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Best Bike Touring Southern California?

Old 02-25-16, 01:59 PM
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Best Bike Touring Southern California?

My boyfriend and I are planning a bike touring trip (2-3 days most likely) on our the new bikes we're getting. (Steel Niner RLT 9s). Does anybody know of some great touring spots in SoCal? Preferably in the mountains/wilderness or really natural places. We're definitely open to some cool fire road routes!

Thanks!
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Old 02-25-16, 02:03 PM
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Get a San Diego east county map, head up to Julian.
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Old 02-25-16, 02:26 PM
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Cabrillo National State Park, Pacific Coast Hiway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUUC...IoDLA&index=34
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Old 02-25-16, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by asahimateo
My boyfriend and I are planning a bike touring trip (2-3 days most likely) on our the new bikes we're getting. (Steel Niner RLT 9s). Does anybody know of some great touring spots in SoCal? Preferably in the mountains/wilderness or really natural places. We're definitely open to some cool fire road routes!

Thanks!

What time of the year you planning a trip in Southern California?

I live in San Diego County in Oceanside, CA
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Old 02-25-16, 03:14 PM
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We're actually living in San Diego County currently! We were looking at a small trip a bit further north (possibly LA area or San Bernardino Mountains). We likely don't have enough time to go further north than the Santa Barbara area. We were thinking of making a trip sometime next month.
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Old 02-25-16, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by asahimateo
We're actually living in San Diego County currently! We were looking at a small trip a bit further north (possibly LA area or San Bernardino Mountains). We likely don't have enough time to go further north than the Santa Barbara area. We were thinking of making a trip sometime next month.
Next month is probably going to be a very nice time to do a tour in the Anza-Borrego Desert in eastern San Diego County, barring any storms (it can get very windy there).

Outside of the desert, any "wilderness" area in SoCal is going to be mountainous, so nights are guaranteed to be chilly in March, regardless of how nice it is in the day. There are some hike and bike sites at Cuyamaca State Park at these two campgrounds
the two family camps, Paso Picacho and Green Valley, are open and on the reservation system spring through fall.
and there are a lot of unpaved and fire roads around the Park (see Boulder Creek Road, for example) and also a few that head over toward Mt. Laguna.


Cabrillo National State Park, Pacific Coast Hiway.
It's a National Monument, and not at all on the PCH.

Last edited by stevepusser; 02-25-16 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 02-25-16, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by stevepusser
Outside of the desert, any "wilderness" area in SoCal is going to be mountainous, so nights are guaranteed to be chilly in March, regardless of how nice it is in the day.
Yep. Kind of east of LA there's the San Gabriel mountains, and they are beautiful but, well, mountains. There are cool fire roads and it is really natural so maybe that's what you want. East of San Diego is probably good. I've hiked in Anza Borrego but not biked. If you can get up to Santa Barbara, there's a back road you can ride over the coastal range and into the Santa Ynez valley. (Gibraltar road) Beautiful bike riding country, and there's places to camp. Sorry but I'm actually a norcal transplant and don't know the socal rides well yet.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 02-26-16 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 02-26-16, 12:58 PM
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i would echo stevepusser and look into the san diego backcountry.
specifically, county hwy s1-sunrise highway between pine valley and julian.
you can link that with hwy 79 heading north up to the lake henshaw
and palomar area or take hwy 78 out of julian and drop down into
anza-borrego state park for some desert riding. taking county hwy
s-2 is the easiest way out of the desert and back up into lake henshaw
area. if you drop into the desert, borrego springs is also fairly close by
and worthy of visiting.

lots of scenery and minimal traffic (if done during the week) and campsites
along the way. decent support with a general store or such every 15 miles
or so on average. your area of least support would be between borrego
springs and lake henshaw-about 33 miles or so.

the basic north-south spine of highways s-1 and ca hwy 79 access the cuyamaca,
state park, laguna mtns, julian area, anza-borrego state park, borrego springs,
santa ysabel, mesa grande, lake henshaw and palomar mountain areas. not a
bad amount of choices for a 2-3 day tour.
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Old 02-26-16, 01:40 PM
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Anzo-Borrego, Joshua Tree, Death Valley. It's flower blooming time in the desert: Desert Wildflower Reports for Joshua Tree NP by DesertUSA
Yes the nights can get pretty cold (down to freezing), but the days were gorgeous. I toured there jan-march.
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Old 02-27-16, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by stevepusser
Next month is probably going to be a very nice time to do a tour in the Anza-Borrego Desert in eastern San Diego County, barring any storms (it can get very windy there).

Outside of the desert, any "wilderness" area in SoCal is going to be mountainous, so nights are guaranteed to be chilly in March, regardless of how nice it is in the day. There are some hike and bike sites at Cuyamaca State Park at these two campgrounds


and there are a lot of unpaved and fire roads around the Park (see Boulder Creek Road, for example) and also a few that head over toward Mt. Laguna.




It's a National Monument, and not at all on the PCH.
I am always looking for good bike touring trips in Southern California!
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Old 02-27-16, 05:17 PM
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The Green Valley Falls campground in Cuyamaca State Park is a cold trap in a valley at 4000'--I stayed at the hike 'n ' bike (actually an enlightened program in that park allows the biker to set up camp anywhere in a large picnic area toward dusk) over the Memorial Day weekend a few years ago, and it plummeted down to 25F that night. Way over in the full regular campground, I could hear tent campers cursing their inadequate sleeping bags all night and trying to find something to build up their campfires to stay warm. The next night I stayed at the other campground, and though it was a thousand feet higher, it did not trap cold air and only went down to 53F.

Palm Canyon Campground at Borrego Springs has dedicated H&B sites. An interesting (and hilly) out and back from there would be to ride to the county campground at Agua Caliente. (Hot springs!) They used to have an off and on again H&B site program; I suppose a phone call would clear matters up, but if the campground is full, it's legal to camp anywhere in the surrounding State Park for free.
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