California State Route 41

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State Route 41

SR 41 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Caltrans
Length185.594 mi[1] (298.685 km)
(plus about 6.5 mi (10.5 km) on SR 46, and does not include portion in Yosemite National Park)
Major junctions
South end SR 1 in Morro Bay
Major intersections
North end SR 140 in Yosemite National Park
CountryUnited States
CountiesSan Luis Obispo, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa
Highway system
I-40 SR 42
Morro Bay - Atascadero Road in 1940. Car is a then-new 1940 Lincoln-Zephyr.

State Route 41 (SR 41) is a state highway in the U.S. State of California, connecting the Central Coast with the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada. Its southern terminus is at the Cabrillo Highway (SR 1) in Morro Bay, and its northern terminus is at SR 140 in Yosemite National Park. It has been constructed as an expressway from near SR 198 in Lemoore north to the south part of Fresno, where the Yosemite Freeway begins, passing along the east side of downtown and extending north into Madera County.

Route description

The majority of Route 41 runs as either two-lane rural highway or four-lane divided highway. The only part of SR 41 that turns into a freeway itself is in Fresno County and parts of Madera. The southern end of the highway intersects SR 1 in Morro Bay. Between Morro Bay and Fresno, the highway intersects U.S. Route 101 in Atascadero, proceeds through the Coast Range and intersects SR 46. Actor James Dean died in an accident in 1955 at the intersection of SR 46 in Cholame. Currently, there is a memorial located there. The interchange is now called the James Dean Memorial Junction. Between SR 46 and SR 33, SR 41 ascends the Diablo Range and Cottonwood Pass and briefly travels through Kern County without any intersections in its entirety. After entering Kings County, it reaches SR 33. SR 41 then intersects Interstate 5 south of Kettleman City. A large hazardous waste and municipal solid waste disposal facility operated by Waste Management, Inc. is located 5.6 km (3.5 mi) SSW of Kettleman City on the west side of the highway. Just before reaching the intersection at SR 198 outside of the city of Lemoore, SR 41 becomes a four-lane divided highway until just southeast of Riverdale, where SR 41 reverts to one lane in each direction. The El Adobe de los Robles Rancho built by pioneer Daniel Rhoads can be found north of Lemoore.

Southeast of Caruthers, SR 41 becomes a four-lane divided highway and eventually a freeway approaching the Fresno city limits. The route intersects SR 99 near Jensen Avenue. Complete access is not available between SR 41/SR 99. For example, there is no direct connector between the southbound SR 41 and northbound SR 99; drivers wanting to make this transition must exit at the SR 41/SR 180 interchange, head west on SR 180, and then transition onto SR 99 at the interchange between those two freeways. Likewise, there is no direct connector between the northbound SR 41 and the southbound SR 99. Drivers must exit at Jensen Avenue, head east on Jensen until its junction with SR 99 a half-mile east of SR 41, and then make the southbound transition onto SR 99.

SR 41 continues north into downtown Fresno, then intersects SR 180 at a section of the latter route that links SR 41 to both SR 99 to the west, and to SR 168 to the east. North of Fresno, the route crosses the San Joaquin River, and enters Madera County near Valley Children's Hospital before reverting to a two-lane highway. 8.5 miles (13.7 km) further north, SR 41 intersects with SR 145, before entering California's Sierra-Nevada mountain range. SR 41 continues through the towns of Coarsegold and Oakhurst, where it intersects with SR 49.

East portal of Wawona Tunnel near the northern terminus of SR 41

SR 41 then heads north to the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. Inside the park, state routes are federally maintained and are not included in the state route logs. Although there is an "End SR 41" sign south of the park's entrance,[2] state routes within the park may still be signed at intersections.[3] The highway continues as Wawona Road north to Wawona and Yosemite West before turning east to pass through Wawona Tunnel. Tunnel View is a viewpoint located just outside the east end of the Wawona Tunnel, and provides the first view of Yosemite Valley. The route then continues into Yosemite Valley where it terminates at SR 140/Southside Drive.

Except between US 101 in Atascadero and SR 46 near Shandon, SR 41 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System,[4] and north of SR 46 is part of the National Highway System,[5] a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.[6] Three segments – from SR 1 to US 101, SR 46 to SR 33, and SR 49 at Oakhurst to Yosemite (the Wawona Road) – are eligible for inclusion in the State Scenic Highway System,[7] but SR 41 is not officially designated as a scenic highway by the California Department of Transportation.[8] SR 41 is known as the E.G. Lewis Highway from SR 1 to US 101 in San Luis Obispo County, the Dwight David Eisenhower Memorial Freeway from Ventura Avenue in Fresno to Herndon Avenue in Fresno, the Donald DeMers Highway from Jensen Avenue in Fresno to Elkhorn Avenue, the Yosemite Freeway from Elkhorn Avenue to the Fresno-Madera County line, the Southern Yosemite Highway from the Fresno-Madera County line to Yosemite National Park, and the Wawona Road from Fresno to Yosemite National Park.[9]


Northbound on Route 41 in Fresno at the Route 180 interchange

In 1930, the counties of Fresno, Kings, Kern, and San Luis Obispo considered organizing a joint highway district to construct a shortcut connecting Fresno with the Pacific Ocean at Morro Bay. This highway would pass through Kettleman City on its way to the Cholame Lateral (Legislative Route 33) near Cholame or Shandon, and then continue to Morro Bay, where a new harbor was being developed.[10][11] The entire length from Fresno to Morro Bay, as well as the Wawona Road to Yosemite, was added to the state highway system in 1933 as Route 125,[12][13] and subsequently improved by the state. In 1934, the state sign route system was established, and Sign Route 41 was designated along Route 125 from Yosemite south and southwest to Cholame and then west through Paso Robles to Cambria via Legislative Route 33.[14] The part of Route 125 southwest of Cholame instead became part of the new U.S. Route 466.[15]

By the 1950s, the short piece of US 466 (Route 125) between Creston and Atascadero had not yet been paved, and so US 466 was moved to the longer but better road via Paso Robles, replacing SR 41 to Paso Robles and overlapping US 101 to Atascadero. As SR 41 had not been signed over the unpaved road west of Paso Robles, it was truncated to Cholame.[16] US 466 was eliminated in the 1964 renumbering, becoming SR 46 east from Paso Robles. However, instead of going south and west to Morro Bay, SR 46 continued west to Cambria, and the road via Creston and Atascadero to Morro Bay (which had since been paved) became part of SR 41.[17][18]

In the 1980s, the urban stretch of 41 running through Fresno was upgraded to freeway standards, intersecting SR 99 to the south. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the freeway portion was extended several miles beyond Fresno in both directions.

Also in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Atascadero, the old SR 41 alignment used to cut through downtown by going north on El Camino Real and turning right onto West Mall. Then it continued past the Atascadero Colony Building and crossed the 1921 Atascadero Creek Bridge before turning left onto Capistrano Avenue. It then went under a low clearance railroad crossing and a dangerous narrow bridge crossing the Salinas River before rejoining its existing alignment. Then Caltrans built a bypass of this dangerous route with a long wider bridge crossing the railroad, Sycamore Drive, and the river before joining the original 1950s SR 41. SR 41 is now currently signed on this bypass. Since then, the old bridge was demolished but the railroad undercrossing still remains. There's an old sign on Capistrano Avenue that still marks it as "Hwy 41" and signs on El Camino Real that mark West Mall with covered up "41" shields.


The Kings County Association of Governments has plans to improve the state highways within the county. Developers are interested in building distribution warehouses in Kings County because of its strategic location midway between the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas, but they are currently turned off by the lack of freeway access. For SR 41, the plan is to upgrade it so the highway is a continuous freeway from I-5 north to Fresno County. However, Kings County voters have shown little interest in passing any transportation taxes to fund these projects.[19]

Major intersections

Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, based on the alignment that existed at the time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers to an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary (for a full list of prefixes, see California postmile § Official postmile definitions).[1] Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.

San Luis Obispo
SLO 0.00-50.43
Morro Bay0.00Atascadero RoadContinuation beyond SR 1
0.00 SR 1 – Cayucos, Cambria, Hearst CastleInterchange; south end of SR 41; SR 1 exit 279B
Atascadero15.89 US 101 – San Francisco, Los AngelesInterchange; US 101 exit 219
15.96El Camino Real
SR 229 south – Creston
48.63[N 1]

SR 46 west / McMillan Canyon Road – Paso Robles
South end of SR 46 overlap
49.60[N 1]Shandon Rest Area
Cholame55.11[N 1]

SR 46 east – Bakersfield
North end of SR 46 overlap; former US 466 east
KER 0.00-4.98
No major intersections
KIN 0.00-R48.28
8.10 SR 33 – Avenal, Taft
16.28 I-5 – Sacramento, Los AngelesInterchange; I-5 exit 309
LemooreR39.96 SR 198 – Hanford, Sequoia Park, Coalinga, Lemoore NASInterchange; SR 198 exit 77
South end of freeway
R40.95Bush Street
North end of freeway
R48.28Excelsior AvenueInterchange
FRE R0.00-33.45

SR 41 Bus. north (Adams Avenue) – Easton

SR 41 Bus. south (American Avenue) – Easton
South end of freeway
FresnoR20.11124North Avenue
R21.13125Jensen Avenue
SR 99 north – Madera, Sacramento
Northbound exit and southbound entrance; SR 99 south exit 131
SR 99 south – Bakersfield, Los Angeles
Southbound exit and northbound entrance; SR 99 north exit 131
R22.80126BVan Ness Avenue – Civic CenterFormer SR 180
R22.95127AO StreetSouthbound exit only
R23.74127BTulare Street, Divisadero StreetSigned as exit 127 northbound
SR 168 east (Sierra Freeway) / SR 180 (Sequoia-Kings Canyon Freeway) – Clovis, Huntington Lake, Kings Canyon, Mendota
Signed as exits 128A (east) and 128B (west) northbound; SR 168 exit 1A; SR 180 exits 59A-B
R25.26129McKinley Avenue
R26.46130Shields Avenue
R27.47131Ashlan Avenue
R28.47132Shaw Avenue – ClovisFormer SR 168; serves California State University Fresno
R29.46133Bullard Avenue
R30.45134Herndon Avenue – ClovisConnects to SR 99 north
R31.68135Friant Road, Blackstone Avenue – Millerton Lake
MAD 0.00-45.74
R1.20138Rio Mesa Boulevard, Children's Boulevard (SR 41 Bus. north)Signed as exits 138A (Rio Mesa Boulevard) and 138B (Children's Boulevard) northbound
North end of freeway

SR 41 Bus. south (Avenue 12) – Madera Ranchos

SR 145 south to SR 99 north / Road 145 – Madera, Millerton Lake
SR 49 north – Ahwahnee, Mariposa
MPA 0.00-4.92
Fish Camp4.92North end of state maintenance near Yosemite National Park south entrance
Yosemite National Park Southern/Mariposa Grove Entrance Station; park fee or annual pass required for entry[23]
Wawona Tunnel

SR 140 east
Entrance only
Southside DriveContinuation beyond SR 140; southbound entrance only accessible via Northside Drive to SR 140
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  1. ^ a b c Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 46 rather than SR 41.


  1. ^ a b c California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (XLS file) on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  2. ^ ""End SR 41" sign south of Yosemite National Park's southern entrance". Google Street View. April 2021. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
  3. ^ "Signage along westbound Northside Drive at the Southside Drive/El Portal Road interchange listing SR 41, SR 120 and SR 140". Google Street View. September 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
  4. ^ "Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets and Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  5. ^ Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: California (South) (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  6. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  7. ^ "Article 2.5 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets & Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  8. ^ California Department of Transportation (August 2019). "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways" (XLSX). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  9. ^ California Department of Transportation; California State Transportation Agency (January 2021). 2020 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California (PDF). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. pp. 34–35. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2022. {{cite book}}: |archive-date= / |archive-url= timestamp mismatch; October 10, 2022 suggested (help)
  10. ^ Los Angeles Times, Morro Bay Road Looms, April 26, 1930, p. 4
  11. ^ Fresno Bee, Fresno-To-Coast Highway Proposal Looks Favorable, May 7, 1930
  12. ^ California State Assembly. An act to amend sections 2, 3 and 5 and to add two sections to be numbered 6 and 7 to an act entitled 'An act to provide for the acquisition of rights of way for and the construction, maintenance... Fiftieth Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 767, pp. 2037, 2038.: "State Highway Route 4 near Fresno to Yosemite National Park." "State Highway Route 56 near Moro [sic] to State Highway Route 4 near Fresno via Stratford."
  13. ^ California State Assembly. An act to establish a Streets and Highways Code, thereby consolidating and revising the law relating to public ways and all appurtenances thereto, and to repeal certain acts and parts of acts specified herein. Fifty-first Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 29, pp. 283, 284.: "Route 125 is from: (a) Route 56 near Morro to Route 4 near Fresno via Stratford. (b) Route 4 near Fresno to Yosemite National Park."
  14. ^ Dennis, T.H. (August 1934). "State Routes Will Be Numbered and Marked with Distinctive Bear Signs". California Highways and Public Works. 11 (8): 20–21, 32. ISSN 0008-1159 – via
  15. ^ Richard F. Weingroff, U.S. 666: "Beast of a Highway"?
  16. ^ H.M. Gousha Company, California Archived December 31, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, 1955
  17. ^ H.M. Gousha Company, California, 1963
  18. ^ California State Assembly. An act to add Section 253 and Article 3 (commencing with Section 300) to Chapter 2 of Division 1 of, and to repeal Section 253 and Article 3 (commencing with Section 300) of Chapter 2 of Division 1 of, the... 1963 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 385, p. 1175.
  19. ^ Nidever, Seth (September 7, 2013). "Road map for the future?". The Sentinel. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  20. ^ California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.
  21. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
  22. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, State Route 41 Freeway Interchanges, Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
  23. ^ "Yosemite National Park Fees & Passes". National Park Service. Retrieved December 31, 2021.

External links