Historical Tour of old US 99
Violin Summit / Big Oak Flat
Summit Elevation : 2591 ft.
Violin Summit was a false summit on US 99. It was false in the sense that it was merely a break in a grade, not the high point. The real summit along this segment of highway was at Whitaker Summit, a few miles north. Just south of Violin Summit, a short section of abandoned alignment still exists with some paving still intact. The later construction of Interstate 5 bypassed this section about 1970, leaving a large curve, road cuts, and some fill area.
Big Oak Flat, the area just north of Violin Summit, must have been a great sight after climbing the steep Five Mile Grade. This segment of US 99 was originally opened in 1933 as a three lane highway and widened in 1949 to four lanes. This section of highway was able to have a wider median, as it isn’t alongside a slope. Here, old US 99 takes on the street name of Golden State Highway, the southernmost use of that name for an old US 99 alignment. Many movies have been filmed on this section of roadway, though usually mistakenly referred to as Templin Highway. The roadway is still called “Golden State Highway”. That roadway goes east from here toward the Ridge Route and Fish Canyon.
Old US 99 continues on as Golden State Highway from here. This section is not continuous, but the tour follows right under Pyramid Lake.
Go North on US 99 to Bakersfield
Go South on US 99 to Los Angeles
Return to US 99 Introduction