Motorcycle owners choose to ride for many reasons. Your bike might give you a sense of power, freedom, and connection that you cannot get from inside a passenger vehicle.
This connection to the outdoors motivates many riders to search for new and exciting motorcycle routes that provide unique experiences. These routes take you through California’s mountains, deserts, and coastlines, providing a view of the state that you can only experience on two wheels.
Here are some of the best motorcycle routes in California and some hints for navigating these routes safely.
California’s Varied Environments
California’s best motorcycle routes span the state. These routes include roads that run through Death Valley and reach Palm Desert. They include the famous Pacific Coast Highway. And they take you across California’s many mountains and forests.
Here are some of the best motorcycle routes in California:
The Pacific Coast Highway/Highway 1
Almost every resource on scenic routes through California includes the Pacific Coast Highway, also called the PCH or Highway 1. This highway runs from San Juan Capistrano in Southern California to Mendocino County in Northern California. In total, the PCH covers 655 miles of California’s coastline.
Along the way, you will see some of California’s most scenic views. You will also pass through some of California’s most popular tourist towns, such as:
- Santa Barbara
- Santa Cruz
- Big Sur
- San Luis Obispo
You will even cross the Golden Gate Bridge as you travel on the PCH north of San Francisco.
But you should also exercise caution. The PCH has a reputation for its challenging topography. The road winds along California’s coast, and the twists and turns can challenge even skilled riders.
The weather in some areas can leave the roads slick with condensation and rain. And some drivers find the hilly sections more difficult to navigate than the twisty sections.
SR-74 runs from Menifee to Palm Desert through the Santa Rosa and the San Jacinto Mountains. This roughly 50-mile drive carries you from the San Bernardino forest to the desert just outside of Joshua Tree National Park. In between, you get mountain views of the desert landscape.
Before you reach the national park, you pass through the resorts and spas of Indian Wells and Palm Springs. Here you can find restaurants, recreation, and luxury hotels.
In addition to beautiful views, this road also has a reputation for risk. In 2021, SR-74 had 41 motorcycle accidents. These crashes killed four and injured 41.
SR-180 and SR-245
SR-180 and SR-245 weave into and through Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park. These highways carry riders through dense forests, including giant sequoia trees.
But these roads can pose a risk to riders. SR-180 and SR-245 wind through the mountains and feature sharp turns and changes in elevation. In 2021, these roads saw 11 motorcycle accidents.
Angeles Crest Highway/SR-2
This road takes you high into the Angeles National Forest just outside of the second-most populous city in the U.S., Los Angeles. This road curves and winds through the mountains northeast of Los Angeles. Motorcyclists had 41 accidents on this mountain highway in 2021.
Motorcycling Safely in California
California offers beautiful scenery for adventurous motorcyclists. Just remember to wear a helmet to comply with California’s universal helmet law. And slow down when driving California’s windy mountain roads. Speeding increases the risk of losing control of your motorcycle or colliding with slow-moving cars.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.