Auto Trails to Superhighways

From "Auto Trails" to Superhighways

“In total, the State of California has created a highway system which has been the subject of study and admiration of this Nation and the world.” - C. Raymond Clar

Beginning with animal migration paths, followed by Native American trails, wagon roads, and today’s superhighways, the Golden State’s system of roads has been shaped by its varied physical terrain. At the same time, California’s thousands of miles of roads have both helped to define the state and connect it to the greater world.

For example, where water has presented barriers to travel, Californians have overcome them with a system of ferries and later a network of 24,000 bridges. All these networks continue to remain works in progress as Californians face the challenge of getting from one place to another. With 175,000 miles of roads throughout the state, 35 million registered vehicles and 330 million miles traveled in 2010, California’s roads are now faced with even greater challenges since the first automobile arrived here in 1898.

auto trails to superhighways

California State Capitol Museum – The Road Ahead Exhibit

This is a website specifically for the “The Road Ahead: The Automobile’s Impact on California” Exhibit. Dates: May 23, 2018 – April 29, 2019 at the California State Capitol Museum.

For Museum-related information such as contacts, hours and location: Visit