Castaic, California is an unincorporated community located in the northern part of Los Angeles County, California. Many thousands of motorists pass through Castaic daily as they drive to or from Los Angeles on Interstate 5. Castaic Lake is part of the California Water Project and is the site of a hydro-electric power plant. Castaic is 41.7 miles northwest of Los Angeles Union Station and due north of the city of Santa Clarita, California. Castaic is well known for its decades-long range war in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that resulted in dozens of deaths before hostilities ceased in 1916. On Spanish documents, the original spelling was Castec, which represented the Chumash Native American word Kashtiq, meaning "eyes" or "wet spot." Castec is first mentioned on old boundary maps of Rancho San Francisco, as a canyon at the trailhead leading to the old Chumash camp at Castac Lake, intermittently wet and briny. Modern Castaic began in 1887 when Southern Pacific set up a railroad siding on the line between Piru and Saugus Station, naming it "Castaic Junction".
Between January and April 1890, the Castec School District adopted Castaic. Following that newer spelling, some pronounce “Castaic” with three, instead of two, syllables. Between 1890 and 1916, the Castaic Range War was fought in Castaic country over ranch boundaries and grazing rights, it was the biggest range war in U. S. history. A feud started over Section 23. William Chormicle had bought the property, but William "Wirt" Jenkins was storing grain on it and said he had filed for ownership. During a heated dispute, Chormicle and a friend killed two of Jenkins's cowhands, they were acquitted in court. Jenkins, was the local Justice of the Peace with friends of his own, the feud grew into war. Former Los Angeles Rangers and other notables were drawn in; the war claimed dozens of lives and foiled a negotiator, a forest ranger whom President Theodore Roosevelt had sent in to quell it. The hamlet of Castaic began in 1915 with the opening of the original Ridge Route, which brought travelers looking for gasoline, water and lodging to the community.
Some of the earliest businesses started in Castaic are Castaic Brick and George Dunn's Wayside Dairy. Sam's Place on the Ridge Route is now a memory. Castaic is a major truck stop along the Interstate 5 freeway. Castaic has the last traditional cattle roundup—with horses and branding irons—in Los Angeles County, it has been held by the Cordova family since 1834. Members of the Cordova family were scouts for the U. S. Army during the Mexican War in 1846 and helped identify bodies during the St. Francis Dam disaster in San Francisquito Canyon in 1928. Operations scaled back in 1967 when the government seized around 1,000 acres, including the ancestral ranch-house, for the planned Castaic Lake and dam. Castaic includes the Val Verde and Chiquito Canyon areas. Castaic Lake is the southern terminus of the west branch of the California Water Project. A 1,175-megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric plant at the north end of Castaic Lake captures the energy from the falling water descending toward the Los Angeles area.
Today travelers still enjoy stopping at Castaic for their needs but enjoy nearby amenities including Castaic Lake and Pyramid Lake, where boating and swimming are favorite pastimes. The area is seismically active. On January 3, 2015, a pair of earthquakes of magnitude 3.1 and 4.2 were reported about 14 kilometres north of Castaic. The epicenter was 16 miles from California; this region experiences warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. During the months of June though September, the average high temperature ranges from the 90s F to above 100 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Castaic has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps; the 2010 United States Census reported that Castaic had a population of 19,015. The population density was 2,612.5 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Castaic was 13,607 White, 630 African American, 119 Native American, 2,162 Asian, 26 Pacific Islander, 1,466 from other races, 1,005 from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4,716 persons. The Census reported that 18,946 people lived in households, 69 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 0 were institutionalized; this statistic, does not include the population of the North County Correctional Facility, a Los Angeles County Jail with a population of 3,800 institutionalized inmates. According to the 2010 United States Census, Castaic had a median household income of $106,538, with 7.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line. The population was spread out with 5,761 people under the age of 18, 1,717 people aged 18 to 24, 5,144 people aged 25 to 44, 5,302 people aged 45 to 64, 1,091 people who were 65 years of age or older; the median age was 35.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.2 males
Santa Clarita, California
Santa Clarita the City of Santa Clarita, is the third largest city in Los Angeles County and the 24th largest in the state of California. The city has annexed a number of unincorporated areas, contributing to the large population increase, it is located about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, occupies most of the Santa Clarita Valley. It is a notable example of a U. S. edge boomburb. Santa Clarita was ranked by Money magazine in 2006 as 18th of the top 100 places to live. Santa Clarita was incorporated in December 1987 as the union of four unincorporated communities, Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia, most of which are situated on the land of the former Rancho San Francisco; the four communities retain separate identities, it is common for residents to refer to a specific neighborhood when asked where they are from. Santa Clarita is bounded on the west by the Golden State Freeway; the Antelope Valley Freeway runs northeast-southwest through an irregular east border, the Newhall Pass is the city's southernmost point.
Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park and Stevenson Ranch are both associated with Santa Clarita, though since both are located west of Interstate 5, neither is within the Santa Clarita city limits. The Santa Clara River was named by Spanish explorers for Clare of Assisi; the valley and the settlement became known as "little Santa Clara" in deference to the Northern California mission and city of Santa Clara, California. In time, "little Santa Clara" became "Santa Clarita." Santa Clarita was incorporated in December 1987. About AD 450, the Tataviam arrived. In 1842, Francisco Lopez made the first "documented" discovery of gold in California; the event is memorialized in an 1842 mining claim issued by Gov. Juan B. Alvarado; the discovery was made in Placerita Canyon, an area used as Hollywood's original back lot. The community of Newhall is named after Henry Newhall, a businessman who made his fortune during the California Gold Rush after opening up the H. M. Newhall & Company, a successful auction house in San Francisco.
Newhall's next business interest was railroads. He invested in rail companies that would connect San Francisco to other cities and became president of the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad. In 1870, he and his partners sold the company to Southern Pacific Railroad, on whose board of directors he sat. After railroads, Newhall turned to real ranching, he purchased a number of the old Spanish and Mexican land grants in the state for a total of 143,000 acres between Monterey and Los Angeles counties. The most significant portion was the 46,460 acres Rancho San Francisco in northern Los Angeles County, which he purchased for $2/acre, which became known as Newhall Ranch after Newhall's death. Within this territory, he granted a right-of-way to Southern Pacific through what is now Newhall Pass, he sold them part of the land, upon which the company built a town named after him: Newhall; the first station built on the line he named for his hometown, Massachusetts. After his death, Newhall's heirs incorporated the Newhall Land and Farming Company, which oversaw the development of the communities that now make up Santa Clarita.
On September 26, 1876, Charles Alexander Mentry brought in the state's first productive oil well at Mentryville, giving rise to the California oil industry. The oil was brought to a refinery at Newhall, now the oldest existing petroleum refinery in the world. A few days earlier, on September 5, 1876, Charles Crocker and Leland Stanford joined their railroads in Canyon Country, linking Los Angeles with the rest of the nation for the first time; the Saugus Cafe, on Railroad Avenue in Saugus, was established in 1887 and appears to be, by far, the oldest still-operating restaurant in Los Angeles County. Filming in Santa Clarita began shortly after the turn of the 20th century with a veritable Who's Who of actors, including William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Harry Carey and a young John Wayne. Hart and Carey made their homes in the Santa Clarita Valley; the Santa Clarita Valley was the scene of the second worst disaster in California's history in terms of lives lost, known as the "worst civil engineering failure of the 20th century".
Shortly before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam collapsed. By the time the floodwaters reached the Pacific Ocean near Ventura five hours nearly 600 people were dead. Within modern Santa Clarita city limits, the present day site of the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall would have been buried beneath muck and debris; some buildings in Newhall became makeshift morgues. After multiple failed attempts to form a city and at least two failed attempts to form a separate county, the people of the Santa Clarita Valley incorporated the City of Santa Clarita at 4:30 PM on December 15, 1987 after voting in favor of incorporation by a margin of two to one in that year's general election; the other proposed name for the new city, narrowly defeated, was "City of the Canyons." Santa Clarita, according to the United States Census Bureau, has an area of 62.16 square miles, of which 62.10 square miles is land and 0.06 square miles is water. Santa Clarita is near the San Fernando fault zone and was affected by the 1971 San Fernando earthquake known as the Sylmar quake.
The city was affected by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, many commercial and residential buildings were devastated by its aftermath, including the nearby Newhall Pass, the Valencia Town Center, Six Flags Magic Mountain. Magi
Santa Paula, California
Santa Paula is a city in Ventura County, United States. Situated amidst the orchards of the fertile Santa Clara River Valley, the city advertises itself to tourists as the "Citrus Capital of the World". Santa Paula was one of the early centers of California's petroleum industry; the Union Oil Company Building, the founding headquarters of the Union Oil Company of California in 1890, now houses the California Oil Museum. The population was 29,321 at the 2010 census, up from 28,598 at the 2000 census; the area of what today is Santa Paula was inhabited by the Chumash, a Native American people. In 1769, the Spanish Portola expedition, first Europeans to see inland areas of California, came down the Santa Clara River Valley from the previous night's encampment near Fillmore and camped in the vicinity of Santa Paula on August 12, near one of the creeks coming into the valley from the north. Fray Juan Crespi, a Franciscan missionary travelling with the expedition, had named the valley Cañada de Santa Clara.
He noted that the party traveled about 9 to 10 miles that day and camped near a large native village, which he named San Pedro Amoliano. The site of the expedition's arrival has been designated California Historical Landmark No. 727. Franciscan missionaries, led by Father Junipero Serra, became active in the area after the founding of the San Buenaventura Mission and established an Asistencia. Santa Paula is located on the 1843 Rancho Santa Paula y Saticoy Mexican land grant. In 1872 Nathan Weston Blanchard laid out the townsite. Considered the founder of the community, he planted seedling orange trees in 1874. Several small oil companies owned by Wallace Hardison, Lyman Stewart and Thomas R. Bard were combined and became the Union Oil Company in 1890. In April 1911, Gaston Méliès moved his Star Film Company from San Antonio, Texas to a site just north of Santa Paula; the large South Mountain Oil Field southeast of town, just across the Santa Clara River, was discovered by the Oak Ridge Oil Company in 1916, developed methodically through the 1920s, bringing further economic diversification and growth to the area.
While the field peaked in production in the 1950s, Occidental Petroleum continues to extract oil through its Vintage Production subsidiary and remains a significant local employer. A major expansion began in 2016 when construction started on a 500-acre master-planned community of 1,500 homes; the town has been devastated twice by floods and was affected by a nearby truck explosion that resulted in an industrial disaster. Most notable, the town faced an out of control wildfire that took well over a month to put out; the Great Flood of 1862 began on December 24, 1861 when it rained for four weeks, reaching a total of 35 inches at Los Angeles. The failure and near complete collapse of the St. Francis Dam took place in the middle of the night on March 12, 1928; the dam was holding a full reservoir of 12.4 billion gallons of water that surged down San Francisquito Canyon and emptied into the Santa Clara River. The town was first hit by the waters at 3:00 a.m. Though hundreds of homes and structures were destroyed, the loss of life would have been greater if it were not for two motorcycle police officers that noisily warned as many people as possible.
A sculpture called "The Watchers" in downtown Santa Paula depicts this act of heroism. A vacuum truck exploded at the Santa Clara Waste Water plant in the early morning hours of November 18, 2014. Two workers were injured in the initial explosion, three responding fire-fighters were injured by the fumes from the spill of a volatile chemical mixture, 50 others were exposed to fumes and required treatment at local hospitals; the driver was transporting waste from a temporary storage drum to a processing center when he stopped to take a meal break. The rear of the truck exploded, spreading a white liquid over a 300-by-400-foot area that spontaneously combusted as it dried and was sensitive to shock and the application of water or oxygen; the tires of the first fire truck on the scene and the boots of three firefighters sparked small explosions when they drove and walked over the substance as they went to help the injured workers. The incident evolved into a disaster when in the morning additional materials began to burn and explode, which resulted in a three-mile-long plume of toxic smoke and the closing of Highway 126.
Chemical smoke drifted over the area and nearby residents and businesses were required to evacuate. CauseWhat was reported as sewage was found to be about 1,000 US gallons of a chemical mixture consisting of some sort of organic peroxide. In the first days of the investigation, officials speculated that two inert chemicals accidentally mixed in the truck and created an organic peroxide substance with sulfuric acid appearing to be part of the mix. Organic peroxide combines unstably bound oxygen together with hydrogen and carbon in the same molecule and ignites and burns and intensely. While field testing was performed on the reactive material for initial identification, the county hazardous materials manager found that laboratories would not test the chemicals over concerns that lab personnel could be injured or their equipment damaged. Three weeks after the incident, the substance was still susceptible to friction and seemed to react to something as slight as wind. Sodium chlorite was identified in an internal investigation by the firm in the months following the disaster.
They claimed that the chemical was being using as a water treatment agent for the first time and was stored in
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport, locally referred to as LAX, is the primary international airport serving Los Angeles, California. LAX is in the Westchester district of the city of Los Angeles, California, 18 miles southwest of Downtown Los Angeles, with the commercial and residential areas of Westchester to the north, the city of El Segundo to the south and the city of Inglewood to the east. Owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, an agency of the government of Los Angeles known as the Department of Airports, the airport has over 3,500 acres of land, LAX has four parallel runways. In 2018, LAX handled 87,534,384 passengers, making it the world's fourth busiest and the United States' second busiest airport following Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; as the largest and busiest international airport on the U. S. West Coast, LAX is a major international gateway to the United States, serves a connection point for passengers traveling internationally; the airport holds the record for the world's busiest origin and destination airport, since relative to other airports, many more travelers begin or end their trips in Los Angeles than use it as a connection.
It is the only airport to rank among the top five U. S. airports for both passenger and cargo traffic. LAX serves as a hub or focus city for more passenger airlines than any other airport in the United States, it is the only airport that four U. S. legacy carriers have designated as a hub and is a focus city for Air New Zealand, Allegiant Air, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Southwest Airlines, Volaris. While LAX is the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, several other airports, including Hollywood Burbank Airport, John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, as well as Ontario International Airport serve the area. In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres in the southern part of Westchester for a new airport; the fields of wheat and lima beans were converted into dirt landing strips without any terminal buildings. It was named Mines Field for the real estate agent who arranged the deal; the first structure, Hangar No. 1, is in the National Register of Historic Places. Mines Field opened as the airport of Los Angeles in 1930 and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937.
The name became Los Angeles Airport in 1941 and Los Angeles International Airport in 1949. In the 1930s the main airline airports were Burbank Airport in Burbank and the Grand Central Airport in Glendale. Mines Field did not extend west of Sepulveda Boulevard. A tunnel was completed in 1953 allowing Sepulveda Boulevard to revert to straight and pass beneath the two runways. For the next few years the two runways were 8,500 feet long. Before the 1930s, existing airports used a two-letter abbreviation based on the weather stations at the airports. At that time, "LA" served as the designation for Los Angeles Airport, but with the rapid growth in the aviation industry the designations expanded to three letters c. 1947, "LA" became "LAX." The letter "X" has no specific meaning in this identifier. "LAX" is used for the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro and by Amtrak for Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. The "Imperial Hill" area in El Segundo is a prime location for aircraft spotting for takeoffs. Part of the Imperial Hill area has been set aside as Clutter's Park.
Another popular spotting location sits under the final approach for runways 24 L&R on a lawn next to the Westchester In-N-Out Burger on Sepulveda Boulevard. This is one of the few remaining locations in Southern California from which spotters may watch such a wide variety of low-flying commercial airliners from directly underneath a flight path. At 12:51 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2012, a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft carrying the Space Shuttle Endeavour landed at LAX on runway 25L. An estimated 10,000 people saw the shuttle land. Interstate 105 was backed up for miles at a standstill. Imperial Highway was shut down for spectators, it was taken off the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, was moved to a United Airlines hangar. The shuttle spent about a month in the hangar while it was prepared to be transported to the California Science Center; the distinctive white googie Theme Building, designed by Pereira & Luckman architect Paul Williams and constructed in 1961 by Robert E. McKee Construction Co. resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs.
A restaurant with a sweeping view of the airport is suspended beneath two arches. The Los Angeles City Council designated the building a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1992. A $4 million renovation, with retro-futuristic interior and electric lighting designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, was completed before the Encounter Restaurant opened there in 1997. Visitors are able to take the elevator up to the roof of the "Theme Building", which closed after the September 11, 2001 attacks for security reasons and reopened to the public on weekends beginning on July 10, 2010. Additionally, a memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks is located on the grounds, as three of the f
Hollywood Burbank Airport
Hollywood Burbank Airport Bob Hope Airport, is a public airport 3 miles northwest of downtown Burbank, in Los Angeles County, California. The airport serves the northern Greater Los Angeles area, including Glendale and the San Fernando Valley, it is closer to Griffith Park and Hollywood than Los Angeles International Airport, is the only airport in the area with a direct rail connection to downtown Los Angeles. Non-stop flights serve cities in the western United States, while JetBlue Airways has daily flights to New York City and Boston; the entire airport was within the Burbank city limits, but the north end of Runway 15/33 has been extended into the city of Los Angeles. The airport is owned by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority and controlled by the governments of those cities; the Airport Authority contracts with TBI Airport Management, Inc. to operate the airport, which has its own police and fire departments, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority Police. Boarding uses portable boarding ramps rather than jet bridges.
Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 2,647,287 passenger boardings in calendar year 2008, 2,294,991 in 2009, 2,239,804 in 2010. The Federal Aviation Administration National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a medium-hub primary commercial service facility; the airport has been named United Airport, Union Air Terminal, Lockheed Air Terminal, Hollywood-Burbank Airport, Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, Bob Hope Airport, Hollywood Burbank Airport. United Aircraft and Transport Corporation was a holding company created in 1928 that included Boeing Aircraft and United Air Lines, itself a holding company for a collection of small airlines that continued to operate under their own names. One of these airlines was Pacific Air Transport, which Boeing had acquired because of PAT's west coast mail contract in January 1928. UA&T found one in Burbank. UA&T had the benefit of surveys that the Aeronautics Department of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce had conducted starting in 1926 to identify potential airport sites.
It took the cooperation of the city to assemble the site. The 234-acre site was rife with vines and trees and the ground had to be filled and leveled, but it had good drainage, a firm landing surface, steady winds, good access to ground transport. Construction was completed in just seven months. In an age when few aircraft had brakes and many had a tail skid instead of a wheel, runways were not paved. There were no taxi strips. Two of the runways were over 3,600 feet long. Generous dimensions, the site had room for expansion. United Airport was dedicated amid much festivity on Memorial Day weekend, 1930; the airport and its handsome Spanish Revival-style terminal was a showy competitor to nearby Grand Central Airport in Glendale, Los Angeles' main airline terminal. The new Burbank facility was the largest commercial airport in the Los Angeles area until it was eclipsed in 1946 by the Los Angeles Airport in Westchester when that facility commenced scheduled airline operations; the Burbank facility remained United Airport until 1934.
The name change came the same year that Federal anti-trust actions caused United Aircraft and Transport to dissolve, which took effect September 26, 1934. The Union Air Terminal moniker stuck until Lockheed bought the airport in 1940 and renamed it Lockheed Air Terminal. In March 1939 sixteen airline departures a day were scheduled out of Burbank: eight on United Airlines, five on Western Airlines and three on TWA. Commercial air traffic continued while Lockheed's extensive factories supplied the war effort and developed military and civil aircraft into the mid-1960s; the April 1957 OAG lists nine weekday departures on Western, six on United, six on Pacific Air Lines, one on TWA and one on American Airlines. Pacific Southwest Airlines had 48 Douglas DC-4 departures a week to SFO and SAN. In 1958, Oakland-based Transocean Air Lines was operating Lockheed Constellation propliner service three times a week nonstop to Honolulu as well as a Constellation flight operated twice a week on a round trip routing of Oakland - Burbank - Chicago Midway Airport - New York Idlewild Airport - Hartford.
By the summer of 1962, PSA was operating all of its nonstop flights to San Francisco and San Diego with new Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop aircraft with a combined total of 32 departures a week from Burbank. Jet service arrived at Burbank during the late 1960s with Pacific Air Lines operating Boeing 727-100s nonstop to Las Vegas and San Francisco as well one-stop direct to Eureka/Arcata. Pacific Southwest Airlines flew from Burbank to the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego with 727s, Hughes Airwest flew Douglas DC-9-10s and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s nonstop to Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Denver with one-stop DC-9s to Houston Hobby Airport. Hughes Airwest operated one-stop DC-9 jet service to Grand Canyon National Park Airport near the south rim of the Grand Canyon. In 1986 United Airl
Soledad Canyon is a long narrow canyon/valley located in Los Angeles County, California between the cities of Palmdale and Santa Clarita. It is a part of the Santa Clara River Valley, extends from the top of Soledad Pass to the open plain of the Valley in Valencia; the upstream section of the Santa Clara River runs through it. It is traversed by the Soledad Canyon Road, the Antelope Valley Freeway, the Metrolink Antelope Valley Line. Travelers on board the Metrolink are afforded a view of much of the Santa Clara River; the canyon lies between the Sierra Pelona Mountains towards the northwest and the San Gabriel Mountains to the southeast, starting at the northeastern end of Santa Clarita Valley. As you travel northeast through the canyon, it slopes up until you reach the unincorporated community of Acton, near which the Santa Clara River continues east towards its headwaters among the San Gabriel Mountains. Turning north towards Palmdale, the canyon terminates at Soledad Pass, just a few miles south of Lake Palmdale.
Soledad Canyon contains the localities of Vincent, Ravenna and Agua Dulce. Soledad Canyon was a vital part of Los Angeles' transportation history. Transit between Los Angeles and the Central Valley was always difficult–in the "Gold Rush era" and stagecoach days the ride was difficult straight up-and-down through San Fernando Pass, up San Francisquito canyon, over Tejon Pass. In 1856, Lieutenant Williamson, on a railroad surveying party, "discovered" that the pass, sometimes named "Williamson Pass", could provide the lower grades to make Los Angeles–Central Valley train travel possible by the roundabout detour all the way to Mojave, over Tehachapi Pass 70 miles farther than the direct Interstate 5 used today by trucks and autos. In 1876, seven years after the transcontinental railroad was finished, the rail line was laid down Soledad Canyon, linking LA to the north, after a 6,940 feet tunnel through San Fernando pass and the Tehachapi Loop, where trains circle on grades over top of themselves to gain altitude.
In the near future, the canyon will serve as the route for the planned California High-Speed Rail line between Burbank Airport and Palmdale. Escondido Summit Vazquez Rocks Angeles National Forest "History of Soledad Canyon". Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. Retrieved 2002-02-04
California State Route 14
State Route 14 is a north–south state highway in the U. S. state of California in the Mojave Desert. The southern portion of the highway is signed as the Antelope Valley Freeway; the route connects Interstate 5 on the border of the city of Santa Clarita to the north and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Granada Hills and Sylmar to the south, with U. S. Route 395 near Inyokern. Legislatively, the route extends south of I-5 to SR 1 in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles; the southern part of the constructed route is a busy commuter freeway serving and connecting the cities of Santa Clarita and Lancaster to the rest of the Greater Los Angeles area. The northern portion, from Vincent to US 395, is legislatively named the Aerospace Highway, as the highway serves Edwards Air Force Base, once one of the primary landing strips for NASA's Space Shuttle; this section is rural, following the line between the hot Mojave desert and the forming Sierra Nevada mountain range. Most of SR 14 is loosely paralleled by a main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, used for the Antelope Valley Line of the Metrolink commuter rail system as well as a connection between Los Angeles and the Central Valley via Tehachapi Pass.
Linked with US 395, this road connects Los Angeles with such places as Mammoth Mountain, Mono Lake, Yosemite National Park and Reno, Nevada. SR 14 was part of US 6 prior to truncation in 1964, when US 6 was a coast-to-coast route from Long Beach to Provincetown, Massachusetts; the non-freeway segment of SR 14 from Silver Queen Road north of Rosamond to Mojave is known as Sierra Highway, as is the old routing between I-5 and Silver Queen Road where SR 14 has been moved to a newer freeway alignment. Portions of SR 14 remain signed with names associated with US 6, including Midland Trail, Theodore Roosevelt Highway, Grand Army of the Republic Highway. SR 14 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration; the southern portion of the freeway, from I-5 to the Avenue D exit near Lancaster, has been designated the Antelope Valley Freeway by the state legislature.
The Antelope Valley Freeway begins in the Santa Susana Mountains at the Newhall Pass interchange by splitting from the Golden State Freeway. This is the busiest portion of the route with an annual average daily traffic count of 169,000 vehicles per day; the freeway forms much of the eastern boundary of Santa Clarita along its route. Past Santa Clarita, the road continues northeast and crosses the Sierra Pelona Mountains and western San Gabriel Mountains via the canyon of the seasonal Santa Clara River; the ascent is rugged and rural terrain, with only two small towns along the ascent, first Agua Dulce and Acton. Between the two towns, the freeway forms the southern boundary of a county park; the highway crests the Sierra Pelona Mountains via Escondido Summit, at an elevation of 3,258 feet, before descending and passing by Acton to the north. The highway crests the San Gabriel Mountains via Soledad Pass, at an elevation of 3,209 feet; the route of the highway through the mountains loosely parallels that of the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, used for the Metrolink Antelope Valley Line.
After cresting both mountain passes, the highway descends into the Antelope Valley, a large valley within the Mojave Desert. The highway crosses the California Aqueduct in the descent. SR 14 serves as the primary north -- south thoroughfare for the communities of Lancaster. Between Palmdale Boulevard and Avenue D in Lancaster, SR 14 runs concurrently with SR 138. From the Pearblossom Highway exit south of Palmdale to its northern terminus at US 395 near Inyokern, SR 14 has been designated the Aerospace Highway. Between Pearblossom Highway and Avenue S, there is a vista point overlooking Lake Palmdale, which features a historic plaque that honors aviation accomplishments including the space shuttle, breaking the sound barrier and the speed record; the freeway passes the Los Angeles–Kern county line at Avenue A, continues to run north through Rosamond and Mojave. In Rosamond, the highway passes close to Edwards Air Force Base, used as one of the main landing strips for NASA's space shuttle, as the base for the X-15 and many other air and spacecraft.
The freeway portion terminates just south of Mojave, where SR 14 serves as the main street and runs through the downtown area. To the east of the route is Mojave Air & Space Port, home to the National Test Pilot School and SpaceShipOne, the first funded human spaceflight, as well as a vast airplane graveyard. SR 58 was routed concurrently with SR 14 through Mojave, before it was rerouted onto a bypass running north and east of the town; the character of the highway changes. The road, now a divided highway with at-grade intersections, departs the corridor of the main Southern Pacific Line, to follow the crest of the forming Sierra Nevada mountains; the route continues to follow a branch line of the Southern Pacific used as a connector for the Trona Railway. The main line of the railroad proceeds towards the Central Valley via Tehachapi Pass. Though SR 14 heads away from the pass, the highway has views of the mountains and the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm; the scenery changes, as the highway departs the Mojave Desert and crosses Red Rock Canyon State Park.
Traffic counts drop as the highway becomes more rural