3 Great Scenic Motorcycle Routes Near Los Angeles
Route 66 was an historic “biker” highway connecting Los Angeles to Chicago that, sadly, is no more. The aging highway was decommissioned in the 1980s, but the number of pop culture references have made Route 66 forever a symbol of freedom, western migration, and the loneliness of the American heartland. One could try to ride the remnants, but California is blessed with a number of scenic motorcycle routes near Los Angeles, so why not hop on one of these?
Pacific Coast Highway: The View of a Lifetime
California’s Highway 1 runs along the Pacific Coast and is one of the most breathtaking roadways in America. With turns, climbs, and drops, the terrain will keep you alert and energized the entire way. This 127-mile stretch takes riders from Monterey to Morro Bay. Every curve offers a different view of waterfalls, redwood forests, flowered meadows, rocky outcrops, towering mountains, sheep pastures, or verdant valleys. Whales, sharks, sea lions, elephant seals, and pelicans are clearly visible down in the sea below. Monterey’s Cannery Row District is a worthwhile stop, with its restaurants, museums, and world-famous aquarium. Neptune’s Nest in Malibu is another popular stop for bikers, offering a great view of the sea, famous clam chowder, and a homey atmosphere.
Note: A 2017 landslide closed part of the iconic highway near Big Sur, so you’ll need to take a detour.
Mulholland Highway: When You’ve Got An Hour Or Less To Kill
LA Weekly calls the rolling hills of the Mulholland Highway, between Malibu Canyon and Kanan Dume Road, the “best twisty motorcycle ride.” You’ll pass California Live Oaks and cacti, through Malibu Creek State Park, on a smooth stretch of asphalt that offers exhilarating curves and sweeping vista views. Since the trip only takes 20 minutes, some riders will continue on down to the sea, while others stop for brunch in Cornell. Old Place Grill is a historic stagecoach-turned-restaurant, beloved by local bikers, celebrities, and tourists for its fantastic brunch and BBQ sandwiches.
Angeles Crest Highway: Pure Alpine Scenery, Mountains, and Blue Skies For Miles
This scenic 120-mile motorcycle route starts just minutes from downtown LA in La Canada, travels east along Highway 2, and ends in Wrightwood, California. The well-maintained road climbs up to approximately 7,000 feet, with twisty two-lanes offering spectacular mountain views, sweeping curves, switchbacks, and plenty of fresh pine air. On the weekends, you’re likely to only see a few bikes on this quiet highway. Riders may continue on past Wrightwood, through the Angeles National Forest for an extra 55 forested miles. The park makes an excellent stop for horseback riding, water sports, hiking, or nature watching. Be sure to stop at Newcomb’s Ranch, which offers plenty of classic bikes in the lot, weekend BBQ, and a friendly atmosphere.
While motorcycle riding is safer in California than much of the country due to helmet law enforcement and the popularity of bikes with anti-lock brake systems, bikers and their families may need the services of an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney to collect the compensation they deserve. The Ellis Injury Law Firm has a proven track record of successful motorcycle accident settlements and jury awards. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case review and pay us nothing unless we win money on your behalf!
Additional “scenic L.A. motorcycle routes” resources:
- WikiTravel – Route 66, http://wikitravel.org/en/Route_66
- LA Weekly – People and Places, http://www.laweekly.com/best-of/2010/people-and-places/best-twisty-motorcycle-ride-2202371
- California Motorcycle Adventures – Pacific Coast Highway, https://californiamotorcycleadventures.com/testimonial/harley-road-king-pacific-coast-highway/
- Motorcycle Roads – Pacific Coast Highway, https://www.motorcycleroads.com/motorcycle-roads/california/pacific-coast-cruise-hwy-1
- Motorcycle Roads – Angeles Crest Highway, http://www.motorcycleroads.com/75/1221/California/Angeles-Crest-Highway.html#sthash.kVPmtVgX.dpbs
- CBS Local – Top Motorcycle Rides in Los Angeles, http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/top-lists/top-motorcycle-rides-in-los-angeles/
- Motorcycle Central – 5 Great Motorcycle Roads in Los Angeles, http://motorcycle-central.com/5-great-motorcycle-roads-in-california
- Vacations Made Easy – 9 Scenic Motorcycle Routes You Should Be Riding In California, https://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/TheBLT/CaliforniaCruising9ScenicMotorcycleRoutesYouShouldBeRiding.html
- LA Times – Motorcycle deaths jump nationwide but fall in California. Why? http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-motorcycle-fatalities-20160517-snap-story.html