Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Where do California’s interstate highways take you?

(KTXL) — California is crisscrossed by highways, some of which can take you to different states and to the other side of the country.

Whether you’re planning on driving out of state or taking a cross-country road trip, here is where California’s Interstate routes will take you.

Interstate 5

One of California’s main highways is Interstate 5, which travels north and south along the western edge of the Central Valley. I-5 is also the longest interstate in California, spanning 796.53 miles, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

The highway is part of the Interstate Highway System, a network of controlled-access highways within the country’s National Highway System, according to Caltrans.

The highway stretches from the Mexican Border at the San Ysidro crossing, which connects San Diego and Tijuana. Interstate 5 runs north, through the Grapevine section above Los Angeles and up the West Coast, finally reaching the US-Canada border in Blaine, Washington.

On the other side of the Canadian border is White Rock in British Columbia, about an hour from Vancouver.

The highway links to other California cities such as San Diego, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, Stockton, Sacramento, and Redding.

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Interstate 80

Another major highway in the state is I-80, which travels west to east, beginning in the San Francisco Bay Area at the interchange with US Route 101 and crossing the Bay Bridge.

The highway also passes through California cities Vallejo, Vacaville, Davis and Sacramento before reaching the Sierra Nevada.

When driving eastbound, I-80 passes through Salt Lake City, Omaha, Nebraska, Des Moines, Iowa, and Toledo before ending in Teaneck, New Jersey. According to the FHA, I-80 is the second-largest interstate highway in the country after I-90, which goes from Seattle to Boston.

Interstate 10

I-10 is another highway in California that travels from west to east, ending in Florida, the southernmost cross-country highway in the American Interstate Highway System.

The highway begins in Southern California and is known as the Santa Monica Freeway at its starting point. The highway passes through Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Palm Springs before crossing over to Arizona.

When the highway crosses to Arizona, it passes through Phoenix and Tucson, the state’s two major cities. Other states the highway crosses are New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

The highway also crosses through Las Cruces, New Mexico; El Paso and Houston in Texas; Baton Rouge and New Orleans in Louisiana; Gulfport, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola and Tallahassee in Florida before reaching Jacksonville, Florida.

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Interstate 15

Another major north-south highway is I-15, which stretches from San Diego County and the Intermountain West region of the United States to the Canadian border in Montana. The highway also serves as a gateway to Las Vegas.

In California, the highway passes through Escondido, Temecula, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Barstow before crossing the Nevada border.

If you decide Las Vegas isn’t your ideal destination, the highway briefly crosses to Arizona before passing through Utah, Idaho and Montana. The officially highway ends in Sweet Grass in Montana before the road crosses over to the Canadian border in the state of Alberta.

Cities the highway passes through in Utah, Idaho and Montana include St. George, Provo, Salt Lake City, Ogden, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Butte, and Great Falls.

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Interstate 40

I-40 is another interstate in California that goes across the county, with this one going all the way to the southeastern part of the country in North Carolina. The interstate is 2,556.61 miles long, making it the third-longest interstate highway, according to the FHA.

The entire California portion of the highway is in San Bernardino County. The interstate begins at Barstow and passes through the Mojave Desert to Needles before crossing over the Colorado River at the Arizona state line.

When passing through Needles, the city has a life-sized statue of Spike, Snoopy’s brother from the “Peanuts” comic strip, that can be viewed at the Needles Regional Museum. The statue was at a Shell gas station but was moved to the museum in Oct. 2021, according to the Mohave Valley Daily News.

When the interstate passes through Arizona, it goes through Flagstaff, then crosses New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and finally North Carolina. The highway is parallel to the historic Route 66 from Barstow to Oklahoma City.

The cities the interstate passes through are Albuquerque, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh and Wilmington.

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