Peaks & Passes Tour

California, United States of America, Americas

The beautiful Sierra-Nevada Mountains form the centerpiece of this great tour as we ride the western foothills through the historic California gold country. Once into the central Sierras, we'll ride through Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks as we cross the mountains on the Tioga, Monitor, and Ebbetts passes. The roads are great fun and the scenery is unbelievable!

Note: This tour is for experienced riders only. Each day includes lots of twisty mountain roads that are sometimes narrow and steep. The scenery is fabulous and the riding is like nothing you'll find anywhere else, but it can be a bit challenging even for the most experienced riders.

Organised by California Motorcycle Tours

Peaks & Passes Tour


Day 1, Sunday. San Diego to Lake Gregory (190 miles)

We start our adventure by exploring some of the San Diego County backroads as we ride through Temecula and Oak Glen before climbing more than 6000 feet [1800 meters] into the San Bernardino Mountains. We'll ride along the Rim-of-the-World highway to the beautiful mountain resort of Lake Gregory/Crestline.

Day 2, Monday. Lake Gregory to Kernville (200 miles)

We ride past Silverwood Lake before crossing the Cajon Junction on our way to Wrightwood. We drop to the high desert and ride next to Edwards Air Force Base (where the Space Shuttle sometimes lands) before crossing the Tehachapi Summit. We reach the southern Sierras and historic Walker's Basin near Lake Isabella before arriving in Kernville and our destination along the Kern River.

Day 3, Tuesday. Kernville to Kings Canyon (170 miles)

We'll go up and down the mountains about a hundred times (or so it will seem) as we go north along the western slope of the Sierras. We'll take a well-deserved break at Giant Forest Village in Sequoia National Park before continuing to our destination in Kings Canyon.

Day 4, Wednesday. Kings Canyon to Oakhurst (120 miles)

We'll have a relatively short day with time to explore Kings Canyon National Park before we ride more fun mountain roads as we continue north on the edge of the Sierras. We'll pass more lakes and rivers than we can count on our way to Oakhurst and the southern end of Highway 49, named in honor of the "49ers" of gold rush fame.

Day 5, Thursday. Oakhurst to Bridgeport (185 miles)

From Oakhurst, we ride scenic highway 41 into Yosemite National Park. If we get an early start, we'll ride out to Glacier Point which overlooks the Yosemite Valley. Yosemite has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth! We'll have plenty of time for photos and exploring the Yosemite Valley before we ride Tioga Pass (elevation 9941 feet! [3030 meters]) to the town of Lee Vining in the eastern Sierras.

Day 6, Friday. Bridgeport to Mariposa (200 miles)

From Bridgeport, we go north along the rugged eastern Sierra to the Monitor Pass turn-off. Monitor Pass takes us up over 8000 feet [2400 meters] before dropping us into the Carson River valley. We'll cross Ebbetts Pass as we travel west to the historic towns of Murphys and Angels Camp in the heart of California gold country before turning south on highway 49 towards Mariposa.

Day 7, Saturday. Mariposa to Springville (195 miles)

We'll ride the foothills for 90 miles before dropping into the Central Valley and skirting around the city of Fresno. We've got lots of fun (and challenging) roads to explore as we wind our way through the Sierra foothills. We end the day in Springville on the eastern edge of the Central Valley.

Day 8, Sunday.Springville to Kernville (70 or 210 miles)

The road out of Springville takes us into the Sequoia National Forest before we pick up the Kern River and follow it south towards Kernville. This is an easy day that allows for alternative activities or just relaxing by the river once we near Kernville. For those who want more riding, there is the Sherman Pass road which will take us up over 9200 feet (2800 meters) before looping back towards Kernville. This is definitely the long way but the roads and scenery are worth the effort - and not a freeway or major highway within 100 miles!

Day 9, Monday. Kernville to Big Bear Lake (200 miles)

From Kernville, we ride across Walker Pass before descending to the high desert. We'll ride near Red Rock Canyon State park before stopping for lunch at an old (almost deserted) mining town. We'll continue south to the San Bernadino mountains to the resort community of Big Bear Lake at nearly 7,000 feet (2100 meters) altitude.

Day 10, Tuesday. Big Bear Lake to San Diego (180 miles)

We'll ride up and over the mountains before descending to Yucaipa and Oak Glen. We'll continue through scenic inland valleys before stopping for lunch in old town Temecula. We've got a few more fun roads left before returning to San Diego. What a great 10 days of riding! Our farewell dinner provides an opportunity to reflect on the beauty we have seen, the adventures we have experienced, and to reinforce the friendships we have established with our fellow riders that often last a lifetime.

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