California redwood trees, volcanoes, and the Pacific Coast Highway


Pacific Ocean photo by Tony Taylor
Pacific Ocean photo by Tony Taylor

 

Pacific Coast Highway 1  follows over 500 miles of California coastline. Especially dramatic are the 240 miles from Monterrey to Santa Barbara, including Big Sur, from Carmel to San Simeon (see map). Wikipedia states, "The northern end of Big Sur is about 120 miles south of San Francisco, and the southern end is approximately 245 miles northwest of Los Angeles." Called America's most popular roadtrip by Travel Channel, they list plenty of places to see, stay, and eat. 

 

Caltrans has created a toll-free road conditions hotline for Highway 1 in Big Sur. Call 888-836-0866 for information about traffic delays and road closures.

 

3 miles south of Carmel is Point Logos State Natural Reserve, a favorite place for seabirds, seals, sea lions & sea otters.  Gray whales migrate off the coast December to May.

 

Point Sur lighthouse at Point Sur Historic Park, 19 miles south of Carmel.

Check the tour schedule and admission fees.

 

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park26 miles south of Carmel, the Big Sur Lodge has 61 guest rooms, a conference center, cafe, and a grocery store with Wi-Fi.  The park offers campsites along the Big Sur River.

 

The Hearst Castle is 90 miles south of Carmel on Hwy 1, 750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon, CA 93452-9740.  There is camping nearby.

 

Here's a photo slideshow, and more things to do, on the PCH. Remember, a southbound ride puts you closest to the coastline.

 


Lassen Peak Hwy has some nice switchbacks east of Redding, CA
Lassen Peak Hwy has some nice switchbacks east of Redding, CA

 

Lassen Volcanic National Park is located in north, central California, about 60 miles east of Redding (see larger map). At 8512 ft elevation, the road near Lassen Peak is the highest road in the Cascades, according to the National Park Service. Plan your visit or see the maps page and photo galleries.  Check the weather and see more nice images here.  

 

About 50 miles north on Hwy 89 is McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, six miles north of Highway 299 near Burney. The park's centerpiece, the 129-foot Burney Falls, flows 100 million gallons every day. California Parks & Recreations says it may be the most beautiful waterfall in the state. Here is general park and camping info. Another hour north on Hwy 89 take a drive by Mt. Shasta.  Here's a scenic route map from Red Bluff on I-5 to Mt. Shasta.

 

Search Here for Hotels.com Best Hotel Deals!

 

Lassen Volcanic NP photos from Tony Taylor's 2012 Wild West Tour.

Press play to start slideshow


CA Hwy 2 has twisties just north of LA
CA Hwy 2 has twisties just north of LA

Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles, offers 65 miles of natural beauty and twisty road on Hwy 2 at altitudes of up to 7900 feet. Catch Hwy 2 just 5 miles north of the famous Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. See larger map.

 

Add another 100 miles when Hwy 2 ends at Hwy 138, by heading east toward Rim of the World Hwy and follow Hwy 18 to Big Bear. Loop around the lake and return to Hwy 18 headed west. In Running Springs, Hwy 330 takes you to Highland, near San Bernadino. See larger map.


Photo credit: SDRandCo from morguefile.com


Click the photo to enlarge it
Click the photo to enlarge it

Ventura to Bakersfield - a scenic 300 mile route

Google maps view from Tepusquet Rd (C) to (D) above
Google maps view from Tepusquet Rd (C) to (D) above
switchbacks on Tepusquet Rd - click to enlarge
switchbacks on Tepusquet Rd - click to enlarge
Google maps view from CA Hwy 58
Google maps view from CA Hwy 58

 

Information

More roads you might like to try - scroll down their page for photos.

 

A list of highways by region and other info by region.

 

Campground information here and here.

 

For Sale

Northern California travel guide in book or PDF format.

 

Maps.com has your California Maps! See atlases on the Atlas tab.

 

Motorcycle Rentals & Tours

Motorcycle rentals in Mountain View, San Jose and Reno, NV.  Also rentals in Concord, NE of Oakland and  EagleRider in downtown SF.

 

Guided tours are offered here and here and here.

 

Self-guided (with bike & accommodations) and guided tours offered here.