Virtual Guidebook to the San Joaquin Valley
West Side of the San Joaquin Valley
Stanislaus, Merced, Fresno and Kings Counties California

The west side of the San Joqauin Valley is familiar to motorists on the long stretch of Interstate 5 between Altamont Pass and Grapevine, the fast route between northern and southern California. The landsacpe is dominated by the linear features of highway, aqueduct, and powerlines. This stretch of I-5 was designed to bypass existing cities and there is still nothing along the route but small service centers for travelers and truckers.

Most irrigated agriculture on the west side dates from completion of the California Aqueduct in the 1970's and '80's, almost a century later than on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley. Until then local economies were based on grazing and petroleum production.


Orestimba Viewpoint on Interstate 5

(March 3, 2006)


The Dos Amigos Pumping Plant on the California Aqueduct, viewed from Interstate Five

(March 30, 2008)

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