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Tejon Pass

The Tejon Pass is a mountain pass at the southwest end of the Tehachapi Mountains linking Southern to Central California. It traverses the boundary between Los Angeles and Kern counties. Its highest point at 4,160 feet (1,260 m), is about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Through it winds the route of Interstate 5, which connects the southern part of the state with the Central Valley to the north.

On its northward side lies Old Fort Tejon State Park, the site of a former U.S. Army post, Fort Tejon, built in 1854.

The pass has a mostly gradual rise from its southern point of 1,207 feet at Santa Clarita, but a precipitous descent towards the Central Valley on the north, where it ends near the small community of Grapevine at 1,499 feet.

The first automobile highway linking the Central Valley with the Los Angeles Basin, called the Ridge Route, was laid in a sinuous fashion through the ridges and gullys of the Tejon Pass around 1910. The northern portion of this highway, which became a part of U.S. Route 99, was known as “The Grapevine,” after a hill by that name over which it passed.

Five-hundred-kV Southern California Edison power lines, constituting part of the Path 26 transmission corridor, cross the pass as well, but at a higher elevation to the west of Interstate 5 at the foot of the 8,000+ foot (2,438 m) Frazier Mountain.

The pass is sometimes closed by heavy snows during a winter storm, and traffic is occasionally halted as the result of a serious accident.

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