The Best Roads Are Here

What Are The Best Motorcycle Rides In California?

- State Route 1 (655 miles)
- Redwood Highway (192 miles)
- Westgard Pass (38 miles)
- Death Valley (158 miles)
- Matthole Road (66 miles)
- Generals Hwy to Kings Canyon (87 miles)
- Ortega Highway (62 miles)
- Klamath River Highway (62 miles)
- Route 33 (70 miles)
- Joshua Tree National Park (62 miles)
- Angeles Crest Highway (60 miles)
- Coalinga to Hollister (48 miles)

Below is our detailed list for the best motorcycle rides in California! Beaches, mountains, deserts and the largest trees on earth. Where else can you find so much diversity on a motorcycle? Discover the best CA rides here with our route descriptions to great motorcycle destinations! Click on each California motorcycle map link for the direct Google Maps route.


DISTANCE: 656 miles
TIME: 8 hours

This epic route runs along most of the Pacific coastline of California, and is about 656 miles. With that much length, there's a tremendous amount to see. There's access to beaches, State and National Parks, including Redwoods National Park, and the amazing Big Sur area. This CA motorcycle ride even includes the famous Golden Gate Bridge. From south to north, the famous scenic portions are between Orange County and Mendocino County area. But nearly the entire route has varying degrees of stunning scenery along the glittering Pacific.


DISTANCE: 192 miles
TIME: 4 hours

This fantastic California motorcycle ride will take you among the tallest trees in the world through Avenue of the Giants. For much of this section, the roads are smooth and you'll be riding in the shade, which motorcyclists will appreciate on a hot summer day. Along this route, take in the immense scenery of these massive trees, with ocean views, beaches, and some of the most pristine landscapes of California.


DISTANCE: 38 miles
TIME: 1 hour

Westgard Pass is a great California motorcycle road, which is a narrow gap between the White Mountains and Inyo Mountains ranges in eastern CA. At an elevation of 7,313 ft, this route lies entirely within the Inyo National Forest, in northern Inyo County, California. State Route 168 crosses the pass, connecting the Owens Valley to Deep Springs Valley. Route 168 is the only (paved) east-west route across the Inyo-White Mountains. Motorcycling through this region will offer pristine scenery and grand vistas.


CA-190, CA-178
DISTANCE: 58 miles
TIME: 3 hours

The hottest, driest place in North America is also an enchanting region of desolate splendor to ride through. This southern California motorcycle ride takes you through the main National Park road, and west of the Panamint Mountains. As an option, take Emigrant Canyon Road for views of the highest, snowiest summit, Telescope Peak, at 11,049 feet. For obvious reasons, the cooler seasonal months are best to ride this CA motorcycle road.


via Google Maps


DISTANCE: 66 miles
TIME: 2.5 hours

The road around Cape Mendochine - the Lost Coast, is a narrow, twisting strip of road that is quite technical to navigate, even by car. Start this route in Ferndale and ride through dense, mossy woods and emerge to the grand vista of the Pacific. Turn inland again up towards more tight, lonely road to Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The only downside to this ride is that the road pavement quality leaves much to be desired. But all in all, Mattole Road is one of the best motorcycle roads in California, and will not disappoint even the most experienced motorcyclists!


DISTANCE: 87 miles
TIME: 3 hours

This truly fantastic CA motorcycle ride begins in Three Rivers and continues north through Sequoia National Park. The road loops and curves with some hairpin turns overlooking vast mountain vistas and enters the national park forest where you'll ride alongside some of the biggest trees on earth, some of which you can actually ride through! Carry on east along Route 180 (Kings Canyon Road) for more majestic motorcycle rides into Kings Canyon National Park. The road quality is beautifully smooth and well maintained as with most national park roads.


DISTANCE: 62 miles
TIME: 40 mins

This is a famed California motorcycle route south of Los Angeles through the Santa Ana Mountains. It's got great curves, a couple really nice switchbacks, and there are some spectacular views along the way, especially of Lake Elsinore. Discretion, attention and moderation are needed on this road, as this stretch has had more than its share of motorcycle tragedies over the years. Many riders comment on the excessive traffic, so choose your riding time wisely!

via Google Maps

via Google Maps


DISTANCE: 62 miles
TIME: 1 hour 20 min

This motorcycle road in northern California from Happy Camp is a winding delight. It travels along the second longest river in California, the Klamath River. Overall, the pavement quality is very good, making it a great road for any type of motorcycle. There's not much tourist traffic and it's not a major trucking route. The curves on this route stretch for miles, and will offer beautiful scenery.

via Google Maps

via Google Maps


DISTANCE: 70 miles
TIME: 1.5 hours

From Ventura, hop on 33 North (Maricopa Highway) and cruise through Ojai towards the mountains. The first 70 miles or so are a looping, challenging delight, winding through the chaparral and pines of the Santa Ynez Mountains and Los Padres National Forest. It’s wild, beautiful country with amazing, twisty roads, and inspiring views most of the way. This great motorcycle ride in California will take you over Pine Mountain Saddle at about 6,000 feet, and drop down into the Cuyama badlands.

via Google Maps

via Google Maps

via Google Maps


DISTANCE: 62 miles
TIME: 1.5 hours

Another great motorcycle ride in southern CA is just 2 hours from LA - the road through Joshua Tree National Park. It's a two-lane pleasure, with weaving stretches of gently twisting pavement. You'll ride among rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes, and of course, the region’s twisted, bristled Joshua trees scattered in the park. Being federal land, the pavement quality is very good, just watch for the occasional gravel and sand on the road's edges.


DISTANCE: 60 miles
TIME: 1.5 hours

This world-famous California motorcycle road is loved by bikers for its misty trails of Angeles National Forest and beautiful outskirts of LA. With fantastic views of Saint Gabriel mountains and Mojave desert, this highway is a fantastic motorcycle ride. The curvy mountain road winds through the jagged landscape and around mountain peaks and the scent of fresh pine fills the air, leaving nothing to be desired.


CA-198, CA-25
DISTANCE: 48 miles
TIME: 2.5 hours

While CA-198 covers some other great portions of the state (see above for the Sequoia & Kings Canyon section), this western side is between Hwy 101 and Interstate 5, and climbs up along the coastal range with great views. Head north onto CA-25 for more great mountain views, traffic free, up toward Pinnacles National Park. There are some long straights you'll cruise along the northern portion of this route, which stretch off to the distant ridge line.

Honorable Mentions:

More California Motorcycle Rides

- Cecilville Rd and Salmon River Rd. (Trinity County)
- CA 162 (Bucks Lake Rd)
- Quincy-LaPorte Rd. CA 70 (Feather River)
- CA 89 E (Monitor Pass), CA 49 (Yuba Pass)
- CA 36 (Red Bluff to Fortuna)
- CA 3 (Hayfork Pass)

How Can I Find The Best Motorcycle Roads On The West Coast? is the place to find the best roads and routes around California. Discover great motorcycle roads in states near California!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is California motorcycle friendly?

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in America, California draws a lot of motorcyclists from outside the state. Not only does California have great roads to discover, but there are also well-established motorcycle rental companies throughout the state. This enables out-of-state motorcyclists to fly in and rent a motorcycle instead of having to ride in.

What are the best motorcycle roads in Northern California?

- Redwood Highway
- Shoreline Highway
- Matthole Road (The Lost Coast)
- Klatmath River Highway

Where can I ride my motorcycle in Orange County?

- Pacific Coast Highway
- Ortega Highway (35 minutes from Orange County)
- Joshua Tree National Park (2 hours from Orange County)

How long does it take to motorcycle the Pacific Coast Highway?

To motorcycle the entire coastal CA Highway 1 would take 12-14 hours without stops. Of course, on a motorcycle, you will take many stops. Not only to refuel, but to take in the beautiful sights. Plan on a minimum of 3-5 days if getting a lot of miles in each day heading one way.

What is the Helmet Law in California?

California Requires All Riders to Wear a Helmet. According to California law, it is unlawful to operate a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle if the driver or any passenger is not wearing a safety helmet.