FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show California’s Cajon Pass?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows an undated photo of the Cajon Pass in California.

Verdict: False

The image shows the Ute Pass in Colorado, not the Cajon Pass in California, according to the Granger Historical Picture Archive.

Fact Check:

The Cajon Pass is a mountain pass located between the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains in Southern California, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The pass intersects with Interstate 15 at times and once made up part of the famed Route 66, local San Bernardino news outlet The Sun reported.

A black-and-white photo shared on Facebook claims to show the pass in use, seemingly before the invention of the car. The photo shows pack animals and wagons making their way along a dirt path. “The original Highway 15 — Route 66 — out of California. Cajon Pass back in the day,” reads text included in the image. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Bumper-To-Bumper Traffic On A 19-Lane Los Angeles Freeway?)

The image featured in the post does not show the pass. A reverse image search revealed the same image can be found on the Granger Historical Picture Archive website with a caption that states it shows a mountain pass in Colorado, not California. “COLORADO: UTE PASS, c1875. Native American caravan in Ute Pass, Colorado. Stereograph by James Thurlow, c1875,” reads the post’s caption. Ute Pass is located west of Denver and does not connect to California, according to Google Maps.

Neither Interstate 15 nor any former part of Route 66, which was decertified in 1985, goes through Colorado, according to maps available on the U.S. Geological Survey website and the National Parks Service website.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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