Best Motorcycle Routes in California

It’s time to hit the road and discover some of the best motorcycles routes in and around Northern and Southern California. Grab your helmet!

Highway 154 in Santa Barbara
Ride down Highway 154 and hop on the Old Stage Coach route to enjoy a ride through the Los Padres National Forest. While you’re there, visit the Cold Spring Tavern which sits in the middle of the forest, about 15 to 20 minutes from Santa Barbara. The tavern opened in 1865 and has been serving food and drink ever since. Hop on your motorcycle to experience this very unique rustic setting.

Sonora Pass in Northern California
If you’re an experienced rider looking for a fun, scenic stretch, check out the Sonora Pass. The journey begins in Sonora, CA (70 miles east of Stockton, CA). From there, you will head east on CA 108 until you hit the US-395 in the town of Sonora Junction – about 79 miles total. Side notes: Overall, it’s a steep, narrow ride and very twisty at times – the perfect scenic route for the experienced rider.

Highway 74 in Hemet
Looking for a bit of dessert and green? Then consider highway 74. Start off in Hemet, CA and ride east until you arrive in Indian Wells, CA. Twists can be found as you start climbing and again when you approach the Coachella Valley. On your way there, stop by the Paradise Corner Cafe for a good lunch. The cafe is located at 61721 State Hwy 74 in Mountain Center, CA.

Ortega Highway to Lake Elsinore
Several good twisties in this 32 mile drive. Just head out to San Juan Capistrano and hop on route 74, east to Lake Elsinore. The ride takes you through the Cleveland National Forest. As you climb up you’ll be able to enjoy the green view, the beauty of Mt. Elsinore and later, the lake. For food, stop by Hell’s Kitchen (32685 Ortega Hwy in Lake Elsinore) or the Lookout Roadhouse (32107 Ortega Hwy in Lake Elsinore).

Pacific Coast Highway 
Aside from the Palos Verdes Peninsula Tour, Pacific Coast Hwy is a well-known route among all So. Cal riders. Here are two options to consider. First option: Hop on PCH and head north towards Malibu. Your first stop – Neptune’s Net, a beachside restaurant with good seafood, and home to numerous bikers and surfers since the 195os. From there, enjoy the beach scene and the ride back home. The second option is for those looking to travel farther north towards Monterrey, CA (2.5 miles from San Luis Obispo). Jump on PCH/Hwy 1 from Monterrey to ride for 110 miles until you reach San Simeon and Hearst Castle. In addition to touring the grand castle, you’ll come across other amenities along the road including seven state parks, a state reserve, a botanical area and historical sites.

What’s your favorite ride or on your riding list?

[Via: CBS Los Angeles,, Image credit: filtran]

About the Author

Alejandra Gutierrez Alex is the new Social Media Specialist for the ILWU Credit Union. She's a 'nerd' at heart who enjoys community building. Her obsessions: baked goods and old mariachi ballads.