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  1. #1
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    Route PCH to Julian?

    I am trying to find a route from PCH to Julian. So far I haven't found anything that doesn't involve getting on HWY 78. Has anyone ever biked to Julian? Is it safe/legal to ride on the 78? I'm coming down from Dana Point if that helps.

  2. #2
    #5639 robertkat's Avatar
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    Yes. Sort of. Between Oceanside and Escondido, it is not legal to bicycle on Highway 78. In Escondido, the 78 ends, but begins again in the San Pasqual Valley heading up into Ramona. This is a two lane roadway that you can bicycle on, though most of it has minimal or no shoulder and high speed traffic. I can think of one way right now off the top of my head that might be a bit more on the safe side with much better scenery (yet a bit longer and more climbing). Coming from Dana Point, continue south on Coast Highway through Carlsbad and take Palomar Airport Road east to San Marcos, get on Mission Ave into Escondido, then east on Valley Parkway up into Valley Center (becomes VC Rd.). Continue east heading on VC Rd (S6) then a right onto Highway 76. 76 all the way Past Lake Henshaw to the 79, and 79 to Santa Ysabel. Or turn off onto Mesa Grande when you pass Lake Henshaw. In Santa Ysabel follow the sings up to Julian. You could also head south out of Escondido into Poway and take Scripps Poway Pkwy/76 up into Ramona, then Old Julian Highway and 78 to Santa Ysabel. Pretty basic, details are in the turns, so consult a map.

  3. #3
    Cyclocross - Go anywhere! sd_mike's Avatar
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    If you want a less traffic, but better route, go south. I've gone to Julian twice from my place in San Diego and go via Old Hwy 80 through Alpine, then Hwy 79 from there. Hwy 78 is very busy, and I wouldn't recommend it.
    Finally riding again after my accident in Dec 2011.

  4. #4
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Another vote against the 78.
    I would turn east on Lomas Santa Fe in Solana Beach, then climb up through a less trafficky Rancho Santa Fe to Del Dios Hwy. Then make your way to the new bridge over Lake Hodges and turn left twice to Highland Valley Road. Take Highland Valley to Ramona, and turn right after the Sizzler steakhouse in Ramona. This is Old Julian Highway, which will at least get you closer to Santa Ysabel. You'll still have to climb that narrow road up to Julian, but you can still minimize that misery by turning left on Wynola Road, which is a BEAUTIFUL ride up to Julian with minimal traffic.
    Riding all the way from Orangutan County is a pretty tall order for we mortals. You can also take the Amtrak to the Solana Beach station, which is reminiscent of the quonset huts made famous in Gomer Pyle. (Shazaam.)
    Good luck and let us know how it goes! (And it might be a good ideal to have at least one blinky red light attached to your aft section--despite the above route minimizing your time on narrow, high-speed roads, one can never be too careful in the Cellphone Age.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the help!

    I'm probably going to end up taking Highland to Old Julian HWY to 78 to Wynola. I've never gone through Wynola road so that should be fun.

  6. #6
    Cyclocross - Go anywhere! sd_mike's Avatar
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    One thing about Highland Valley Road, it has a rather narrow and steep section a few miles east of I-15. It isn't that bad, but something to know about. One past that, the riding is much easier the rest of the way to Julian, excepting the section east of Santa Ysabel and east of Wynola. Enjoy the ride!
    Finally riding again after my accident in Dec 2011.

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