Pacheco Pass

Pacheco Pass, a road with a dark story

Pacheco Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 417m (1,368ft) above the sea level, located in the Diablo Range in southeastern Santa Clara County, California, in USA. The road has developed a reputation for being the source of strange experiences and hauntings.

What highway is Pacheco Pass?

The road over the pass is asphalted. It’s called California State Route 152 and separates the Santa Clara Valley and the Central Valley. It runs for 106 miles (171 km) between SR 1 in Watsonville and SR 99.  It’s said to be haunted (or cursed) and this stretch of road is reported to have the most fatal accidents in the state. There are stories of supposed Indian massacres by the Spanish settlers in the 1700's. And from 1860 to 1880 the pass was known as Robber's Pass due to two highwaymen that robbed, raped and murdered travlers along the route. The area was named after Don Francisco Perez Pacheco who recieved a large land grant from Mexico that covered a large area that now includes the pass for which he is named.

Is Pacheco Pass dangerous?

The section of the road near the pass is a single-lane highway in each direction and is the site of many accidents. As with most passes in the California Coast Ranges, it is not very high when compared to those in other mountain areas within the state. It is a road with a bloody history of accidents plagued the road for years as sleepy drivers returning home late at night would cross over into oncoming traffic. The road has been improved many times, but still has more than its fair shair of accidents. This road is notorious for numerous accidents, along with its ghosts! Many a sleepy driver has met an untimely end on the road, but many of its ghost stories aren’t even related to the accidents. A “time warp” of sorts is said to occur on the road, accounting for many reports of “lost time”, strange lights illuminate the sky, and men in Old West garb and a stagecoach make the occasional appearance.

 

NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.