Ride soCal Mountain Ranges
Highlighted Roads: Pine Canyon • San Franciscito Canyon. Bouquet Canyon • Soledad Canyon • Sand Canyon • Little Tujunga Canyon • Big Tujunga Canyon • Angeles Forest Highway • Mount Wilson Observatory • Angeles Crest Highway • Lone Pine Canyon • Rim of the World Highway • Big Bear Lake • Joshua Tree National Park • Box Canyon • Palms to Pines Highway • Rainbow Canyon • Palomar Observatory • Montezuma Grade • Yaqui Grade • Anza-Borrego • Sunrise Highway • Mount Laguna • Julian • Lake Cuyamaca • Wilson Valley
When we first announced a motorcycle tour through Southern California, we were floored with inquiries from Pashnit Tour Alumni. Nearly 30 riders said they wanted to attend the inaugural SoCal Tour. Bear in mind, we hadn't released any tour details. Nothing. Nada. Where we were headed, roads, cities, sights. Nope. Did any of that even matter? No again. All you need to know is Pashnit Motorcycle Tours is headed for Southern California.
So, meet us at the top of the Grapevine.
Here's the problem we must solve, what no guidebook or tourist brochure will tell you. How do you plan a motorcycle ride through the midst of 23 million people? And avoid all of them. That's 23 with an M.
The solution lies in the shape of the land itself, the contour. All those millions of people live mostly upon broad flat valleys. And surrounding these plains? Mountains. In nearly every direction there are mountain ranges.
And therein lies the solution for the ultimate motorcycle ride.
Angeles National Forest...
Our tour starts from the top of The Grapevine, aka 4160 ft Tejon Pass, in Frazier Park. To the east - the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountain range, an east-west line of sharp peaks that separates Southern California with its northerly neighbors. A massive range covering over 1000 square miles with seven peaks over 9000 ft.
But none of that is important to you. What you want to know is, tell me about the roads! Fair enough.
San Franciscito Canyon
Little Tujunga Canyon
Big Tujunga Canyon
Angeles Forest Highway
Mount Wilson Observatory
Angeles Crest Highway
Lone Pine Canyon
Rim of the World Highway
Big Bear Lake
Any of those ring a bell? A non-stop orgy of twisty goodness. An amazing amount of fun. Traffic is strangely light. The lean goes on and on. It's just us traipsing about the SoCal ridges and canyons. The curves, the peaks, the views. Perfect day.
Here's the fun part. This fantastic range of mountains comes to an end and dumps you into a desert. But not just any mound of sand, rather this is high desert - dotted with Joshua Trees. So named by Mormons who thought their outstretch branches resembled biblical Joshua praying to the Almighty. At least that's the folkloric version of the story.
My generation though is likely just thinking of the so-named U2 album. Hum 'Where the streets have no name' as you ride through the park, which spans nearly a million square acres.
It may be a worn cliché, but bikers like mountain tops. The view, the ride into the sky, call it what you will. But we like it.
Keys View is just that at 5185 feet, nearly a mile into the sky. Nearby peaks bump over 10,000 feet, and the scene southward on a clear day spans over the sprawling desert towns of Palm Springs & Palm Desert.
Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. And visit to this elevation at the right time, and it will be snowing.
Palms to Pines...
The moment doesn't last. It can't. The reason?
The allure in the distance, the range across the valley - the switchbacks of Seven Level Hill climb up the side. So, if the earlier reference to that U2 album was met with a blank stare, let's try this instead...
Remember in 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World' the crazy car chase scene on the mountain? Yeah, that one. That's next on the list.
Palms to Pines Highway has a somewhat self-explanatory title. And here's what makes Southern California so unique. While the lay person, the uninitiated, the person who needs to get out more, might assume Southern California is all palm tree line boulevards - it only takes a few miles to change your mind. Riding to the top of the range is a dramatic transition from the desert below and yes, there are pine tree forests.
San Diego County...
Here's what no map will tell you. There's a line in the sand south of Hemet - where San Diego County begins, and the Megapolis of greater Los Angeles fades in the mirrors. It's another world and completely unexpected.
To the motorcyclist, it can be sheer paradise. Mountainous terrain continues, but the sprawl fades and the countryside begins. Exit from the cities & towns, and you've got a recipe for awesome riding, great weather, and perfect company.
Take what you will from all you've heard about Palomar, it's worth it. Swooping up the mountainside to the observatory, the road was specifically built in the 1930s with perfectly arced corners, allowing for the transport of building materials to the top of the range to construct Palomar Observatory.
That clues you in to sweeping, smooth banked corners. And yes, near the top, there's a guy that'll take your picture and post it on the internet as you round the corners.
Palomar, Montezuma Grade, Sunrise Highway, Mt Laguna - do we have your attention yet?
It's our backyard. Join us in May 2024.
Tour: Friday, May 24, 2024
Meet: 612 Wainright Ct, Lebec, CA
Arrive: 7:00 AM, Safety Brief 7:30, Depart 8:00 AM
Cost: $540 per rider, $119 Passenger
This tour includes narrow steep single lane paved mountain roads. Mountain passes include steep grades and negotiating hair-pin corners. All roads on this tour are paved.
EXPERIENCE RIDERS ONLY:
This mountain tour is not recommended for beginner riders or Very Large Motorcycles. Riders are expected to have at least several years of enthusiastic experience on their motorcycle riding remote challenging paved mountain backroads along with at least 5000+ miles of concurrent recent experience.
This tour will sell out & is limited by the amount of rooms at our host lodging. We have booked rooms many months in advance and our tours often sell out by the end of January. Get on our mailing list to be the first to know about new rides or join our Pashnit Tour Alumni Facebook Page for the latest updates. (Open to anyone)
Book early to ensure a spot on this all-new tour for 2024. Check with us to see if any available spots are open. Some of our rides have waiting lists to be able to join the group.