Traveling West on The Old Spanish Trail Highway

To San Diego, California


In San Diego, the traveler can see the last of the Zero Mile Markers.  It's located on the corner of Broadway and 4th Streets and is not easy to find at this edge of one of San Diego's largest retail malls:  Horton Plaza.  Like San Antonio, San Diego is planning its own centennial celebration of the beginnings of the Old Spanish Trail Highway.

A closer look at the mile marker:


The archives of the Old Spanish Trail Association pretty definitively locates the OST route through Southern California.  From Yuma, Arizona, travelers follow IH-8 all the way to just east of El Centro then exit to take the Evan Hughes Highway (OST) through Date City to Holtville, Rico, and Meloland before driving into El Centro.  Evan Hughes Highway become Main Street and Adams Avenue before becoming the Evan Hughes Highway again.  OST travelers should stay on that highway until they get to Coyote Wells and then return to IH-8.  Between Campo and Junction City, the road almost touches Mexico and the traveler can see the new Border Fence sprawled across the southern vista like an ugly scar.

When the highway reaches the western edge of San Diego, travelers need to exit onto Market and then turn north on 4th to Broadway.  And there, on one end of San Diego's multilevel shopping center, Horton Plaza, in the middle of the Gas Lamp District, the last of three monuments to the builders of the Old Spanish Trail was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge. 

It's a long drive:  all the way across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.  We should remember not only the men who caused the highway (and the other transcontinental highways) to be built, but we should also remember the men who received no recognition:  working men, prisoners on chain gangs, undocumented immigrants in the western areas. 

In the 1920s, to build such a highway was a major achievment!


Click on the OST pole marker to return to the home page for the Old Spanish Trail.