The weather has been pretty wet and cold, quite an unusual sight in Southern California since we’re SO USED to the idea of drought and dryness that having a little bit of storm is rather peculiar. Now once the weather brightens up and you allow the snow to melt a bit, San Bernardino has great mountain roads that is equally lovely as it is breathtaking with its views and towering trees. There’s even a small section where it feels like the trees almost resembled the redwood trees up north. Although what I just described is farther up the mountain rather than the outer roads, those closer to the bottom of the mountain are more desert-like since they’re closer to the city and most of San Bernardino is pretty much desert.
You’ll eventually hit Idyllwild, a mountainous community that thrives with the green of the forest it’s surrounded by and blue of the skies during the summer, not to mention a close neighbor of Big Bear as well. My fist encounter with this wonderful town was actually a little over a decade ago when I came up to attend a spectacular arts camp called Idyllwild Arts. Spent two entire two weeks blissfully hidden in the forest while learning and expanding my arts knowledge, but I digress. Idyllwild, located in the San Jacinto Mountains in Riverside County, California, United States is a great place to get away from the city on your motorcycle.
The roads quite resemble (keyword: RESEMBLE, not SAME) those at Angeles Crest Highway where they’re more wide open and long rather than tight and small like those at Glendora Ridge Mountain, although there are a few tighter ones if you ride far enough into the mountains. But for the most part it’s a great road to cruise. On your way to Idyllwild, you’ll pass by a pit stop of sorts that has it’s own small parking lot called “Vista Point” (I believe that’s what it’s called) where you can pull off and take a rest while overlooking a beautiful view of the city below if you climb the large rocks. It’s one of my favorite places to stop on the way to Idyllwild to get my breath and take a break.
One of the great things is that because Idyllwild is a favorite among the riding community, the town gets plenty of foot traffic from motorcyclists. The shops there as well as the restaurants are very motorcycle friendly and will accommodate large riding groups by reserving parking spots if you call ahead of time (i.e. Joanne’s BBQ). The overall road of both 243 (the one that leads you to Idyllwild) and 74 are very fun roads, the 74 may be a little more difficult with really wide sweepers, but fun nonetheless. The 243 is a more scenic route that we took, easy and very beautiful. I definitely recommend having a go at it if any one is ever in the area or is looking for a different route to ride!
I video’ed some of the roads we took with a group of friends and will be uploading this soon! Follow us via our blog or YouTube channel: @kumanekomoto to catch up on our motorcycle adventures and see you around. 🙂