Los Angeles, The City Of Angels, is a metropolis like none other. It is home to movie stars and motion picture studios, but Los Angeles motorcycle rides are famous in their own right as well. From the winding curves of Mulholland Drive to the posh nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, LA is a city built to be explored via motorcycle. Outside the city, steep canyon roads and long stretches of desert highway await. The REVER team has spent countless hours riding the canyons and coasts of Southern California to uncover the best motorcycle rides in Los Angeles. So pick out a route below and grab your helmet for an unforgettable ride under the palm trees.
If you've never been to LA, it is hard to fathom just how big the metro area is until you see it for yourself. Traffic is infamous in Los Angeles, but even without congestion, it can take hours to get from one end of the metro area to the other. This means you need to plan your Los Angeles motorcycle rides very carefully so the sun doesn't go down on you mid ride. REVER is the perfect tool to uncover the best motorcycle rides in Los Angeles, and it is free to get started. Track your rides, join communities to connect with other riders, and open scenic routes hand-picked by the REVER staff. Once you create an account, unlock the best value by upgrading to REVER Pro. You'll gain turn by turn navigation, Butler Maps recommendations, mobile route planning, weather alerts, and a wealth of pro perks.
Although the canyon roads outside of LA offer some of the premier riding thrills in the west, they are best tackled by experienced motorcyclists. As always, respect your skill level and do your homework before heading out of town. In addition, watch out for loose gravel around the scenic pull offs on canyon roads. Don't forget the motorcycle shades to keep the sun out of your eyes. Most of the year you'll want to wear breathable riding gear in the hot climate around LA. While you may not associate snow and ice with southern California, the high mountain areas are often covered in snow in the winter. Consider a four season motorcycle jacket to stay flexible in the varying SoCal climate. If you plan a winter ride in the mountains, be sure to check conditions and the weather forecast before you fire up your bike.
After an exciting day tearing up motorcycle routes in Los Angeles and the surrounding area, there is no shortage of attractions to visit. The city is perhaps best known for Hollywood, but there is plenty to do away from the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The hills of Griffith Park tower over the city, and the Griffith Observatory is an excellent place to check out the skyline and the famous Hollywood sign. Step into the past and see the ever-bubbling La Brea Tar Pits, and then stop by the Petersen Automotive Museum nearby to check out over 300 unique and historic vehicles. Southern California, particularly LA, is also the epicenter of American biker culture. There is no shortage of rallies, events, races and aftermarket brands to check out as you visit the area.
Escape the city and tour the San Gabriel Mountains on this three hour plus ride on the Angeles Crest Highway. The entire Angeles Crest Highway area is remote aside from parks, campgrounds and one roadhouse (which we'll get to in a second). This provides a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the Crescenta and San Fernando Valleys below. There are plenty of twists and turns on the Angeles Crest Highway to keep riders occupied as well. Winter conditions in this area can cause avalanches and landslides, therefore this route is best ridden in the summer months.
Begin the route in La Canada-Flintridge, CA just off I-210 or the Foothill Highway. You'll head north on Route 2 or the Angeles Crest Highway. As you wind up into the foothills, you'll leave town and be immediately greeted with mountain terrain and high ridges. There are plenty of pull offs along this road to stop for photos. The first big feature you'll see as you ride is Hoyt Mountain at 4,404 ft. just north of the road. You'll pass by the Angeles Forest Highway off to your left, but for now continue on Route 2. As the highway twists back north, Charlton Flats Picnic Area will be on your left. There are several hiking trail heads in the area including Devil's Canyon. Soon after Newcomb's Ranch will come into view, and it is a must-see stop on the highway. This roadhouse is the only privately developed land in the area. Newcomb's is an informal meet up for bikers in the Los Angeles area, and you're sure to get some valuable info on the area along with your lunch.
The final part of the Angeles Crest Highway climbs higher into the mountains with peaks like Mount Baden-Powell at 9,407 ft. in the are. After you snap some photos of the peaks, descend down into the Mountain High ski area. Take a short detour into Wrightwood, CA, and pop into the Mountain Top Cafe for an old school roadside diner feel. On the way back home, take a right onto the Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road for a memorable detour. Then take a left on Angeles Forest Highway for more engaging roads including a steep decent down the side of a mountain. Link back up with the Angeles Crest Highway to finish back where you started. The tacos options in LA are nearly endless, but top off this ride with a stop at Los Gringos Locos in La Canada-Flintridge.
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Experience Malibu's 21 miles of scenic beauty as you ride unforgettable coastline on the Pacific Coast Highway. Malibu, CA has long been the playground of celebrities, but it is a worthy escape for everyone. Malibu's beaches are among the best in the LA area, and surfers, snorkelers and beach combers frequent the area. Just up from the coast, steep hills make for an engaging riding setting and offer unbelievable views of the beaches below. The area is also famous for its mudslides when large rainstorms hit, and it is best to avoid riding in the Malibu hills during heavy rains. We've put together the ultimate tour of the area that covers both the Pacific Coast Highway and memorable climbs through the nearby hills.
To begin this route, start in Santa Monica heading west on Highway 1. You'll ride through Pacific Palisades, another famous neighborhood that was the setting for many films and TV shows including Baywatch. Once in Malibu, turn north onto Las Flores Canyon Road to begin the core of this ride. You'll find Duke's Malibu at this intersection, and the beach side restaurant carries a Hawaiian / surfer vibe with a great view of the ocean. When finished at Duke's, wind up the canyon filled with million dollar homes until you pass by Topanga State Park. Take a hard left onto Stunt Road to head north down into the surrounding valley. Eventually you will link up with Mulholland Highway. Head west through the Las Virgenes Road intersection, and check out Malibu Lake on your way to Cornell, CA.
Just outside of Cornell, The Rock Store is not to be missed. This old stagecoach stop built out of rock was transformed by Ed and Vern Savko into a popular motorcycle and car meet up in the area. Now an iconic motorcycle destination, you might even catch Jay Leno showing off one of his cars or motorcycles in the parking lot. Arnold Schwarzenegger also frequents the destination during his rides in the area. Best of all, there are big breakfasts or tri-tip steak sandwiches to fill up on while you're there. Continue on southwest past Seminole Hot Springs until you take a left onto Kanan Dume Road. Next, get ready for another quick left onto Latigo Canyon Road. Serious twists and turns lie ahead including some tight hairpins as you descend back down into the heart of Malibu. Get back on Highway 1 heading west and ride past Point Dume, which is a great place to stop and get a look at the surrounding coastal area.
Back on the Pacific Coast Highway, you'll take another short loop up Encinal Canyon Road. Soon after, you'll link up with Mulholland Highway heading west. Follow the draw back down south through Leo Carrillo State Park. The Leo Carrillo beach is worth a stop as well with its rocky ridges that hide sandy beach coves. Before heading back east on the Pacific Coast Highway to finish this route, make a right on the 1 and stop at Neptune's Net. This unique restaurant across from County Line Beach is another popular spot for bikers and exotic car enthusiasts. Then finish up the ride by heading back towards LA on the Pacific Coast Highway. One thing is for certain. You'll never get enough of the riding Highway 1 along the coast!
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Ride the remote Chumash Wilderness from Ojai, CA to Lockwood Valley and back on this four hour loop. There are plenty of winding mountain roads and switchbacks to keep you occupied on this route. Scenic mountain canyons and sandy river beds also await at the edge of the Central Valley near the San Andreas Fault. This ride begins in the town of Ojai known for its weekend motorcycle events. If you're riding through the area in mid-December, stop by Chopperfest in Ventura, CA. This motorcycle art and culture show features hundreds of vendors, custom bike displays, live bands, and food and drinks.
When you're ready to explore the mountains north of Ojai, head out of town on Highway 33 a.k.a. the Maricopa Highway past Matilija Springs. Nordhoff Peak, a prominent feature in Ojai, looms just to the east at 4,485 ft. You'll circle around Dry Lakes Ridge and continue farther north into the Chumash Wilderness. This area is named for the Native American tribe that once occupied the hills and mountains of the area. When the mountains give way to the plains, pull off in Ventucopa, CA and stop by the The Place for a biker-friendly vibe and some solid roadhouse food. Then take a right on Highway 166 and then another right onto Hudson Ranch Road towards the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge. This area is a key habitat for the famous California condors, and they can be seen soaring along the road as they ride high thermals into the air.
The next part of the ride towards Lockwood Valley, CA is not to be missed. The road winds along a high ridge with great views to both the north and south. Soon you'll arrive in a high mountain valley surrounded by a collection of 8,000 ft. peaks. Stop in nearby Pine Mountain Club, CA, and grab a slice at the Pine Mountain Pizza Company if you're hungry. At Lake of the Woods, turn south onto Lockwood Valley Road to begin the final part of the loop. Note there is an excellent detour option if you continue on to Gorman, CA. The Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area is a motorcycle trails paradise with over 130 miles of scenic trails. For now let's get back to the route. Take in the distant mountain slopes as you ride through Lockwood Valley and back into rugged country. Follow the dry creek bed until you link back up with Maricopa Highway. Soon you'll arrive back in Ojai to complete the trip.
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Gear up for a quick hour plus ride north of the city in the Glendora Mountain Road loop. This route begins in the San Gabriel Valley in Glendora, CA. The nearby downtown area, Glendora Village, is a solid spot to grab breakfast or lunch before the ride. Start by heading north on Glendora Mountain Road where it begins off East Sierra Madre Avenue. Head up into the valley and get ready for a dramatic climb into the San Gabriel Mountains with plenty of switchbacks to keep you busy.
Once you reach a high ridge, look for a pull off to take in the views of the city below. Next, you'll encounter a fork in the road, and go left to stay onto Glendora Mountain Road (Glendora Ridge Road is to the right). Plenty more snaking turns lie ahead as you climb down into the San Gabriel River Valley. Follow a switchback turn left where Glendora Mountain Road turns into East Fork Road. There are several pull offs and bathrooms along the river if you need a break. You'll pass over a bridge as you head west towards the San Gabriel Reservoir. Cross over the reservoir and turn left onto Highway 39 to follow the banks of the lake. This is a great spot to throw in a line if you're into fishing. Otherwise, continue south past the San Gabriel Dam to the Morris Reservoir. Don't miss the Morris Dam off to your left that towers 245 ft. above the stream bed. This area is a perfect spot for photos as the surrounding hills and pine forests tower above the reservoir.
Soon after you'll descend back into the San Gabriel Valley into the nearby town of Azusa, CA to finish the route. Before or after the ride, you can hit up the West Coast Thunder rally in late May. To learn more about this event in Riverside, CA, visit the West Coast Thunder site.
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Explore the Magic Mountain Wilderness on canyon roads that are favorites with local motorcyclists in this three hour loop. There are several ways to tackle this route, but we recommend beginning on Little Tujunga road just off Interstate 210 east of San Fernando, CA. You can do a loop up Little Tujunga Canyon Road and back down Kagel Canyon Road to whet your appetite for more riding. Then jump back on the 210 towards Santa Clarita, CA. Or you can take Little Tujunga Canyon all the way up to Sand Canyon, CA. Either way, there are plenty of twists and turns on these remote mountain roads to keep your blood pumping. If you ride through Santa Clarita, CA, there are several solid BBQ options including Southern Smoke BBQ and Rattler's BBQ nearby.
Once in Sand Canyon, you'll cross the Santa Clara River and hang a right onto the Antelope Valley Freeway or Highway 14. Follow the river east and take the exit at Soledad Canyon Road. Here you'll head east towards Russ, CA along the river. The nearby red hills contrasted by the green of the river valley make for a beautiful ride in this area. The Magic Mountain Wilderness Area is renown for its hiking in the area. Pass through the small town of Ravenna, CA as the road turns north towards Acton, CA. Acton features a biker-friendly stop with Wild West flare in the 49er Saloon. Stay on Soledad Canyon Road through Paris, CA until you reach Vincent, CA. Make a hard right south onto N3 or the Angeles Forest Highway to continue along the route.
Ride through scenic valleys until you begin the climb back into the San Gabriel Mountains. Angeles Forest Highway will take you through a 4,910 ft. pass at Mill Creek Summit, and there is a picnic area nearby to pull off for a break and a photo opp. Off to the east you'll see one of the largest peaks in the area with Pacifico Mountain at 7,124 ft. Continue down the pass and along the Monte Cristo creek bed. There is camping available here at the Monte Cristo Campground. At the fork in the road, stay right towards Singing Springs. Soon after you'll ride through the Hidden Springs Tunnel. There is another pull off here just before the tunnel at the Hidden Springs Picnic Site. Relax by Mill Creek and check out the hidden spring if you need a rest. Snake through the valley and over another bridge until you hit a fork in the road. Stay left to continue along Big Tujunga Canyon Road, and get ready for some rugged mountain terrain and exciting twists and turns.
There are plenty of sights to see on the last part of this loop including Big Tujunga Dam and Big Tujunga Bridge. At 244 ft., the Big Tujunga Dam is worth a stop for a photo, and there is an overlook on the right side of the road. Soon after you'll encounter the Big Tujunga Bridge. To the east, you can see Hoyt Mountain at 4,404 ft. This area is rich with hiking trails, and you can pull off at Trail Canyon Parking to check them out. Wrap up the ride by heading down the canyon and out into Sunland, CA.
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Head east out of LA and loop around the San Jacinto Wilderness with a stop in Palm Springs in this unforgettable mountain to desert ride. The route begins southeast of San Bernardino, CA in Banning, CA. Before you begin, fuel up with a home style breakfast at Gramma's Country Kitchen in Banning. Start the ride on Highway 243 south out of town, and wind up in the foothills towards the pine forests of the San Jacinto Wilderness. You will encounter snow and ice in this area during the winter, so be sure to check conditions before you go. Make a quick stop at Lake Fulmor to check out a blue mountain lake and stretch your legs. Up next is one of the premier mountain areas in the area in Idyllwild, CA. The area is renowned for its hiking, camping and small mountain town feel. Off to the east, Mount San Jacinto towers at 10,839 ft. Idyllwild offers a couple pubs that make good stops for lunch including The Lumber Mill and Idyllwild Brewpub.
Continue south to Mountain Center, CA, and consider a quick detour down the Idyllwild National Forest Highway for more exciting switchbacks and snake turns in the area. Back on Highway 74, the road becomes the Pines to Palms Highway. You'll pass by Helmet Lake, and fisherman should stop to catch trout, bass, blue gill and catfish. Above Helmet Lake, you'll see Thomas Mountain at 6, 825 ft. Follow the Pines To Palms Highway past Anza, CA and through several small towns. Soon you'll see the desert floor looming below. The Roy Wilson Memorial Highway section of the Pines To Palms route offers some engaging switchbacks, and the Coachella Valley Vista Point at the top is a great place to snap some photos of the valley.
When you arrive in Palm Desert, CA, you'll cross Highway 111 as the road becomes Monterey Avenue. There are several restaurants in this area if you are ready for a pit stop. Head north to link up with Interstate 10 west to Palm Springs, CA. Nestled up against the mountains on the desert floor, Palm Springs is a world-famous resort town with a warm climate even in the winter. To the northeast, Joshua Tree National Park offers a stunning 790,636 acres of iconic desert landscape including the unique Joshua trees. This area is certainly worth a detour if you're interested, although make sure to budget plenty of additional time. For visitor information, go to the NPS Joshua Tree National Park website. Finish up the route by taking I-10 back to Banning.
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