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More info on California State Route 130

California State Route 130: Map


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Route 130 sign leading to Mount Hamilton Road.
Route 130 winding around the Diablo Range Mountains.
Route 130 at the foot of the Diablo Range Mountains looking towards Mount Hamilton and the Lick Observatory.

State Route 130 (SR 130) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Californiamarker in Santa Clara Countymarker. The route runs between San Jose, Californiamarker, and Mount Hamiltonmarker. Much of its length goes through the Diablo Rangemarker as Mount Hamilton Road where it is a narrow 2 lane highway. The remainder of SR 130 is numbered along Alum Rock Avenue in San Jose.

Route description

SR 130 begins in the west at U.S. Route 101 just east of Downtown San Jose and runs along the 4-6 lane Alum Rock Ave. SR 130 continues over a junction with Interstate 680 through San Jose's Alum Rockmarker neighborhood. The road narrows as it begins to run into the foothills from 4-6 lanes down to 2. Where Alum Rock Ave and Mt Hamilton Rd meet SR 130 heads east up into the mountains along Mt Hamilton Rd. As the road climbs it continually offers outstanding vistas of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley that increase the further east you travel. SR 130 also travels through some of the last remaining ranch and naturally wild land in Santa Clara County as well as Joseph D. Grant County Park. As SR 130 approaches the base of Mt Hamilton itself the road narrows further and is barely capable of supporting two cars abreast. The narrow road begins a series of tight switchbacks that culminate on the summit of Mount Hamilton at the Lick Observatorymarker. The observatory also serves as the existing route's eastern terminus at around 4,200 ft. (1,280 m) elevation. When snow falls on the higher elevations of the road, it's closed until crews can clear the snow and black ice.


SR 130 did not exist as a state highway before 1964, however the roads it travels had existed since Lick Observatory was built. Legislatively, SR 130 continues for 30 additional miles (48 km) east of Lick Observatory to State Route 33 in Patterson, Californiamarker through the San Antonio Valleymarker. It is not signed as such and is not commonly recognized as existing beyond Lick Observatory. Both locals and most map makers do not acknowledge SR 130 existing east of the summit. In addition, east of Lick Observatory the road is maintained by the county rather than the state, as it is west of Lick Observatory, further supporting the position that the eastern portion of the road is not actually part of SR 130 and that the eastern portion still remains technically unbuilt.


Money had been set aside by the state to study the feasibility of turning part of SR 130's legislative route from San Antonio Valley Rd east to Interstate 5 into a freeway. The road was intended to facilitate traffic between the Santa Clara Valley and the Central Valleymarker, the latter is experiencing population growth and real estate development. The project's main proponent was former United States Representative Richard Pombo, who was the House Resources Committee chair when in Congress and himself a member of a family with extensive Central Valley property holdings near the proposed freeway's path.

The proposed freeway's path west of San Antonio Valley Road would have bypassed Mt. Hamilton either to the north toward State Route 237 or to the south toward the San Jose's Evergreen districtmarker. The feasibility of the project had come into question, however, as crossing a freeway over the Diablo range near three of its highest peaks (Mt. Hamilton included) would have been very difficult. The project also faced stiff opposition from taxpayers, environmentalists, residents of the area looking to preserve their area's local charm and from the Lick Observatory. (A freeway through the mountains near the observatory would render it useless due to light pollution.) The freeway plan has been quietly abandoned after Congressman Pombo failed in his reelection bid in 2006.

Major intersections

Note: Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured in 1964, based on the alignment as it existed at that time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage.
The entire route is in Santa Clara Countymarker.
Location Postmile

Destinations Notes
San Josemarker 0.00 Santa Clara Street Continuation beyond US 101
0.00 Interchange
1.35 Interchange
11.23 Quimby Road
22.50 Mount Hamiltonmarker


  1. California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List (XLS file), accessed December 2007
  2. California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  3. California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2006

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