US 99 – Piru Gorge : Pyramid Rock and Dam

Virtual Tour of US 99

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Piru Gorge : Pyramid Rock and Dam

Topographic Map of Pyramid Rock and Vicinity from 1938. Pyramid Rock is in the bottom center of the map.
Topographic Map of Pyramid Rock and Vicinity from 1938. Pyramid Rock is in the bottom center of the map.
Pyramid Rock just after construction in 1933.
Pyramid Rock just after construction in 1933.
Pyramid Rock and Dam
Pyramid Rock and Dam
Photo of the Pyramid Cut and channel change taken in 1967. Photo Courtesy - Gordon Glattenberg
Photo of the Pyramid Cut and channel change taken in 1967. Photo Courtesy – Gordon Glattenberg
Blasting at Pyramid Rock in 1951 during widening and channel realignment.
Blasting at Pyramid Rock in 1951 during widening and channel realignment.

This rock was blasted through in 1931 when US 99 was first constructed through here. Its pyramid-like shape was caused by the blasting for the highway cut. There once were two bridges that went across Piru Creek, one on each side of the cut, but all traces of those bridges are now gone. They were removed in 1951 as a part of a cost-saving move. Piru Creek was rerouted through Pyramid Cut therefore eliminating the need for the widening of two bridges. The southern 1932 bridge is visible in the photo above.

Directly behind the rock is Pyramid Dam. Pyramid Dam was completed in 1970 and is a part of the California State Water Project. I-5 bypassed this segment of US 99 in 1968 due to the construction of this dam. From 1968 to mid-1969, US 99 was still passable from Violin Summit to Smokey Bear Road. About four bridges used to exist in the area of the reservoir.

This segment of US 99 is only accessible by foot or bicycle.

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