SR-138: Lancaster Road / Avenue D / Palmdale Blvd / Pearblossom Highway

ca_138_smallLancaster Road / Avenue D / Palmdale Blvd / Pearblossom Highway
Runs from I-5 near Gorman to SR-18 near Crestline

State Route 138 is mostly a rural two-lane highway between I-5 and State 14. It passes through a rather flat section of the Antelope Valley area of the Mojave Desert. Near 140th St West, State 138 passes near the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, which can turn a beautiful orange during a good bloom. The reserve is also along an old alignment of 138, having originally followed Lancaster Road before using Ave D in the late 1940’s. Once it reaches State 14, it becomes cosigned with 14 until Palmdale, where it heads east toward the 15 and Crestline. It is quite heavily traveled from Palmdale to I-15.

Postmile marker for Route 48, an unsigned route that was to replace Hwy 138 in this area.
Postmile marker for Route 48, an unsigned route that was to replace Hwy 138 in this area.
Typical view of State 138 across the western segment through the Mojave Desert. Hills visible to the right are a part of Fairmont Butte.
Typical view of State 138 across the western segment through the Mojave Desert. Hills visible to the right are a part of Fairmont Butte.
Closeup of poppies from 1998.
Closeup of poppies from 1998.
1998 poppy bloom near the Poppy Reserve.
1998 poppy bloom near the Poppy Reserve.
1931 culvert under 138 east of Quail Lake.
1931 culvert under 138 east of Quail Lake.
Mileage sign to points along 138. It doesn't go to San Bernardino though. It comes close though.
Mileage sign to points along 138. Although it doesn’t go to San Bernardino though, it comes close.
North Connector Separation. 138 has a full connection with I-5NB and I-5SB.
North Connector Separation. 138 has a full connection with I-5NB and I-5SB.
Westbound view approaching the 5 interchange.
Westbound view approaching the 5 interchange.
Freeway entrance at Quail Lake Road near I-5.
Freeway entrance at Quail Lake Road near I-5.

Plans are being laid to widen the route from Palmdale to I-15 from two lanes to a four lane conventional highway (no control of access). A direct connector (flyover) ramp is also planned to better connect 138 east to 18 east at Antelope Junction. Earlier plans (1960’s) called for 138 to be upgraded to a full freeway from I-5 to I-15. That freeway was to be called the Metropolitan Bypass Freeway. Only a short connector was built at the I-5 junction. The California Poppy Reserve is also located near 138 on the west end of the Antelope Valley.

East of I-15, State 138 becomes a very twisty mountain road. Portions have been realigned, mostly around Silverwood Lake. One of the twistiest sections, between I-15 and Summit, will be realigned and bypassed in the next couple of years (2016). The road ends at its junction with State 18 at what I call the “Interchange in the Sky” at Mt Anderson near Crestline.

State 138 between Cajon Junction and Summit
State 138 between Cajon Junction and Summit
The “Interchange in the Sky” as I call it. This is the eastern end of SR-138. The four lane roadway is Hwy 18.
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