US Highways Page
List of California US Highways
|US Highway 6
The Midland Trail
|US 6 was the longest US
Highway, once going 3517 miles coast to coast from Long Beach to Provincetown on Cape Cod,
Massachusetts. Today it remains the second longest, being only 116 miles shorter than US
20. US 6 seems more of a Frankenstein's monster of highways than a single route. For one
thing, it heads north - south in some places, east - west in others as then again going
diagonally. For this reason, it is in apparent violation of highway numbering convention
as it starts in Cape Cod, north of all but US 2 and US 4 then ends in Long Beach south of
US 70. It is generally agreed the US 6 is not a violation since its general route is east
- west (hence the even number) and its number permits crossover. US 6 offers the best
cross section of the United States possible, going through arid desert, rugged mountains,
the Great Plains, and the forested land of the northeast United States.
Midland Trail Sign
US 6 AT A GLANCE
US 6 originally ended in Denver, Colorado in 1926. Sometime between 1935 and 1938 it
was extended west to the Los Angeles area. It started at the Long Beach traffic circle
then headed north away from Los Angeles1. It
was co-signed with US 395 to Bishop, where it diverged. From there it mostly followed its
current course with only few exceptions. Its eastern terminus was, and still remains, Cape
Current Status Outside of California
US 6 is completely intact outside of California. In some states, such as Colorado and
Utah, US 6 has been co-routed with Interstates with no visible sign that it exists, but it
remains a through route.
Current Status in California
On July 1, 1964, US 6 was almost completely eliminated in California. Only a small
portion, from Bishop to the Nevada border, a distance of approximately 40 miles remains.
Portions of US 6 remain as signed highways including SR-1, I-110, I-5, SR-14 and US 395.
In my opinion, US 6 should have been retained, at least through the I-5/SR-14 junction
north of San Fernando.
Intersections With Other US Highways
US 6 GUIDE
South: Long Beach to US 395 (Under Construction)
North: US 395 to Nevada Border (Future)
US 6 PHOTO ALBUM
US 6 VIRTUAL TOUR
Mike Ballard has created a "Virtual Tour" for US 6 in the Santa Clarita area.
It currently extends from the US 6 / US 99 (I-5/SR-14) interchange to Palmdale. The tour
includes many pictures of key points along the route and describes the route and local
history in detail.
US 6 Tour: Covers the
pre-1938 alignment and the one in use until 1964.
If you have any questions, comments, or if you would like to send me any
updates or pictures, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Whether this description of
the routing is accurate remains unclear. I have seen maps that show US 6 being signed with
US 91 and others that show it ending before the Long Beach Traffic Circle. I will update
this as soon as I have concrete evidence proving one or the other. Until then I like to
think they were co-signed.