Where Does U.S. Route 101 Start and End?

Written by Megan Martin
Published: October 12, 2023
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The United States sports a vast road system featuring a variety of highways, routes, and interstates. Below, learn about where U.S. Route 101 starts and ends, as well as more about the history of the route itself. 

What Is U.S. Route 101?

U.S. Route 101 is a north-south route located on the western coast of the United States. It is part of the United States Numbered Highway System, and it covers over 1,500 miles. This route is also known by several other names, including El Camino Real, the Oregon Coast Highway, and the Olympic Highway. 

In the picture, you can see the California trait of Route 101. This U.S. Route spans 1,535.27 miles north and south.

©User:NE2, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Where Does U.S. Route 101 Start and End?

U.S. Route 101 begins in the north, in Olympia, Washington. It then travels down the West Coast, spanning 1,535.27 miles to reach the city of Los Angeles in California

U.S. Route 101 History

This route was first created as an initial part of the United States Numbered Highway System during the 1920s. The first plan drafted during this time had the route span from San Diego to Port Angeles, a place created in 1925. A year later, in 1926, professionals adopted the final plan. This draft had U.S. Route 101 extended along the Olympic Peninsula in Washington to reach its modern northern destination. Its southern development also adopted additional ground, marking its ending (or beginning) in Los Angeles.

One of the most recent changes to this coastal-spanning route is the addition of the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing. This addition will open in 2025 in Agoura Hills as one of the largest urban wildlife crossings in the world. This pass will provide a safe way for native wildlife to cross the highway, helping prevent collisions and protect the lives of humans and animals alike. It will connect the Simi Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Niranjan Arminius / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License / Original

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About the Author

Megan is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is birds, felines, and sharks. She has been researching and writing about animals for four years, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University, which she earned in 2022. A resident of North Carolina, Megan is an avid birdwatcher that enjoys spending time with her cats and exploring local zoological parks with her husband.

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