Fort Tejon State Historical Park; historical and scenic stop on I-5

How many times have you cruised I-5 to Southern California, climbed the Grapevine and passed the Fort Tejon turn off? But, have you ever stopped to admire the old fort?

Fort Tejon's restored adobe buildings look out on old parade ground.

The fort is located near the top of the Grapevine, just west of I-5. It was the main route between Southern California and the great California Central Valley. It was established in 1854 to protect both Indians who were living on the Sebastian Indian Reservation and white settlers and their cattle from raids from Paiutes and other Indian tribes from the south eastern deserts. It was garrisoned in August, 1854 and abandoned in September, 1864.

Today the fort features restored Adobe buildings from the original fort and a museum featuring exhibits on the local history and army life of the times. It’s located in a pretty valley with many stately, 400-year-old valley oak trees.

Park details: the park is located on I-5, about 70 miles from Los Angeles, near the top of Grapevine Canyon; take the Ft. Tejon exit. It’s about 310 miles, five hours south of Stockton. The park is open sunrise to sunset, with interpretive center open 9 to 4 daily. The historical Park also features a campground.

Docents dressed as 1860's army soldiers stand ready to answer questions on army life (CA State Parks photo)

For more information: www.parks.ca.gov/? page_id=585, or call (661) 248-6692.

Read more from Tim Viall’s travelĀ blog, follow him on Facebook or Twitter; or, email him at tviall@msn.com. Happy travels in your world!

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