Happy Birthday, Rim of the World Highway!

Lee’s Garage and Cafe - Crestline (Arrowhead Highlands), California U.S.A. - date unknown

Lee’s Garage & Cafe – Crestline (Arrowhead Highlands), California U.S.A.
date and source unknown

One hundred years ago today on July 18, 1915, what soon after became known as the Rim of the World Highway opened to the public. Considered one of the most amazing roads in a state almost overflowing with scenic drives, the Rim of the World Highway opened up the San Bernardino Mountains to become one of the major playgrounds of the greater Los Angeles area…both in the summer to escape the inland valley heat and in the winter to enjoy skiing and sledding.

Like many such old roads, it has changed a lot over the years. While at one time coming all the way back down into Redlands, Rim of the World Highway is now considered to be California State Route 18 from 40th Street in San Bernardino just south of the San Andreas Fault until it reaches Big Bear Dam. Driving in either direction offers spectacular views day or night.

The little piece of Rim of the World Highway history shown above is long gone. Lee’s was on the south side of the highway just west of Lake Gregory Drive that was originally the only way into Crestline from the south. The currently-abandoned-but-supposedly-being-restored Cliffhanger restaurant sits on the property Lee’s once occupied.

Many improvements of the Rim of the World Highway over the years have not only made it easy to visit the San Bernardino Mountains but to live there as well. So…if you come visit and see somebody driving a car with a familiar name on it, make sure to wave and say hello. All of us in the Mountain Communities will be glad to see you…especially if you’re coming up here to spend your money. :-D

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