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MikeRC

Favourite roads Southern California & Southern Arizona

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MikeRC

The loonie has landed. 

 

Currently in Palm Springs and wandering South-central California & Southern Arizona for the next 3 weeks.  One goal is to visit all those areas that get too hot by June/July.  I have been to Death Valley last fall, so that one is covered.  I understand there are a few seasonal closures right now (like Angels Crest).   

 

I have a Butler map and have a few people to visit, but just curious about favourite roads (especially hidden gems).  Joining the group in Ramona in 2 weeks as well.  After doing Joshua Tree today I'm probably heading to Temecula to go up Palomar Mt on Friday with a friend from San Bernardino.  

 

I have read other threads as well, so I have some ideas.  Maybe just one or two suggestions?  Any tag-along suggestions also appreciated.  

 

Thanks in advance.  

 

Mike C

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chrisolson

Unfortunately most of the nicer roads are in Northern Arizona.  My favorite "hidden gem"  is Lake Mary Road (aka rte 3 / 209) ... however it might still be a bit brisk in temperature

 

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Coming from Cal on 10 I'd probably take 95 south from Quartzite, then 8 to Gila Bend, then 85 south to Why and 86 on to Tucson. 

 

None of those are spectacular, but there is a huge saguaro "forrest" along 86 past Why toward Sells and Three Point 

 

And you could also visit Kitt Peak Observatory 

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MikeRC

Thanks Chris! 

 

I've actually done Lake Mary Road a few years ago after US 191.  Also been to Prescott/Prescott Valley/Jerome/Sedona.  But (oddly enough) not the Oak Creek Canyon section.  Last I looked there as still snow/sand on the road to Kitt Peak, but that may change in a week or two.  AZ 85 & 86 were on my list for sure! 

 

Mike C

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chrisolson
5 minutes ago, MikeRC said:

but that may change in a week or two. 

 

Yes, we've had a bit of a warming trend ...supposed to be 80ish on Thur, Fri, Sat .... but "cooling off "  :grin:  into the low-mid 70's  next week

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longjohn

If you get a chance head up to big bear/arrowhead. 

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MikeRC
9 hours ago, longjohn said:

If you get a chance head up to big bear/arrowhead. 

 

 

I see Onyx Summit on SR 38 from Big Bear City to Mill Creek Canyon is 8400 ft.  Caltrans doesn't show any traffic restrictions, but I am a bit concerned about possible ice or snow.  Am I being overcautious? 

 

How about SR 18 Crestline to Running Springs?  Looks to be around 6000 ft.  

 

4 hours ago, mrduck said:

 

https://www.wildlandsconservancy.org/preserve_whitewater.html

 

Water in the desert is a rare thing!

While you’re in the area, go take a look here, one of those Huell Howser  places....never personally been there  but I will when down in that area, looks interesting......

 

Don J 

 

 

Missed it today on my Joshua Tree loop but maybe I will catch it later, Don.  

 

Mike C 

 

 

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longjohn
16 hours ago, MikeRC said:

 

 

I see Onyx Summit on SR 38 from Big Bear City to Mill Creek Canyon is 8400 ft.  Caltrans doesn't show any traffic restrictions, but I am a bit concerned about possible ice or snow.  Am I being overcautious? 

 

How about SR 18 Crestline to Running Springs?  Looks to be around 6000 ft.  

 

 

Missed it today on my Joshua Tree loop but maybe I will catch it later, Don.  

 

Mike C 

 

 

Caltrans generally does a good job of monitoring it's numbered roads.  I wouldn't hesitate.  It will be beautiful up there.  There will prolly be runoff here and there, so, you know pay attention.

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MikeRC

Thanks, John!  

 

I did SR74 Palm Desert to Anza and then dropped down 79 and came up Palomar Mtn East Grade Rd and on to the observatory.  Apparently they just paved the East Grade Rd in the last year or two.  

 

On to finish the Palms-to-Pines  Scenic Byway and then Big Bear tomorrow.  

 

Mike C

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longjohn

Wow. Lucky you. Have a great time!

 

there is a nice place for Lunch in big bear:  the teddy bear. Pie!

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MikeRC

 

Palms-to-Pines 243 Mountain Center to Banning wasn't an issue at all.  CA 38 Onyx Summit to Big Bear was bare & dry with no winter sand on the road at all. 

 

CA18 from Big Bear through Running Springs to Crestline just had a bit of winter sand in the corners & meltwater running across the road.  But there is still a lot of  snow in the trees and sand on the sides of the road from Big Bear to Crestline and if it rains a lot the roads will be pretty messy for a while.   

 

Stopped at the Teddy Bear, but I was too full after my salad for pie.  

 

Mike C

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MikeRC

 

Well, after due consideration I have cancelled the rest of my trip and come home.   

 

The rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in California soured my enthusiasm and brought up the potential for mandatory 14d isolation/quarantine either in California or on my return home.  Where would I stay in California?  At least at home I can sit in my den and keep busy.   

 

I just hope I can retrieve the bikes before they bake for a whole summer in the storage unit in Palm Springs.  

 

Mike C

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