Ortega Highway (AKA "The Awesome 74 to Lake Elsinor") + ADD NEW ROUTE
35 in California California32 Miles
By Bill Belei
on July 1, 2005
- Trip Toolbox
The directions to this route are incredibly simple. Just get your self to San Juan Capistrano, CA and head east on route 74 or get your self to Lake Elsinore, CA and head west on 74.
This road takes you through the Cleveland National Forest between San Juan Capistrano, CA and to Lake Elsinore, CA. You'll pass through some great mountain/valley scenery as you descend and climb through the national forest. In addition to mountains you'll see some lush plant nurseries and pass through some alpine forest areas. When you finally reach the end (near Lake Elsinore) you will truly be amazed at the breathtaking view of Mt. Elsinore as route 74 sits thousands of feet above the lake and its valley. 74 then quickly descends down to the lake and town.
The roads have a great combination of sweeping turns and twisties. It has a nice section that puts together a series of 180 degree turns as you quickly climb up a mountain. The part of the road near the end and dumps you down into the Lake Elsinoreis full of great turns as well. When I was out there, there were more bikes than cars as this truly is a favorite ride in southern California for bikes.
There is not too much to do in the way off "Roadside Amenities" however there are two bar/diner places along the route that cater specifically to the bike crowd. One of them is called Hell's kitchen and it caters to the cruiser/Harley crowd and the other is the "Lookout Roadhouse" which seems to attract more of the sport bike guys/girls. Other than that the town of Lake Elsinore has plenty of places to grab a bite and get your tank filled up.
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Nickname (optional) : Bill Belei