U.S. Route 97
|Length:||663 mi1 (1,067 km)|
|Existed:||19261 – present|
|South end:||I-5 in Weed, CA|
|US 2 in Cashmere, WA|
|North end:||BC 97 near Osoyoos|
U.S. Route 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 Okanogan County, Washington, at the Canadian Border, across from Osoyoos, British Columbia, becoming British Columbia Highway 97 upon entering Canada. Major cities that lie on US 97 include Klamath Falls, Oregon; Bend, Oregon; Yakima, Washington; Ellensburg, Washington; and Wenatchee, Washington. For a time, the Alaska portion of the Alaska Highway was planned to be signed as US 97, with signs even being produced.2
A portion of the highway in California and Oregon is part of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway.
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.3 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.4
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.
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 Canadian border and becomes British Columbia Highway 97.
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.2
- I-5 in Weed, CA
- US 20 in Bend, OR
- US 26 in Madras, OR
- US 197 in Shaniko Junction, OR
- I-84 / US 30 in Biggs Junction, OR
- I-82 / US 12 near Yakima, WA
- I-90 in Ellensburg, WA
- US 2 in Cashmere, WA
- BC 97 near Osoyoos
- US Highways from US 1 to US 830 Robert V. Droz
- Robert V. Droz. "Alaska's US Highway(s)". Us-highways.com. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- California Dept. of Transportation "Caltrans Rest Areas: Grass Lake - Siskiyou County" http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/maint/ra/ra52.htm
- 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/
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