US Highway 299 was, as its number implies, the second branch of the decommissioned US Highway 99. It was not part of the original routes commissioned by the Joint Board on Interstate Highways in 1926, but was created during the 1934 additions. US 299's route was entirely in California, and lasted until the 1964 renumbering of routes in that state. At that time, it was converted to a state highway and given the designation of California 299, which it presently carries.
The modern highway follows almost exactly the route of old US 299, which ran east to west and began in Alturas. Alturas lies near the Modoc National Forest and from there, US 299 commenced its westward journey through the lava beds and mountains. The highway winds its way through the hills for nearly 150 miles until reaching Redding.
At Redding, US 299 intersected its "parent" highway, US 99 (today replaced by Interstate 5). Billed as "California's Natural Getaway", Redding certainly seems to offer quite a bit for the tourist, from Lake Shasta to the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay which is open only to pedestrians.
Meanwhile, US 299 continues westward from Redding, passing through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. After some 145 miles, the highway arrives at the Pacific coast and the the town of Arcata. Home of the famous Arcata Eye Police Log, the city is also known for having converted its waterfront into an "innovative wetland system" called the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, also, US 299 comes to its western end at US Highway 101. Though it lasted only thirty years as a US highway, US 299's successor continues to be an important route through the upper reaches of northern California.
Droz, Robert V., "Sequential List of US Highways", US Highways From US 1 to US 830
. July 2003. <http://www.us-highways.com/us1830.htm> (June 2006)
Sanderson, Dale, “US Highway Ends”, End of historic U.S. highway 299
. June 2005. <http://www.geocities.com/usend9099/End299/end299.htm> (June 2006)