1. Adventure Rider Print Magazine!
    We're doing a print magazine this November - 128 pages of high quality adventure riding stories, photography and interviews!

    Click here to purchase a copy for $9. Limited copies still available.
    Dismiss Notice

2 days CA tip to tip

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Zubb, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,279
    Location:
    San Diego
    Sooooo many routing options!

    I'm leaving July 1 for the start of the WABDR and have 2 days to ride from San Diego to the CA/Oregon border (and then another easy day to get to Hood River OR). I've done this many times over the last 4 years and was salivating at visiting some of my favorite CA roads. However the explorer in me thinks I should try something new. Here's the data:

    1200 GSAdv with R80 soft bags.
    Anakee Wild tires
    solo travel
    Comfortable riding 800 mile days on pavement or 500 mile days on mixed surface. (12 hour day)
    Pirate camp/ pay camp/cheap motel - all good options.

    I had a hankering to ride Angels Crest east to west, on to Ojai to Carizzo Plain on day 1. I know Carizzo flower season is quite behind us, but thought I'd do a ride through just to get the lay of the land. Then day 2 to Morrow Bay and up the coast to Ft. Bragg and beyond to Leggett. More fantastically epic road riding, and get a picture of my GS and me in front of the now sadly toppled Chandelier Tree to go with my pics of my other bikes there.

    But maybe I should ride Angels crest west to east and then saunter up through the Sierra's. I'll need to keep most of the miles on pavement for the sake of time. And I have a standing rule (with the wifey) to not ride (technical) off road alone.

    Do you have a favorite route up through CA? I have a week to think about it and decide. Welcome all your ideas on how you would spend 2 days getting through California to the northern border.

    :ricky
    #1
    GutsyGibbon likes this.
  2. Vistavette

    Vistavette Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    341
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    My only contribution to this would be to ride through the Avenue of Giants when you get up to the northern portion of California. That whole area up there is probably one of my favorite place to ride when I have the time to get out there. It just smells amazing in the roads are just beautiful.
    #2
    GutsyGibbon likes this.
  3. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,279
    Location:
    San Diego
    I agree. Will repeat that if I end up staying on the west side of the state. Thanks!
    #3
  4. Sailorlite

    Sailorlite Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,282
    Location:
    Seal Beach, CA
    How does your wife feel about earthquakes? If you've already ridden the CA-1 up from Morro Bay, skip it this time and make your way to CA-25 along the San Andreas Fault. Try Ojai > Taft > Cholame > Parkfield (a few miles of good gravel rd.) > Hollister.
    #4
  5. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,707
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    Carrizo plain to Bragg on Hwy 1 in one day will be a stretch at just about 475 miles. Good luck with that with traffic down in Monterey and up in and around San Francisco.

    Also Carrizo will be right at or a little over 100 degrees.
    #5
  6. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,415
    Location:
    20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
    Have you ridden 89 from 395 to Weed? That includes Lassen NP.

    Since that's a ton of miles, I'd ditch the east-west zig zagging across the state that Angeles Crest will cause you. Newcomb's Ranch is closed mid-week and it's close enough that you could ride it on any other weekend if you really miss it. You'd either do ACH all the way to La Canada and then face Los Angeles traffic mid morning to get out to Ojai, or wander around Santa Clarita in the minor mountain roads in there.

    IMO: the coast is a waste of time in hot weather. The inland heat almost always draws in fog from the ocean at some point during the day. The 10 day forecast for the central coast is low to mid 60s. While it indicates sunny, I've never trusted that (been caught in miserable fog in July). Toss in all the RVs and slow drivers and that section from San Luis Nabisco to Monterey will eat up 5-6 hours of your day. THEN you get to wrestle with the bay area. On your timetable, I wouldn't.

    Me? I'd leave super early out of SD and kill the miles up 395. It's 386 miles from SD to Bishop. Google says 6 hours and that's no stops or gas. Leave at 6:00 AM and you'll be doing good to get there by 1:00. At least from there, you'll climb the side of the Long Valley volcano and get some elevation under you. At that point, you could go into Yosemite from Lee Vining, then head north on 49. Pick your pass back over the mountain. The obvious one is 4 (Ebbetts pass) because it runs more diagonally and drops you in on Hwy 89 near Markleeville. Plenty of campgrounds along that route and hotels along 49 before you get up there (if you're running late).

    Next day, 89 all day. You're going to have slow going around Tahoe, in Lassen NP and all the little towns along the way. That's 943 miles from SD to Weed, a couple of Sierra passes, two national parks and avoiding the cities over two days.
    #6
    Trip Hammer, desertsteve and sealsam like this.
  7. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,279
    Location:
    San Diego
    I’m gonna map this out and look at it.
    I almost always start a trip north at 3:30 in the morning. There is just no way around LA / San Bernardino without 100 miles of lane splitting. It gets old. So by 5:30 am I am past the mess and having a good time.

    I’m wondering if Yosemite will be a mess from the holiday. I think it will be less than normal per COVID-19 but expect at least some level of holiday madness. normally I take 395 to Bridgeport then NE OR NW from there.
    I don’t get too caught up in micro-planning but do think I should see something new on my Way to the WABDR.
    #7
  8. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,415
    Location:
    20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
    What I don't know is the status of the parks. Have they reopened? Yosemite and DV were closed maybe a week ago. Could have been two. They're blurring together.

    Yeah, leaving at 3:30, you'll be fine. Now I see how you can plan so many miles in a day and still have things like slow-going on dirt routes.

    What HAVE you done in the central and northern part of the state?
    #8
  9. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,279
    Location:
    San Diego
    The whole 395 up into Oregon. Many times. On the west side the whole one and 101 to Oregon a half dozen times. . It’s Those east west passages between the two sides of the state that I haven’t done much. I did ride the mighty 190 two years ago. It was epic. Been through Yosemite a couple of times and while it’s beautiful have no need to go back through. Have spent more than my share of days in the saddle at 100+ temperatures. While I don’t prefer it, it’s all part of the adventure.
    #9
    sealsam likes this.
  10. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,415
    Location:
    20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
    I don't know how much history drives you but, Hwy 49 is the historic California Gold Country. The highway has been straightened out through the years so you have to force yourself to remember to get off in all the historic districts to catch it. Plenty of history and scenery, old buildings, etc. It's hot but, not any worse than 395. If you don't care about Yosemite, you could still zig-zag the Sierra passes north of it.

    I'll admit my opinion of Hwy 1 is not good and very biased. That road ends up being like 4-5 hours of pure misery for me between Morro Bay and Monterey. I find myself either trapped behind some clown driving 15-20 under the posted speed, or finally getting out from around them but, not stopping for vistas or pictures because if I do, I'll be behind that same idiot again. You've done it so you know: limited or no legal passing opportunities. Cops park on the few passing areas and nab you with radar. The slow drivers all speed up to 70 as soon as there's two lanes. It's endless torture. I can't do it.

    The ONLY time I got any joy on that road was on the 4th of July. I rolled south out of Big Sur about 6 PM. Everyone was busy either having BBQs, or going to some event, etc. The road was pretty much uninhabited and reasonably sunny. That was the only time.

    I consider San Francisco a place worthy of detonating and allowing to slip into the Pacific too: hate it. All my memories were oppressive traffic, poor road planning, poor signage (trying to stay on 1/101 through the city). I avoid it if I can.

    Another theme-based thing you could do would be to follow the San Andreas Fault as was suggested earlier. This is a cool website and it works on mobile:

    http://thulescientific.com/san-andreas-fault-map.html

    You could basically pickup the fault at the 15, and zig-zag all the way to Hollister. Plenty of mixed pavement and dirt along that route. That would take you across Int 5 at Frazier Park. The road west of there runs right along the fault, all the way to the dirt entrance to Soda Lake.

    Visit Parkfield, CA:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkfield,_California

    Right along the fault, with numerous local features, showing displacement of the land, including the Parkfield Bridge which has a nice little jog in it from the land moving.

    Also: if you happen to go to Pinnacles National Monument on either side of the range in your journey, you'll have already ridden past its missing chunk: the Neenach Formation, 195 miles south in Antelope Valley. The volcano that formed Pinnacles predated the San Andreas Fault. It erupted and went extinct long before the plate cracked and began moving. Pinnacles moved north, leaving behind some unimpressive and not-marked rocks on a lone hillside along hwy 138.
    #10
    Zubb likes this.
  11. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2019
    Oddometer:
    185
    Location:
    Southern California
    I agree with those saying to scoot up to NorCal as fast as possible, without going up the central valley (I-5). Boring and hot. Coast Hwy 1 will be slow for reasons already given. I also concur with Hwy 89 and any of the east-west passes in the Tahoe/Plumas areas. Really nice region and good riding at altitude.

    However... I also really enjoy the roads in the Trinity / Klamath National forest areas. Less crowded too.
    Hwy 36 is super, but runs east-west and can be closed for construction around Bridgeville, blocking your way. Can check its schedule on CalTrans.
    Cecilville Road (from Callahan to Somes Bar) is a real treat. Rough single lane asphalt road dug into a cliff face high above a river. Slow going so plans should allow for 3 hours.
    #11
    Zubb, Donkey Hotey and sealsam like this.
  12. dravnx

    dravnx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    759
    Location:
    santa rosa, ca
    The Chandelere Tree is fine. Where did you hear that it toppled?
    #12
  13. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,415
    Location:
    20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
    Expanding on this idea: how much time have you spent riding in Oregon? Have you done the Oregon coast? The entire stretch of Oregon coastline is stunning and zig-zagging the Cascades in the center of the state is a real treat. You could kill California the first day and spend the next two doing any number of things in Oregon.

    The center of the state is low rolling hills, punctuated by huge, snow-capped volcanoes for the entire length:
    [​IMG]

    As for the coast, it's better going north than south. I did it southbound and found all the magnificent vistas behind me. Lighthouses, cliffs and seaside visitor centers to visit along the length.
    #13
    deadflagblues, Zubb and sealsam like this.
  14. b4thenite

    b4thenite Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,230
    Location:
    Korea Town, Los Angeles,
    There are numerous speed trap on Highway 1 before CA border on Oregon side. Traffic tickets are the major income source for those small towns. Cops over there are happy to issue tickets especially out of town plates. I guess it makes harder to contest if you are out of towners.
    I would recommend cut to Grand Rapid. Getting there is amazing.
    #14
    Zubb and sealsam like this.
  15. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    I just got back from a drive 'cough gag' up from the SoCal desert to Medford, OR. I took 395 to Susanville and then northwest to Mount Shasta. Then I5. I love the eastern Sierras and never tire of that drive. You can make it even more interesting - the SoCal BDR parallels 395 so you could add some dirt. Easy and scenic through the Alabama Hills to Manzanar. I also enjoyed the easy route south of Big Pine. For some paved interest, I like riding Monitor Pass to South Lake Tahoe then 89 north. Lassen is worth checking out if time allows. Lots of dispersed camping all along those various routes so you can easily maintain social distance. I had to change my first campsite to maintain social distance from tis guy[​IMG]
    #15
  16. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,509
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    #16
    sealsam likes this.
  17. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,509
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    It's unlikely that you will be going through San Francisco, but, thanks to someone here on ADV Rider :clap, I found a better alternative through the city than the Highway 1/101 slog.
    Starting on Highway 1 and heading north: exit onto Skyline Blvd, then exit on Great Highway, continue on Great Highway to Point Lobos Ave, then turn right on Point Lobos/Geary Blvd, then turn left on Park Presidio Blvd and continue on Veterans Blvd and then on to 1/101. You still get some of the traffic, of course, but it's not nearly as bad as the other route.
    #17
    Zubb and sealsam like this.
  18. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,279
    Location:
    San Diego
    Jeeze! 195 miles between two halves of the same volcano. That's pretty amazing! Have been scouring your route suggestions and will likely include some pieces of it.

    Thank you.
    #18
  19. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,279
    Location:
    San Diego
    Thanks for questioning that. I was mistaken. It was the Pioneer cabin tree that fell. my old friend still lives!
    #19
  20. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,279
    Location:
    San Diego
    Have done the 1 and 101 all the way up a couple times. Have done 95 on the east side several times. Crater lake/ Bend Wallowa lake / Joseph. If I thought there was a new good 2 day route south to north I would be tempted to iron butt CA and take 2 days in OR.
    #20