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Old 02-16-2014, 10:09 PM   #16
TUCKERS
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I'd cut your map in half and just do everything west and south of Las Vegas.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:32 AM   #17
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You might take a peek at this thread:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=906413

Similar area, similar time of year, except they're doing it in a rental car. Same advice applies, except they're ending in San Francicsco and you want to be in Oceanside.

I'm with Stu: some of the stuff you have on that itinerary is positively, absolutely pedestrian (Ortega Highway, etc). That includes the whole coastal thing from Carpinteria down, Mullholland Highway and Latigo Canyon. Crossing the Sierras at Highway 178 is nothing too memorable. I see your goal is to do 33. Nice road but, not worth traveling across the country for. Skip Death Valley after May. Not even safe to traverse on a motorcycle and you'll miss all the scenery if you just cross it on 190 (the pretty stuff is along the north-south axis).

I assume Mullholland Highway because you want to experience the Rock Store? You need to do that on a Saturday or Sunday for it to be the real circus experience. Otherwise, it's just a windy road with an artificially low speed limit (45 MPH). Latigo Canyon actually sucks. The pavement is terrible right now (did it a few months ago). Nothing noteworthy about it.

If you insist on wanting to do that section of the Santa Monica mountains, I can give you a much better route through there with breathtaking vistas and twisties that will wear you out. We just need to figure out which way you're coming and going.

Other parts of your trip? Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon (south approach to Flagstaff) is a beautiful ride and great road. South rim is a snooze-fest. Four corners is a disappointment (and your GPS will reveal it's in the wrong place). North Rim, Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Arches and Cedar Breaks are unforgettable. Lake Mead? Not so much. If you do the Utah area, don't miss Monument Valley and Mokee Dugway (already mentioned). That would be a national park if it weren't already protected Navajo land.

Don't mean to tear apart your itinerary. Just trying to give you some feedback on where there is some high-value stuff, versus low-value. I wouldn't trade a day in the Utah / Arizona area for a day crossing Bakersfield, highway 33, PCH or Mullholland Highway. There is no comparison. Now, if you really want to do the So Cal thing, say the word and we'll get you the best, most scenic ways to see it. Just giving it to you straight.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey View Post
Don't mean to tear apart your itinerary.
By all means, tear it up. I dig the input. Can't thank ya'll enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey View Post
Now, if you really want to do the So Cal thing, say the word and we'll get you the best, most scenic ways to see it. Just giving it to you straight.
Fair enough.

Let's try this a different way: Let's say I'm going to be in SoCal for 4-5 days sometime between April 15 and May 31. I'm aiming to center my trip around Oceanside CA to visit a buddy. I'd like to be on 2 wheels and check out some interesting stuff. I'm considering flying into Las Vegas, LA, or San Diego. What should I not miss?

I have a buddy in Phoenix. Maybe next year I visit him and tour northern AZ then.
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:09 PM   #19
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Let's try this a different way: Let's say I'm going to be in SoCal for 4-5 days sometime between April 15 and May 31. I'm aiming to center my trip around Oceanside CA to visit a buddy.
This changes everything. How many self-travel days are you planning? Is 4-5 your total visit or your dedicated motorcycle days?
  • San Diego is a really nice place. You could rent a car, spend your time wandering around town for 4-5 days and be perfectly happy with your time spent.
  • If you want to go to Los Angeles during that time and do any of the Hollywood tourist stuff, a car is a better option anyway (secure, less likely to be stolen / vandalized).
  • If you have 4-5 travel days and want to check off every motorcycle cliche available, that is also possible (Mullholland, Rock Store, Newcomb's Ranch, Palomar Mountain, highway 33, etc). Just FYI: if I took you on a loop through the Santa Monica mountains on any weekday, you'd ride right over "the Snake" and never even know you did it. There is absolutely nothing special about that mile of road except that there is a turnout where others can watch the carnage on weekends.
  • If you've never been to California before and want those 4-5 days to really count, give you the best motorcycle experience possible and something that will make you want to sell everything to move here, Sequoia and Yosemite.
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:38 PM   #20
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4 or 5 mc days. You need to stay in California. San Diego County along with Orange, Riverside, San Benardino etc. have enough to keep you busy for sure. Especially if you take in all the MC hotspots as mentioned above. Your other big route into Utah, Nevada etc. is very ambushes and probably cannot be done and see the things your going there to see. My one big suggestion though on that route is to Skip 4 corners and take 191 down through Monument Valley into Kayenta. Theres other suggestions I'd make but not now.
No matter what you do you will have a great time but just be very careful in So. Cal on an MC.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:15 PM   #21
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Yeah, my plan was too ambitious. I got carried away with google maps one night and bit off way too much. Before I was done I was looking at an aggressive 8+ days in the saddle with no time to visit with my bud.

So, throw that out. New plan. Figure I'll be in town for a solid 7-8 days, but looking to spend a few just hanging out with my friend and his wife. Set me up with 4-5 days worth of solid day-rides while I mooch off their hospitality sleeping on their couch, drinking their booze, and beating a path out of town early every AM. Maybe one overnighter up in the hills or something.

To hell with Hollywood. You talked me out of it. Rock Store and all that jazz is cooler on youtube?! Okay, I buy that. Scratch LA. Death Valley not such a bright idea. Okay. Probably not.

Yosemite. Sequoia. You're speaking my language. I dig it.


I left Yosemite out because someday I really wanna get out there and really check that place out. But what the hell..
But damn, that's a solid ride! Google man says 900 miles/15 hours round trip to/from Oceanside with a lot of 'slab. Am I missing something?

I'm an early riser and usually good for ~500 miles/day with sights and stops. But that sounds like an overnight somewhere is called for.

How's the weather in Yosemite in early May? Looks like overnight lows in the 30's, but still above freezing. And daytime highs in the 60's.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:34 PM   #22
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Death Valley is still do-able but, hot in late April, early May. It would be an overnight ride for you (a day up, see some stuff, stay overnight, see some stuff on the return). It's not out but, you're cutting it close on weather.

Sequoia / King's Canyon / Yosemite / Death Valley could be:
  1. Oceanside to Visalia, stay the night (about 350 miles the way I would route you--Western Divide Highway, Sequoia national forest)
  2. Sequoia NP, stay the night in Fresno or Oakhurst (250 miles, including King's Canyon dead end)
  3. Yosemite NP, stay in Bishop or Lone Pine (280 miles, including Glacier Point Road)
  4. Death Valley NP, slab back to Oceanside (500 miles, including Dante's View)
Edit: Big "if" here is IF Tioga Pass opens early. If not, Death Valley would be out because you're not getting over the Sierras without significantly more mileage. It's a light snow year but, the pass IS currently closed.

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Old 02-17-2014, 06:41 PM   #23
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Niiiiice. Thanks for your help man!

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Old 02-17-2014, 07:34 PM   #24
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You missed Sequoia NP entirely but, that's easy to do with Google Maps. I changed the route to use the 15 instead of going through the center of Los Angeles. Your day will start off much better if you don't fight LA rush hour traffic first thing out of bed.

Try this

It gets you off of the 15 and takes a detour along the San Andreas fault on the back of the San Gabriel Mountains. It's a fun little roller coaster and gets you into Palmdale. You head north, through the Tehachapi windfarm and meet up with a few of our better local roads. They are hardly worth mentioning, except they'll break up the hours of monotony on that first liaison day.

DAY ONE:




The route goes up the western ridge of the Sierra Nevada and past the southern-most groves of Sequoias, etc, etc.






END OF DAY ONE ^^^^^^

The return through Death Valley goes to Dante's view--a 5,000 foot viewpoint, looking across the narrow valley, at a solid 10,000 foot wall of mountains. After that, you loop down through Badwater road, to the lowest point in North America, before exiting via Jubilee pass.

DEATH VALLEY RETURN








^^^^^ END OF DEATH VALLEY^^^^

If Death Valley fails because of Tioga pass being closed, there is a different option that could still bag the good stuff around Los Angeles (Mullholland, Rock Store, Angeles Crest, Highway 33, etc, etc). That would be your first day out. This is the "Everything Pizza." That's the very best of the Santa Monica Mountains, including the Rock Store, the Snake, Angeles Crest Highway (Newcomb's Ranch), Highway 33, including both good legs of Lockwood Valley Road and Mil Portrero highway. North of Taft, it will likely be dark but, you're just slabbing at that point. You could reverse this route and use it for a return option if Death Valley is unreachable due to snow, or because you simply like it better.















If you decide that's a little ambitious and want to break it into two days, you could even add Uncle Stu's suggestion of Palomar Mountain (you're right there). That would give you Mother's Restaurant which is one of the main bike hangouts down in that part of Cali.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:46 PM   #25
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If you're going to ride SD County, PM me and I'll work up a few favorite loops.

HERE'S ONE.....My son lives near "A" and I'm around "C" so one of us slabs a piece of it and we get a day full of corners in the sun.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:44 PM   #26
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I just want to add: don't take my previous recommendations as gospel. That's just a couple of options and others could be strung together. I'm not trying to dominate your thread. I love stringing roads together like this.

Maybe you've never seen much desert and you want to see that? You have Joshua Tree National Monument, the Mojave National Preserve, Anza Borrego desert, Julian and a ton of other stuff down there in the very south-eastern corner of the state. Late-April, early-May is a good time for that area. Despite what most people think of desert, it's not at all the same and the vistas can be amazing.





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Old 02-18-2014, 10:15 AM   #27
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I just want to add: don't take my previous recommendations as gospel. That's just a couple of options and others could be strung together. I'm not trying to dominate your thread. I love stringing roads together like this.
You know what I hate? When I start a thread looking for route advice and people give me route advice.. with drool worthy photos.. and detailed local tips about when/where/how and all that jazz. I mean, really.


School me on southern CA. Say from LA south out to the AZ border. What's worth seeing out there? Joshua Tree?
TrophyHunter's route sure looks like a fun day ride.

Thinking Yosemite is out. Will stick south of that on this trip. Maybe as far north as King's Canyon. Yosemite is just too far of a loop.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:20 AM   #28
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Draft of a 2-night route http://goo.gl/maps/cpnv2
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:18 AM   #29
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Draft of a 2-night route http://goo.gl/maps/cpnv2
Well, again--that route misses Sequoia National Park entirely (you need to adjust the route up there, just south of King's Canyon). King's Canyon is nice but, not THAT nice. If I had a choice of Sequoia or Yosemite, it would be Yosemite, hands down. Yosemite vs. Death Valley? Yosemite wins again, by a long margin. El Capitan is a solid, 3,000 foot face of granite that you ride past.

Really look at this ride report again and make sure you are ok with getting that close and not doing it.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...8#post10444328





As for the rest of the route, those are some fine, scenic desert roads. Lake Isabella area is nothing too spectacular. It's pretty. Western Divide Highway (just north of there) is gorgeous because it's up in the forest, amidst high Sierra granite domes. It's still no Yosemite.

The point: if you're going to wander that far north, Yosemite should be your first priority. If you're in the neighborhood, Sequoia and Kings are too nice to not do as well. The reason for going up there is Yosemite.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:57 AM   #30
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Derp.. Google is not the world's best route planning tool! I keep loosing waypoints whenever I adjust stops.

http://goo.gl/maps/pnoXR
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