US 395 came to Southern California in 1935. Prior to the route being signed as US 395, it was State Highway 71. Through San Diego County, US 395 followed a few different alignments. The first version of the highway passed through Fallbrook, Bonsall, and Vista before heading to Escondido. In 1947, the highway was realigned to follow the current I-15 route. In 1949, 395 was realigned again south of Escondido. The period following the major realignments, the 1950’s to 1972, saw mostly improvements to the existing highway. US 395 was upgraded to freeway and expressway south of Escondido with the portion north of Escondido to Riverside County remaining a two-lane roadway.
In 1972, US 395 was redesignated as I-15 and I-215 south of Phelan, where US 395 still ends today. With the new Interstate designation, more upgrades would be constructed, this time as a full freeway. These would be slow in coming, however, as the last sections of freeway along the I-15 corridor wouldn’t be completed until the early 1980’s.
Today, what remains of former US 395 is still traversable and quite a fun road to travel. North of the Escondido area, the roadway is known as “Old Highway 395” and retains most of its original pre-freeway features. This website will focus on the remaining roadway and some of its historic alignments before the major realignments in the late 1940’s in San Diego County.
Alignments and Maps