With Highway 1 Pacific Ocean to the west, this region of roads extends from the Oregon border to south of Highway 36 where a vast wilderness region separates Northern California with Napa wine country. The entire region is mountainous starting with low hilly regions that offer up the famous wine making areas around Napa and Mendocino to vast tracts of mountainous wilderness culminating in the Trinity Alps in the north. What that means for you dear motorcyclist is one of the best regions for riding motorcycles in the western United States. Few people, few towns, endless curvy roads, perfect combination.
Plan the ultimate journey with California Motorcycle Roads or let us do it for you with a Pashnit Motorcycle Tour. This list below will slowly expand over the years as we rebuild this website from scratch. To learn more, see below.
The original listing on the 1999-era pashnit site was about 100 web pages of roads in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Sierra Foothills. What makes the Sierra Nevada unique from the motorcyclists perspective is an endless list of roads carved out many years ago. Roads that up and over mountain passes, follow creek beds and canyons. The Sierra Range is a mountain range 400 miles in length that spans the eastern border of the state. The highest peak in the Lower 48, Mount Whitney, and the lowest spot in the United States in Death Valley are only a couple miles apart. What that means is rapid elevation change.
This list is small, but will slowly expand over the next several years so check back. Come ride with us on a Pashnit Motorcycle Tour: For nearly 20 years, we've explored every nook and cranny of this mountain range, crossing off an endless list of roads.
Sierra Nevada Mountains &
This list is small, but there are many more roads coming. The Central Coast of California is punctuated by the Big Sur Coastline, often regarded as one of the most beautiful rides in the United States, 73 miles of stunning coastline. But these aren't the only roads you should explore. Besides the Santa Cruz Mountain Range, the regions surrounding San Luis Obispo to Templeton holds some fantastic riding including a very special road we simply call Rossi's Driveway.
If Rossi had a driveway, this would be it. We'll get to that in due time. The Central Coast Pashnit Motorcycle Tour is a favorite and has evolved from being based in San Luis Obispo, Cambria, and now Parkfield. The Central Coast Range is a dreamy place to ride. Many roads to explore, many small towns and roads that range from deserted highways to narrow paved goat trails we love. More roads coming! Add your email to our mailing list to get real-time updates of new roads added.
For the moment, we're covering Santa Barbara County as we gear up for the 2020 Santa Barbara Pashnit Tour. This area around Solvang is a super fun place to ride, especially in spring when the rolling hillsides are painted in a brilliant layer of green grass. Elevations can climb above the 3000 foot level and these mountain roads provide a worthy escape from the freeway madness that engulfs Southern California. This list is small for now but give it time. It will grow with time.
There are many great roads in Southern California, not just the most common ones like Angeles Crest Highway, Rim of the World Highway or Palms to Pines Highway.
SoCal is also footnoted with Joshua Tree National Park east of Los Angeles, and north of Palm Springs where many rock formations fascinate the senses, and forests of Joshua Trees with make you want to pull out your U2 albums.
California is full of state parks, national parks and national monuments. They make great ride destinations.
Over the coming years, you'll see this list expand. Some of these parks are quite interesting like Sutters Fort in downtown Sacramento. Others like Knights Ferry Covered Bridge, are along main highways and make for perfect breaks in your journey to stretch the legs and learn some local history.
Local history is always worth investigating and many small towns around California have small museums to tell their story.
Plan these stops into your ride.