Virtual Guidebook to El Camino Real
Upper Salinas Valley
King City to Cuesta Pass California


The flat row-crop floor of the Salinas Valley ends at the San Ardo oil field. South from there the river runs between dry hills, increasingly covered with low density urban development centered on Paso Robles and Atascadero.

Just south of Santa Margarita the valley ends abruptly at the Santa Lucia Range. Highway 101, descendant of El Camino Real, and the railroad climb over the mountains at Cuesta Pass. The headwaters of the river are just to the east.



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Caltrans' Camp Roberts rest stop on Highway 101

(June 1, 2010)


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The old railroad town of Santa Margarita, north of Cuesta Pass

(February 25, 2006)


Next Locality: Mission San Miguel