Hwy 36 - Serpent to the Sea

Updated: Aug 27, 2018

Deep within the corners of my mind...

Highway 36 has taken on an almost higher state. It's garnered a level of reverence for me over the years and I treasure the chance to get up to northern California and ride this very thrilling ride.  I know this sounds a bit odd- and you might be thinking the guy who created all these web pages and wrote all this text has finally gone loopy on me. 

Hear me out on this one.

“Ride it and you decide.”

Highway 36 is one of the major roads from I-5 to the coast, Hwy 36 starts out in Red Bluff on I-5 and heads west for a rather spirited, if not long, ride out to the ocean.  It's only 139 miles long but estimated at a 4 hour ride. Our page focuses on the western half of Hwy 36. 

Note Hwy 36 also heads eastbound out of the Central Valley  to Lassen Volcanic National Monument and over to Susanville but that ride is nothing more than a main highway.  Nothing to get excited about except a couple fun turns over the Mt Lassen summit. If you need to ride this stretch, take a quick southern detour at Mineral onto Hwy 172 through Mill Creek.

Headed westbound from Red Bluff- the road begins a slow rise in elevation.  The road winds back and forth in a spirited ride along a creek bed- a definite motorcycle paradise without the dangers of canyon riding to worry about. 


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About Pashnit:

Tim Mayhew has devoted nearly 30 years to photographing and writing about California roads. His tireless efforts on the California Motorcycle Roads web site have spread across the globe becoming the encyclopedic guidebook for motorcycle travel in California. As of 2021, Tim has been designing & leading professional motorcycle tours across California, Oregon & Nevada for 18 years.
Learn more about riding with Tim on a  
Pashnit Motorcycle Tour in 2021.


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