The Palomar Mountain Loop + ADD NEW ROUTE
3 in California California35 Miles
By Michael Whitmyre
on November 1, 2003
- Trip Toolbox
To get to the starting point, you'll need to find route 76 where it crosses I-15 about 15 miles north of Escondido, CA and about 10 miles south of Temecula, CA. Exit I-15 on to Rt. 76 heading east. The route starts about 21 miles east of the Interstate. After you've headed east on 76 for about 15 miles you'll see a sign for Palomar Mtn Rd at this point you'll veer left. About 6 miles further up the road you'll veer left again at a sign that says S-6 (San Diego County Road 6) which is where the fun begins! This part of the route is INCREDIBLE. Take it up the mountain until you come to a 4 way stop sign. There you will see Mother's Kitchen bike bar/diner to the left. You can stop there or take a right and continue this time on E. Grade Road. This is a great road to and will take you all the way down to Lake Heneshaw. After passing Lake Heneshaw you'll come to a stop sign. If you take a right you'll be back on 76 and will end up passing where you veered off of 76 and would have made a complete loop. That section of the road is OK but if I were you, I would just turn around and double back on East Grade road and head back down S-6 ... then turn around and do it again and again and again.
Don't take this route for the scenery ... you'll need to keep your eyes on the road! Take it for the challenge as it "is the most technical road in Southern California." The scenery is great though as you'll be climbing mountains and have great vistas of the surrounding areas and you'll be traveling through some lush forests. Overall it is much more than just a technical route as it offers some of the best scenery in Southern California! The route is perched up high in a secluded mountain peak in the Cleveland National Forest. In fact it passes right by the Palomar Mountain Observatory (space telescope). And, you know if the government selected a site in southern California for a high powered telescope that they chose an area that not only has exceptional elevation but also is far removed from civilization and resulting light pollution ... so you know this area has to be pristine ... and it is!.
Rock solid 5 in the motorcycle road quality category. Multiple decreasing radius turns thrown in to back to back hairpin turns, add a few smooth snake turns and a few long sweepers and you have yourself a darn good ride.
Mobile gas station @ the Interstate 15/State Road 76 interchange. Two different casinos after you start heading east on 76. Several snack/liquor stores. You have to stop at "Mother's Kitchen" at the top of Mt. Palomar. When I was there the parking lot was entirely filled with motorcycles and everyone was hanging out, trading stories, and having a great time.
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Nickname (optional) : Michael Whitmyre