The infamous Highway 17

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Santa Cruz, California

The infamous Highway 17 Santa Cruz Reviews

portia portia
216 reviews
Mar 09, 2007
The highway which links Santa Cruz with the Silicon Valley (San Jose) is the infamous Highway 17. Why is infamous? It's narrow and winding for about 8 miles while it goes over the Santa Cruz mountains, and the road surface used to be real slick in the rain (it's much better nowadays). The road has claimed many lives and cars.

I personally know people who have lost family members on this highway, and my husband had his car hit by another during a rainy morning commute a few years back. There are places where your car can flip over or slide down the hill. Most people who don't drive this highway regularly are not fond of it. During storms, tall trees can fall onto the roadway, mudslides can happen, not to mention less skillful drivers or less than good condition cars or even a deer running across the road can all cause accidents even if you are a good driver. When I used to commute on this highway, I would work at home when it rains just to avoid the traffic and dangers on it.

However, if you are not the driver, you can enjoy the scenery along the way. After a rain, there are usually low clouds in the valley, with the mountains peeking out, it's beautiful, but I haven't found a good place to take a photo of it! It's hard to do so while you are driving! Tall redwood trees are majestic, and between January and March, depending on the rain I suppose, Acacia trees bloom with their bright yellow flowers along the way near Scotts Valley. In the fall, leaves turn yellow or gold. If it's not dark and rainy, even first timers can enjoy the highway if you don't drive too fast for your own good.
I took this photo while the car wa…
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photo by: matthewlaraway