I680 to I5 is a little over 3 hours, more or less, with the eastern part of Santa Clara County being the fastest to drive.

From Mt. Hamilton on a clear day, you can see from about Hollister to San Rafael easily. You can also make out some parts of I5 in the hills east of here.  Most of the land surrounding Mount Hamilton is owned by UC Santa Cruz, and there is always an officer on duty there. After the top, you would think it would be slower and narrower.  Not at all.  In reality, after passing Mt. Hamilton, 130 becomes wider and faster.  It changes names several times, to San Antonio Valley Road, and Del Puerto Canyon Rd.  It is about 30 mph and a wider two lanes until you reach the San Antonio Valley, where it remains 45 mph plus until you enter Stanislaus County, where it slows down to 22 mph, but even in that section it is wider and easier to drive than Mt Hamilton Road. Once upon a time, that stretch of road was one lane wide and gravel.  It was paved, widened, and straightened out greatly in the 1990s. Drive time from Mt. Hamilton to Interstate 5 is 80 minutes, with most of the time being spent in Stanislaus County. There used to be a naval bombing range near the Santa Clara - Stanislaus County line.

Thanks to Mike Ballard I found out 130 is officially a proposed state highway from Mount Hamilton 33 in Patterson, just east of Interstate 5. Maybe 130 should be completed as a state highway and renamed 108, and link up with the 108 corridor in the Central Valley.   130 not surprisingly often gets pelted with snow. Usually it is closed between Quimby and Interstate 5 when it snows hard. Chain requirements are rare here, rather than risk accidents they often just shut the highway down. It has the same lane markers embedded in the pavement that I have seen on parts of I80 in the Sierras. The day I did this, I only saw six cars between the observatory and the Stanislaus County line. I saw maybe ten in Stanislaus County, but mainly between the Frank Raines Park and I5.  130 in the 1960s was routed up Quimby Road to Mt. Hamilton Road. This was before 680 was completed.

This is the first glimpse to the east after passing Mt. Hamilton on this ride:

[Looking Towards the
          San Antonio Valley]

130 Photos from 680 to Mt. Hamilton

130 East, Page One 130 West, Page One
130 East, Page Two 130 West, Page Two
130 East, Page Three 130 West, Page Three
130 East, Page Four 130 West, Page Four
130 East, Page Five 130 West, Page Five

Proposed 130 East from Mt. Hamilton to Interstate 5  (from 6/5/1995)

130 East, Page One
130 East, Page Two
130 East, Page Three
130 East, Page Four
130 East, Page Five
130 East, Page Six
130 East, Page Seven
130 East, Page Eight
130 East, Page Nine
130 East, Page Ten
130 East, Page Eleven

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Mines Road in 2011 from Eric Wardell
Proposed 130 West in 2011 from Eric Wardell
Mount Hamilton Road West in 2011 from Eric Wardell
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1998 | Contact info for Eric Buchanan