Summit Scenic Overlook

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Located on State Highway 138 west of Summit Valley Road (part of the Rim of the World Scenic Byway). This unpaved overlook offers views of Cajon Pass, home to Interstate 15 and 4 railway lines, this location is popular with railroad fans. Do not venture near the cliff. Open all year.

Cajon Pass is a moderate-elevation mountain pass between the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California in the United States. It was created by the movements of the San Andreas Fault. The Mojave Desert pass provides an important economic link from the Greater San Bernardino Area, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, to Victor Valley, and northeast to Las Vegas.

The California Southern Railroad, a subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, was the first railroad to use the Cajon Pass as a route through the mountains. The rail line through the pass was built in the early 1880s as part of a connection between the present day cities of Barstow and San Diego.  Today, the Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway (the successor to the Santa Fe) use this pass to access Los Angeles and San Bernardino. Due to the high volume of trains, noteworthy scenery and easy access, it is a popular location for railfanning, and numerous photographs of trains on Cajon Pass appear in books and magazines about trains. The current Amtrak Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief passenger train travels through the pass.

The Union Pacific Railroad operates and owns one track through the pass, on the previous Southern Pacific Railroad Palmdale cutoff, opened in 1967. The BNSF Railway had two tracks and began to operate a third main track in the summer of 2008. The railroads share track rights through the pass ever since the Union Pacific gained track rights on the Santa Fe portion negotiated under the original Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad. The original BNSF (ATSF) line was constructed in 1890 and later roads, U.S. Route 66 and I-15, roughly followed this route.

The railfan community can play a key role in ensuring America’s rail network remains safe from vandalism, terrorism and incidents.

Because America's railroads have a long history in the growth and development of this country, and many people follow the industry and trains with interest, it is only natural to tap that interest to help safeguard railroads from incidents.

In 2006, BNSF was an industry leader in developing the first community-based rail fan reporting program called Citizens for Rail Security (CRS). Since inception rail fans have joined CRS in helping protect the railroad by reporting security violations, trespassers or unusual occurrences. Today, BNSF is broadening that effort by further educating community and legislative groups, police authorities and schools on rail security and how citizens can help.

As part of this education program, a DVD will be distributed to help communities understand the vitality railroads bring to the economy and who and what to report to either the local or railroad police. When possible, BNSF Resource Protection Officers will also make presentations to groups on railroad safety or security in addition to providing the DVDs.

Maintaining a sound and safe rail network is a priority for this nation. Railroads carry hundreds of commodities that help communities and individuals thrive, including lumber, automobiles, chemicals for water purification, coal, and many consumer products.

Help support a safe rail network by joining the Citizens for Rail Security. To report suspicious activity, contact BNSF’s Resource Operations Center at (1-800) 832-5452.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Stay away from edge of highway due to steep drop off. Exercise caution entering and exiting the highway. Slower traffic please use designated turn-outs.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Scenic Driving

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sbnf/recarea/?recid=26597