Ventura to Josuha Tree NP
Whats the best (in terms of road condition, traffic, distance, scenery) route from Ventura to Joshua Tree NP?
Is ist better to cycle north or south Angeles National Forest?
Flying and Riding
I don't think there is an "ideal" route. If you go South of the NF (roughly parallel to the 210 fwy) you'll be dealing with urban traffic until you pass through the San Bernardino area. After that you'll have a stretch where you'll be forced to ride the shoulder of I-10 (not fun) unless you go farther south and go through Moreno Valley/San Jacinto area. Either way you'll have to either climb up Hwy 62 to Yucca Valley area (several tough grades) or access the park off I-10 east of Indio. East of Indio you're limited to I-10, and there's a pretty steep climb out of Indio.
If you go north of the NF there's less choice of roads and will either have pick your way around to avoid the more heavily trafficed roads (like Hwy 138) or take your chances on the busy routes. Once you get east of Victorville area the route choices get very thin. East of Lucerne Valley you'll be able to drop right into Yucca Valley etc and be able to 'enjoy' Hwy 62 or one of the side routes.
The north route is pretty warm this time of year all the way to JT. Southern route gets seriously hot east of Banning and there's essentially no services (water, food) east of Indio.
Last edited by sam21fire; 08-15-14 at 03:07 PM.
Reason: correct typos
well both options do not sound very nice but I guess I'm taking the north route then.
Flying and Riding
If it was me I'd take the North route. I enjoy the desert (planning a ride across the Mojave in Oct) and you can either wild camp, find someplace, or get a motel for overnight stops. The valley route would be almost continual city riding w/o much camping opportunity. Don't forget to take more water than you think you'll possibly need.
In the summer, you'll want to take 138 and then 18 into the heart of the San Bernadino Mountains. Its cooler than in the valleys and desert below it. The climb is steep but not as heart-stopping as from the south where you take 330 and then 18 several thousand feet in elevation above the valley below into the heart of the mountains.
Its worth a tour by bike - if you've got the physical condition to do it and you avoid looking down if you're afraid of heights!