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Thread: Long Beach to Palm Desert - Best Route

  1. #1
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
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    Long Beach to Palm Desert - Best Route

    Hi,

    Late May next year we will be travelling between Long Beach and Palm Desert as we start our journey around the western half of the US, and we had hoped to kick it off with a ride along the Angeles Crest Highway.
    Unfortunately it seems this road is plagued with rock slides and could still be closed after winter's ravages in May.

    Our original route was this - LINK to Google Maps

    If the Angeles Crest Highway is still closed - what would be the next best and most exciting ride?

    We had thought possibly this more northerly loop - LINK
    or possibly via Mt Baldy to the south - LINK.

    As you can see from the maps, we are trying to include the run past Big Bear Lake and down through Idyllwild and the Pines to Palms Highway.
    Five weeks later we will be ending our tour of the US and will be heading back to Long Beach from the north (Ridgecrest) and had planned to ride the Angeles Crest Highway in reverse LINK, so if it is closed in May we could still get to ride it in late June.

    Not being from locals, we actually have no idea and would welcome any local knowledge.
    Mark Hubble
    2015 - R1200GS Black Storm Metallic
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA

  2. #2
    Dave 165937's Avatar
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    Hey Mark, sounds like a wonderful trip. I actually live in Long Beach and have ridden every one of those roads on your map. That is an ambitious day, but a terrific ride!
    Angeles Crest should be clear by then, but you can check on line at
    http://dpw.lacounty.gov/roadclosures/

    Ride safe,
    Dave

  3. #3
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    300 miles.
    That could be a full day for me, but for most around here, it's just a half a day.
    I'd go up the 110 rather than the 710. I like to avoid the 710 and the 605 and the 5 like the plague.
    Otherwise it seems like a good ride.
    Just remember to use the car pool lanes as much as they are there. And that includes Metro Express lanes.
    dc

  4. #4
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. I'm so looking forward to the Angeles Crest run - let's hope there are no rock slides.
    Mark Hubble
    2015 - R1200GS Black Storm Metallic
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA

  5. #5
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    There are always rock slides. You just have to go around them. Unless they are so big they close the road.
    But you always want to be watching for rocks out there.
    dc

  6. #6

    Long Beach to Palm Desert

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark H View Post
    Hi,

    Late May next year we will be travelling between Long Beach and Palm Desert as we start our journey around the western half of the US, and we had hoped to kick it off with a ride along the Angeles Crest Highway.
    Unfortunately it seems this road is plagued with rock slides and could still be closed after winter's ravages in May.

    Our original route was this - LINK to Google Maps

    If the Angeles Crest Highway is still closed - what would be the next best and most exciting ride?

    We had thought possibly this more northerly loop - LINK
    or possibly via Mt Baldy to the south - LINK.

    As you can see from the maps, we are trying to include the run past Big Bear Lake and down through Idyllwild and the Pines to Palms Highway.
    Five weeks later we will be ending our tour of the US and will be heading back to Long Beach from the north (Ridgecrest) and had planned to ride the Angeles Crest Highway in reverse LINK, so if it is closed in May we could still get to ride it in late June.

    Not being from locals, we actually have no idea and would welcome any local knowledge.
    I have ridden all of your planned routes, in fact went up to Mount Baldy yesterday; however, did not continue through to the west over the Glendora Ridge Route. Your Baldy route will have tighter curves and less traffic, at least week days, than the route through Valyermo; although that route will have higher speed curves. When you get to the 210/15 interchange you will be just a couple of miles from my home. I may be available to join you for the eastern part of your ride should you want a little company. The road between I-15 and Crestline passes a turnoff to the north into Hesperia. Good eats at the Hesperia Airport; however, it closes at 2:00PM. Lots of very tight curves close to Crestline and sand in the corners after recent rains. I have continued northeast from Hesperia toward and through Joshua Tree National Monument. The road through Joshua Tree intersects I-10 east of the Palm Springs area. You can continue directly south from I-10 through a nice curvy canyon which comes out at Mecca near the Salton Sea, southeast of Palm Desert.

    On your return through Ridgecrest, consider a route through Death Valley; although it may be very hot in May, especially at the bottom. Lots of great roads and places to see along 395 north of Ridgecrest. The Bishop Mule Days (https://muledays.org/) might be on interest, depending on your schedule, although it will be crowded and prices a lot higher. I've heard staying west of town on the Indian reservation might work for you. If you be near Yosemite, consider the following: https://bmwnorcal.wildapricot.org/49er

    For conditions on all state routes in California go to the following site: http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi Just enter the State Route (SR) number. You can also use the interactive maps linked in the left hand column. As of this writing, SR2/Angeles Crest Hwy is closed. If you west from Wrightwood the closer is usually at the parking lot below Mount Baden-Powell. Rescuers were based there in 1956 when I was trapped with my fellow Boy Scouts in the snow atop Baden-Powell. Taking SR2 easterly from La Canada-Flintridge for about 20 miles and the probable closure spot gets you to Newcombs Ranch, a popular motorcycle stop. I've seen Jay Leno there on occasion.

    If you are visiting a lot of National Parks and/or Monuments on your trip and are over 62 you may qualify for a $10.00 lifetime senior pass; however, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident. Bryce, Zion, Yellowstone and many other such places charge $25.00 for admittance every time you enter.

    Hope this helps. Enjoy our area.

    By the way, was in Sydney in 1967 while on R&R from Vietnam and in Melbourne in 2005 for a traffic engineer's meeting. Almost moved to Sydney in the late 1960s. I have a friend, traffic engineer, who is in the Brisbane area.

  7. #7
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
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    JT,

    Thanks for the detailed response - it certainly seems like this is your backyard, and what a great area to have available to you for two wheeled adventure.

    We are going to tackle Death Valley near the start of our tour, so I hope it is not too hot already in late May. It still seems somewhat surreal that we will be back in the US and riding some of the regions we didn't get to see back in 2014. Although we are keeping our routes flexible, we are certainly hoping that some of those "must ride" stretches of blacktop are not closed by snow or rock slides.

    It's interesting that you had a chance to see Sydney back in 1967 on R&R, what a different place it was then. On our last trip to the US we found ourselves up in the North Cascade Mountains in Washington, where we stopped for a drink and to let the adrenaline subside, and we started up a conversation with a guy who was working on his pickup. He too had memories of Sydney from time spent on R&R from Vietnam. Seems a number of you guys who served there got to spend some time in our part of the world. Not certain if you were regular army or not, but irrespective, you have my ultimate respect and admiration for your service. I'm an army brat with a now retired career soldier for a father. It's a special life being part of the armed forces, even if only as a brat.

    I'll be sharing more details on the full adventure closer to our departure, with final routes and maps etc. so please feel free to comment on anything and share your wealth of local knowledge.
    Mark Hubble
    2015 - R1200GS Black Storm Metallic
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA

  8. #8
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
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    Seems like we may not get to ride the Angeles Crest Highway at the start of our trip after all - the latest news from CalTrans is that it will most likely be closed until 31st May.
    I now have my fingers crossed that it will be open on our final day run back into LA on the 23rd June.

    So this probably means we will take the alternate route up the Angeles Forest Highway and will not get to go to Newcombs Ranch Cafe.
    Can anyone suggest an alternate pit stop location - possibly on the Angeles Forest Highway or maybe closer to Valyermo or Big Pines?
    Mark Hubble
    2015 - R1200GS Black Storm Metallic
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA

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