Oregon Roads - Old OR/US 99 - Sunny Valley Loop

Sunny Valley Loop, former OR/US 99

The main reason anyone uses Sunny Valley Loop is to view the Grave Creek Bridge, built in 1920 as part of the Pacific Highway and incorporated into the original US 99. These photos head north from I-5 Exit 71 like most tourists would, which is why the covered site marker is on this side.

After crossing the bridge, most people just return to the Interstate because despite the name, Sunny Valley does not Loop. You can see some attempt to provide yellow center striping on the paved road to the north, but it's just yellow spray paint on top of original (1950s-1960s) white centerline. Notice that it's all dashed despite the lack of passing sight distance.

Here it's just striped all over the place. No passing, driving, turning, or stopping.

The yellow fades and white shines through as I continue north to pavement's dead end, impaled by a power line support. The path continuing on is a dead-end unrelated to US 99. The original route went downhill from here to rejoin what was then US 99's valley alignment, which became what's now I-5, and that's why this is called "Loop."

The northern drivable end is curved west on the side of St. Peter Mountain, so as I turn left I'm facing south toward Sexton Mountain, another one that US 99 had to climb.

All the way back down the hill and back to civilization. With a side street (Placer Rd.) intersecting just north of a one-lane bridge, there's active vehicle detection to keep things sane. Traffic volumes are low and generally would use Placer Rd., but there is an amount of tourist traffic that wouldn't expect the side street and would want to just U-turn, making this necessary.

See more of old US 99 in Josephine County
Modern OR 99

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