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U.S. Route 97 (US 97) is a major north–south United States highway in the western United States. It begins at a junction with Interstate 5 at Weed, California, and travels north, ending in Oroville in Okanogan County, Washington, at the Canada–US border, across from Osoyoos, British Columbia, becoming British Columbia Highway 97 upon entering Canada. Major cities that lie on US 97 include Klamath Falls, Bend, and Redmond in Oregon and Yakima, Ellensburg, and Wenatchee in Washington.

U.S. Route 97 marker

U.S. Route 97
US 97 highlighted in red
Route information
Length663 mi[citation needed] (1,067 km)
Existed1926[citation needed]–present
Major junctions
South end I-5 in Weed, CA
 
North end Hwy 97 near Osoyoos
Location
StatesCalifornia, Oregon, Washington
Highway system

A portion of the highway in California and Oregon is part of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway.

Route descriptionEdit

CaliforniaEdit

US 97 begins in town of Weed, California. From Weed, the highway continues in a northeasterly direction toward Klamath Falls, Oregon. The California portion of US 97 is approximately 55 miles (89 km) in length, with its southern end at the junction with Interstate 5 and California State Route 265 in Weed, and reaching Oregon after the junction with California State Route 161 (Stateline Rd) just north of the community of Dorris, California.

While the town of Weed has an elevation of 3,467 feet (1,057 m), a section of US 97 in California is above 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in elevation with two significant summits. At mile 19 the Grass Lake Summit has an elevation of 5,101 feet (1,555 m). There is a rest area with restrooms at Grass Lake about a half-mile south of the summit.[1] At mile 30 the Mount Hebron Summit has an elevation of 5,202 feet (1,586 m). The small community of Mount Hebron follows the descent from the summit, but is located a couple miles east of the highway. The next community located directly on the highway is unincorporated town of Macdoel.

The entire length of the California portion of US 97 is part of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway.

Southbound travelers entering California must be prepared to stop at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Inspection Station south of Dorris. After a five-year hiatus, during which only commercial vehicles were stopped, all motorists are once again subject to inspection.[2]

 
US 97 Sign on Interstate 5

OregonEdit

US 97 goes through the city of Klamath Falls before continuing north to Bend and the junction of US 20. From there, US 97 intersects US 26 at Madras before US 197 continues to the northwest, and US 97 continues northeast to I-84 and the Columbia River. The section from Sunriver to just north of Redmond is a dual carriageway with two lanes in each direction.

 
US 97 carried over the Columbia River by the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge, seen from Biggs Junction

WashingtonEdit

North of the Columbia River, US 97 intersects SR 14 before continuing north. Between Goldendale and Yakima the highway passes over Satus Pass. In Yakima, US 97 runs concurrently with I-82 north to Ellensburg and then on I-90 west before continuing north into Wenatchee National Forest to US 2. Both routes continue east into Wenatchee and then north along the eastern bank of the Columbia River, before US 2 continues east and US 97 continues north. US 97 Alternate continues along the western bank of the river, before US 97 shifts to the western side of the river. US 97 intersects SR 20 near Omak before US 97 crosses the Canada–US border north of Oroville, Washington and becomes British Columbia Highway 97 at Osoyoos, BC. BC Highway 97 is the longest uninterrupted highway in the province winding south-to-north, eventually becoming part of the Alaska Highway and passing into the Yukon territory. However, the '97' designation ends at the BC/Yukon border.

AlaskaEdit

The Alaska Highway portion of Alaska Route 2 was once proposed to be part of US 97. This never came to pass, but some signage was put up.[citation needed] The Alaska International Rail and Highway Commission lobbied for the designation of US 97 from Fairbanks, Alaska to Mexico City in the late 1950s.[3]

Major intersectionsEdit

California
  I-5 in Weed
Oregon
  US 20 in Bend. The highways travel concurrently through Bend.
  US 26 in Madras. The highways travel concurrently through Madras.
  US 197 in Shaniko Junction
   I-84 / US 30 north of Biggs Junction
Washington
   I-82 / US 12 south-southeast of Union Gap. I-82/US 97 travels concurrently to south-southeast of Ellensburg. US 12/US 97 travels concurrently to Yakima.
   I-82 / I-90 south-southeast of Ellensburg. I-90/US 97 travels concurrently to Ellensburg.
  US 2 south-southeast of Peshastin. The highways travel concurrently to Orondo.
  Hwy 97 on the Canada–US border north-northwest of Oroville

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ California Dept. of Transportation "Caltrans Rest Areas: Grass Lake - Siskiyou County" http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/maint/ra/ra52.htm
  2. ^ O'Neill, Janet. "Inspection station re-open after five-year hiatus" Record Searchlight. 17 Nov. 08 http://www.redding.com/news/2008/nov/17/inspection-stations-re-open-after-five-year/
  3. ^ "Alaskan At Highway 97 Meeting". The Seattle Times. November 15, 1959. p. 73.

External linksEdit

Route map:

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