State Route 130 (Mount Hamilton Road), in California.

State Route 130 (Mount Hamilton Road)
State Route 130 (Mount Hamilton Road)

State Route 130 (Mount Hamilton Road) is the name of a narrow mountain road in Santa Clara County, California, in the United States. According to the advertising, there are 365 turns on the road—one for each day of the year. The road leads to Mount Hamilton.

Where is State Route 130 located?

State Route 130 (SR 130) is a state road that links Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton to U.S. Highway 101 in San Jose, California. The Santa Clara County portion of SR 130 follows Mount Hamilton Road, a curvy two-lane road that winds through the Diablo Mountain Range, while the San Jose half follows Alum Rock Avenue. Legally, SR 130 connects the Santa Clara and San Joaquin valleys by running east from Mount Hamilton to Patterson in Stanislaus County.

You can locate this road on the map below:


Enlarge the map

Information about State Route 130 (Mount Hamilton Road):

The whole route, which is a part of California State Route 130, is paved. Its length is 31 kilometers (19 miles). The road is difficult since it has so many bends and turns. It is supposed to have 365 bends, one for every day of the year. So get ready for some winding roads ahead. The route ascends to Mount Hamilton, a mountain pass at a height of 1282 meters (4206 ft) above sea level, where Lick Observatory is located. This was the first observatory on a mountaintop that was continuously manned. Today, bikers are drawn to the gradual ascent, so take additional safety precautions.

History of the Mount Hamilton road:

Prior to 1964, State Route 130 (Mount Hamilton Road) did not exist as a state route. However, the roads it uses have been around ever since Lick Observatory was constructed. Legally, SR 130 extends across the San Antonio Valley for an additional 48 km (30 km) east of Lick Observatory to State Route 33 in Patterson, California. Since the county, not the state, maintains the road east of the Lick Observatory, this section of the state roadway is still formally unbuilt.

Small SR 130 signs have been placed, nevertheless, by the County of Santa Clara along the traversable path, such as where San Antonio Canyon Road starts to the east of the entrance to Lick Observatory, where San Antonio and Del Puerto Canyon Roads converge, and at the Stanislaus County boundary. As a result, SR 130 may be noted on maps as being east of the summit.

Mount Hamilton Road preview:

You can obviously have a preview of that drive. Here is a YouTube video that shows a part of the road:

How to get to State Route 130 road?

Just east of Downtown San Jose, SR 130 begins at US 101 and travels along Alum Rock Avenue. It continues past the Alum Rock area of San Jose and across an intersection with Interstate 680. SR 130 ascends into the mountains along Mount Hamilton Road, offering views of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley, and passes through some of the last remaining ranches and naturally wild land in Santa Clara County as well as Joseph D. Grant County Park, starting at the intersection of Alum Rock Avenue and Mount Hamilton Road.

The route gets much narrower as SR 130 gets closer to Mount Hamilton proper and can hardly accommodate two automobiles side-by-side. Beginning with a series of small switchbacks, the route ascends Mount Hamilton until it reaches the Lick Observatory at the peak.

Not so far from this road, you can also drive the Black Rock Reservoir, the June Lake Loop Route, or even the Donner Pass.

You can visualize how to get there on this approximative map of the drive:

Is Mount Hamilton Road open?

State Road 130, which is located in Santa Clara County and is part of California’s Diablo Range. It is high enough to get snowfall throughout the winter. Bring a sweater or coat because Mount Hamilton’s weather might be chilly and unpredictable at this altitude. Occasionally, Mount Hamilton and the other summits receive heavy snowfall when cold. Indeed wet storm approaches from the Gulf of Alaska or Canada.
When snow covers the road’s upper altitudes, it is shut down until staff can remove the snow and ice.

Definitely worth the journey. San Jose and the remainder of the Santa Clara Valley may be seen in breathtaking detail below. At Mount Hamilton or anywhere else along the route outside of San Jose, there are no petrol stations or eating establishments. Mount Hamilton, which overlooks Santa Clara Valley and is located 20 miles east of San Jose, doesn’t do the breathtaking, even spine-tingling excursion justice. At the peak, on a clear day, one can view the Sierra Nevada. So we heartily advise you to use State Route 130.

Picture credit: By User:Atanamir – Author, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13339528


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