Overall Route Rating
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4.67 out of 5 Rider Rating 4.67
28 Reviews

The Palomar Mountain Loop

Motorcycle Route Author

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By Michael Whitmyre (2 McR Points) on Nov 01, 2003

Rider Reviews

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Guest
April 9, 2011
Great Ride and like many have said very technical…
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Guest
June 7, 2014
This is a windy road, particularly South Grade.…
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Written Directions

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.

Scenery

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!.

Drive Enjoyment

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.

Tourism Opportunities

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.

Motorcycle Road Additional info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

Top Images

The Palomar Mountain Loop
The Palomar Mountain Loop
The Palomar Mountain Loop
The Palomar Mountain Loop
The Palomar Mountain Loop
The Palomar Mountain Loop
The Palomar Mountain Loop
The Palomar Mountain Loop
The Palomar Mountain Loop
The Palomar Mountain Loop
The Palomar Mountain Loop
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Guest
April 9, 2011
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport
Great Ride and like many have said very technical. I am from the area and anyone who rides makes their way to Palomar, almost as a "right of passage". Both novice and experienced alike take this road head on, but I'm writing this review to caution the novice. Two friends of mine both newer riders tried to prove themselves on this road and were killed. Just be safe and be careful on Palomar Mountain and don't under estimate it.
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11 riders found this road review useful
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Guest
June 7, 2014
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport
This is a windy road, particularly South Grade. People live on this road, it should be respected. You should obey traffic laws and do not cross ove the lines. Each year, at 26 to 30 riders are killed or greatly injured on this road. Please don't victimize the residents and visitors to this beautiful place to satisfy your need for adrenalin.
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7 riders found this road review useful
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Guest
January 1, 2014
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport - Touring
Great ride up the face of Palomar Mountain on the S6 side. Well engineered road, so once you get your turn line, you're good to go on each of these bends. The downhill side - S7 towards Lake Henshaw - is a little rougher in places. Looks like SD county is a little behind on maintenance, but still in all - a nice stretch of road. I did take a few breaks to check the scenery - several excellent Scenic Overlooks that are worth checking out. Recommended!
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5 riders found this road review useful