Vignette 277 > Panoramic Highway

Pan Toll Rd. 1929

Today, Panoramic Highway starts at Highway 1 in Tam Valley, passes by Four Corners, Mt. Home Inn and the Pan Toll Rd. junction. It ends at Highway 1 in Stinson Beach. In 1913, the Bolinas Improvement Club circulated a petition to build an automobile boulevard connecting Bolinas with Mill Valley via what is now named Stinson Beach. It would put Bolinas closer to San Francisco. According to a preliminary survey made at the instance of the boosters of the project, the road would be 14 miles long with most grades between 3 and 4 per cent, the steepest grade being 6 per cent. The maximum elevation would be 1,200 feet. The then existing steep and narrow road to Bolinas was from Fairfax. A road from Mill Valley would make Bolinas 8 or 10 miles closer to San Francisco. The Marin County Board of Supervisors viewed the highway petition favorably. The petition stated, “The Marin coast is rich in scenery, and an easy road to reach it would lure many tourists. The proposed road would pass through many scenic spots, skirt Muir Woods and border cliffs overlooking the sea.  It would be one of the most beautiful drives in California, and win nation wide fame.”  It was anticipated that thousands of motorists visiting California during the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition would undoubtedly use the new road, and they would surely spread the facts regarding the charms of Marin County. There was no mention of the dirt road for stagecoaches, now highway 1, built in 1870 from Tam Valley to what is now Stinson Beach.