Favorite Local Motorcycle Routes: California
by ROGER HEUMANN on Aug 20, 2021
California is a great place to ride because the weather is decent in many areas all year long. It has great diversity in terms of scenery and there are over 1,100 miles of shorelines as well as canyons, mountains, alpine areas and more. You can also ride through some of the most popular and appealing cities in the world. Since California is the biggest tourist state in the country, many motorcyclists find themselves in the area and there are plenty of things to do between rides. Here are some of the best routes for a motorcyclist in California.more
Highland Valley Road
This motorcycle route is short and sweet and allows you to follow the I-15 in Rancho Bernardo toward Ramona. You will get to drive past avocado and citrus orchards and gather views of the rolling hills as well. You’ll take in expansive villas and small farms along the two-lane road. This route feels somewhat like a roller coaster with lots of dips and twists as well as blind corners and a few straights for faster driving. You will want to take the route slow because of the turns, but you won’t be sorry because you will miss less of the views at that pace. Drive the route on a weekday to avoid heavy traffic.
Mojave National Preserve Tour
You will get to see tons of high desert foliage on this path as well as beautiful pink sand dunes and a good amount of mountains. Save this ride for the spring when the desert is in bloom and you will be glad you did. The roads are in mostly good conditions and the Kelso train station is an interesting place to stop and enjoy the small café and museum.
Mojave National Preserve Tour II
You will start in Kelso Depot, CA and drive north and enjoy nice, straight roads through the desert. You will feel the desert spirit without much company and there are great hill views to the east as you ride. If you want isolation, this is a great road to enjoy. The road is eroded in a few spots and there are also sand patches so proceed with care. Keep in mind there are no roadside amenities on this path.
Rim of the World Highway
Grab the CA SR 18 just north of San Bernadino and you will get incredible mountain vista views. The road is right on the rim of the mountain and there are a lot of great pull over areas where you can see for 30 miles. There’s also a scenic mountain lake and twisty mountain roads to make it even more fun. The road is well traveled and usually in good conditions, though the colder air causes patches that sometimes need repair.
Mt Diablo Summit Run
If you have always wanted to climb a mountain, here’s your chance. The Mount Diablo summit gives beautiful views and takes you up 3800 feet to greet you with an astounding overlook of the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the central valley region. Go on a clear day so you can see the Sierras and even the Golden Gate Bridge. There are small hills on the ride as well as technical turns. You will want to take this road slow and the altitude change can be rapid and bothersome. There is a visitor center at the top that is worth a stop and you can even camp on the mountain.
With so many luscious views, it is hard to know which of these motorcycle routes to choose first when riding in the state of California. Try a few of these and then go back to your favorites later and throw in some new routes as well. There are enough to go around for as many visits as you make!