Build Your Own House

Paving Mountain Driveways

Summary: You can use crush-a-run stone for mountain driveways as it is great for traction and blends in with the mountains.

Our offer was just accepted for purchasing the land for our new home this past weekend in the California Sierras.

I've been trying to do research on asphalt paving costs just to get a general idea because the property will have a 600 foot steep driveway.

The road is currently compacted dirt and our fear is the driveway expense will be out of sight.

I have read that recycled asphalt is much cheaper but some people have stated on other forums that they paid $5 a linear foot for 600 ft drive and it was $3000 at 14 feet wide. Other sites I see $2 to $5 a square foot. That’s a huge difference.

Any suggestions on what we can use as general guideline and is recycled rolled asphalt (some call it milled) going to save us money and still have quality? Thanks, Pat


Let's convert linear to square footage so that can compute and compare apples with apples. (600 feet (length) X 14 feet (width) = 8,400 sq. ft.)

If someone got that done for $3,000, they paid 35.71 cents per sq ft! I say that’s impossible.

I don’t know what you will have to pay for asphalt in the Sierras. It all depends on how far your job site is from the nearest asphalt plant, competition, and how busy everyone is.

They can only deliver asphalt just so far as it has to be hot. I know nothing about recycled rolled asphalt other than what I found on the Internet. It appears to be a "cold" installation process, and it appears that it used for a base. Maybe that's all you would need. It certainly solve the hot/distance problem.

I have built in the mountains of NC and always used what is called "crusher-run-gravel" (also called, crush-a-run) as a temporary drive for supply trucks, and the permanent driveway.

Crush-a-run is unwashed crushed stone. It has all the powdery substance created in crushing the stone, and it will harden after getting wet. It provides good traction in rain & snow and is a good base for asphalt or concrete.

Perhaps you could use crush-a-run for your permanent driveway. It blends in with the mountains.

You also will need to put drainpipes in at the roadside if they are required by either ordinance or common sense. They allow roadside water to flow under the driveway and prevent water from washing the stone (or asphalt) away. Good drainage along the sides is essential too.

At any rate, you have plenty of time to get contractor bids and decide. An asphalt drive should not be laid until after the last heavy truck has departed for good!

Carl Heldmann