It’s a prime vacation destination, with its warm weather and variety of theme parks—say hello to the western United States! Tourists flock here for good reasons: the culture and the entertainment.
But for adventure riders who are looking for a different type of fun—namely, that which occurs while in the driver’s seat of a bike—this region is no slouch, either. Its vast North-to-South geographic reach, from Washington to Southern California, means that the terrain here is varied and brings something for everyone. Even with a majority of the neat rides being concentrated in the Golden State, within those borders too lie routes for all types.
Looking to make the West Coast your next riding destination? The ATV company and side by side manufacturer CFMOTO is here to help you plan your trip. Below, you’ll learn about just a few of the awesome rides this region has to offer, alongside what you need to know before you get there.
Highway 1, California
Perhaps the quintessential Californian adventure bike route, Highway 1—AKA the Pacific Coast Highway—has plenty to offer. So much so, in fact, that you’ll most likely need to take it all in across multiple days. California.com, a promotional travel site for the state, says that you can “Ride from Dana Point to Long Beach, Malibu to Santa Barbara, or Big Sur to San Francisco for a small taste of what Highway 1 has to offer.”
You’ll get a lengthy tour of the state’s biggest urban landmarks, alongside some wonderful curving roads that provide somewhat of a technical challenge while also keeping your ride relatively slow. That’s a good thing: you won’t want to miss a moment of this state’s beautiful coastlines, which the road takes care to highlight.
Angeles Crest Highway
If you’re not quite up to the multi-day trek that Highway 1 demands, rest assured California provides in terms of day-trips, too. The Angeles Crest highway spans only a short 60 miles, according to TravelInformation.org, but during that time it cuts through the Angeles National Forest, which is a sight to see, to say the least! Stark cliffs, tons of pine trees, and pristine horizons make this ride a visual treat you won’t want to miss out on.
According to the United States Forest Service, Angeles National Forest spans 700,000 acres, so if you want to make a multi-day trip of this area, you’ve got plenty to explore. Just know that not all of it is accessible via adventure bike. On top of that, quite a bit of the park is situated very near Los Angeles, which is an awesome vacation destination in its own right. Day trip, weekend getaway, or weeklong escape—the choice is yours.
The United States Forest Service also does state, though, that this forest “is located within one of the driest, most fire-prone areas in the United States -- where human-caused wildland fires are becoming larger and more frequent -- significantly damaging natural resources as well as the important human infrastructure on invaluable public lands.”
If you plan to ride your bike here, be aware of the fire risk for the given day and know how to interpret the “adjective ratings” the United States Forest Service provides. If you don’t even know what those are, it's time to study up. It’s helpful information for any outdoors aficionado to know, regardless of where they’re riding!
The Palomar Mountain Loop
Up for a challenge? MotorcycleRoads.com, a handy route-planning resource, states that the Palomar Mountain Loop is “the most technical road in Southern California." Hairpins, snake turns, and sweepers all make appearances in this route, it also states, so you’re more likely to spend time focusing on the road and less on the scenery. It’s a blast to ride, but it might not be the best choice if you’re solely looking to sight-see.
Still, the sights that you do see are lovely, and the sheer amount of stuff to do on the route is incredible. Passing through the Cleveland National forest and next to a locally-loved diner and even an observatory, you’ll sure never be bored on this loop. And the best part? You end back where you started from, meaning there’s no need to repeat anything!
The Washington Backcountry Discovery Route
Thanks to the nonprofit work of Backcountry Discovery Routes, adventure bike riders now have a single clean route from Oregon through Washington, and all the way up onto the Canadian border if they so choose! You’ll get a wonderful look at the diverse terrain of Washington and the surrounding states, from mountains to forests and even a volcano or two.
Backcountry Discovery Routes states that it takes between five and six days for most riders to finish this route in its entirety, and that the best times to go for a ride here are between June and September, so as to avoid hazardous snow.
CFMOTO: The Rides that Get You There
No matter if you’re into bikes, CFMOTO ATVs, or CFMOTO side by sides, all of our machines do one thing in common: create adventure. Use our online CFMOTO dealer locator today and discover what fun on four wheels (or two!) can do for you.