Just North of San Bernadino, take CA SR 18 (North Waterman) exit off of Interstate 210
Incredible mountain vistas visible from this road literally on the "rim" of the mountain. Many pull over areas with visibility upwards of 20-30 miles and great stop for lunch at Lake Arrowhead Village and Lake. Fantastic stop, very scenic mountain lake at about 5,500'. Return via Running Springs (small mountain village between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear)with more spectacular mountain vistas and twisties.
SR 18 is a well traveled road and in general, a good road; however, due to the cold weather and snow in the winter, there are some areas of the road that need to be repaired on occasion. SR 330 down the mountain is in excellent condition and recently paved.
Outstanding views with numerous pull-overs to include many tourist shops and eateries at Lake Arrowhead Village. Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPrAuhtAZBU&list=UU2DeXSevJiutN9YQ0y70JLQ&hd=1
This route should really be divided into 2 separate reviews. The beginning of Hwy 18 is a fantastic 4 lane, beautifully paved hwy with every corner banked to perfection. Most corners even have those plastic sticks sitting on the double yellow line to help insure cars stay on their side of the road. The twisties in this section are varying "medium" tight corners (3rd gear stuff with a 2nd on occasion). They are a sport bike riders dream! Traffic is moderate, but pass-able. LEO is always present and will be in both cars and SUV's.
Once you hit the Crestline off ramp the road goes from 4 lanes to 2. The corners tighten up and if there's little traffic can be a great time. Watch for LEO here as well. Weekends this section of the road can get a little congested, but you can generally find a safe place to get by if you desire. This route remains like this for the remainder of the trip.
The views are beautiful and the original poster is accurate with the amenities. Lake Arrowhead Village is a great place to stop for lunch and take a little walk around. During the warmer months they have free concerts on the weekends. Makes for a nice day by the lake.
Overall this is a great ride that can be enjoyed by everyone from hardcore sport riders to casual cruisers alike. The road is usual pretty clean during the warmer months, but they do treat it for snow and ice during the colder times. It's a mountain road, so there maybe the occasional rock that has fallen from the mountain side. You will find there are far less riders on this road verse those preferred by the local sport riders (I think it's because the other roads are just closer to get to).
If you're looking for a longer ride, I highly recommend running the 18 into Big Bear and taking hey 38 back down for the mountain.
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2 riders found this road review useful
May 30, 2016
8 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport - Touring
Was heading North from Mexico back to Sacramento during a holiday weekend; I saw traffic was getting heavy on the main hwy. So I pulled off and looked on this site for a back route. So glad I did, the mix of wide sweeping roads of 18 into the hills and then back down via Route 138 which perhaps is the most interesting twisty road I have ever been on to continue North was a great, great detour.
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0 riders found this road review useful
June 30, 2021
54 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
Heading due west out of Palm Desert, we picked up SR 62 thru Yucca Valley and on to SR 247 thru the Lucerne Valley. We stopped in for an amazing breakfast burrito and a cup of coffee at The Other Place, courtesy of Rock and his crew, they’re right behind the Sinclair Gas station at SR 267 and SR 18. Fully fueled, we headed south on SR 18 towards Big Bear Lake and Rim of the World Hwy. The views and scenery are simply spectacular; we were in a constant state of amazement virtually the entire time we were in the saddle. We will definitely be back AND we will allow more time between stopovers, we just didn’t have enough time to enjoy anything out of the saddle. Once we got up there, we took a few detours around Lakes Arrowhead and Gregory; further enjoying so much of the beauty that is all around that area. We then split off to SR 138 and back down to the valley floor thru the Apple and Antelope Valley’s and in to Palmdale for the night.