Northern California 2022

After 3 years of not being able to travel it was a great relief to return to the West Coats of California and repeat more or less the trip we did back in 2018 albeit with a different riding pal. The trip started already on Friday with a flight via Zurich to San Francisco where I met up with Bryan who had arrived the day before. Weather expectations were OK but little did we know that northern Cal was actually in the middle of a mini heatwave so needless to say the riding was a bit warm. Below is the detail of our adventure back to North Cal!

Day 1 - SFO to Mariposa

After an overnight stay at the Airport hotel we got a cab to Treasure Island where we picked up two rather basic GS motorcycles. Thankfully we already new they would be the base models and were at least able to ensure we had the right Nav mount to be able to support my BMW Navigator, thanks to one of the UK GSer. We finally set off around 1030 and headed across the Baybridge towards Oakland. A bit of a wrong turn had the Navigation taking us too far East so we doubled back and hit the intended Road. The latter part of the route took us up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range and to our final destination in Mariposa. A small town with a few restaurants we opted for pizza and beer. Early night and ready for day 2. 

IMG_4396.JPG
IMG_4465.JPG
garminbasecamplogo.jpg
PDF-logo_edited.jpg
Click on the button for gpx or pdf files
IMG_4431.JPG

Day 2 - Mariposa to Yosemite

After an early start we headed north towards Yosemite. The weather was warm and sunny and soon temperatures were in the early 30's. The road slowly climbed towards the park entrance and due to past issues with traffic the new protocol is to book your visit in advance. also parks entrance is USD 30 per person but by buying an annual pass for $80 gave us both access to all parks during our trip. Heading into the park of course the usual great stone monuments became apparent.! - half Dome, El Capitan, Bridal Veil to name but a few. 

garminbasecamplogo.jpg
PDF-logo_edited.jpg

 

Once in the park we noticed much had changed from our previous visit. Many more campsites were open and the road system was being drastically overhauled. We visited the village and information centre and then decided to head back out of the park. Unfortunately the route to Glacier Point was closed for the 22 season so we were unable to get to this look out point. Having a bit of time to kill we drove slowly towards Fish Camp and our overnight stay at the Tenaya Lodge again. This time we were in their new cabins. Great idea but a bit of a trek to the main hotel. A short brush with the Park Ranger for overtaking was the only real excitement for the day. After a dinner at the Lodge we retired ready for Day 3.  

Click on the button for gpx or pdf files
IMG_4459.JPG

Day 3 Yosemite to Lake Tahoe

Just like the last tour this trip is probably the most spectacular part of the whole tour. Leaving our cabins at Tenaya Lodge we headed the 50km back towards the park. With the park entrance now much closer t Fish Camp we are glad we had our annual pass! Back around through the one way system and traffic and then finally back out and right onto the 120. This road climbs steadily into the Sierra Nevada mountains and up to the highest point around 3000 metres. There are many great look out points and at one point there is a spectacular view back towards Glacier Pint and Half Dome rock is clearly visible in the distance. After a long flat ride at the peaks the road descends rapidly and dramatically to the valley floor.

IMG_4571.JPG
garminbasecamplogo.jpg
PDF-logo_edited.jpg
Click on the button for gpx or pdf files
IMG_4612.JPG
IMG_4512.JPG

Again, a left turn and a further 100km before the road again takes you high up into the Sierra mountains as you make your way towards Tahoe. The scenery starts to change from open ground with sparce vegetation  to tall trees area. As you approach Tahoe you drop back down to the lake. Our overnight stay was at Tahoma Meadows and their quaint chalets. Dinner was a bit more of a challenge as everything was closed and we had to dive to Tahoe City. However, we found a great grill house for a burger and beer. For those that are interested it was The Bridgetender Tavern

Great days riding!!

IMG_6739.JPG

Day 4 - Lake Tahoe to Quincy

After stopping at Rosies cafe in Taho City we headed north on our way towards Quincy along Highway 89.  Roads were empty and the first part of the tour takes you into logging country. Beware of the logging trucks. These guys thunder down the roads at high speed carrying huge trees. At one point we luckily narrowly missed a serious incident where a truck had overturned in a bend and shed its load. luckily no injuries but the road was closed for over 30 mins whilst the righted the truck. The road then heads West towards Sireville along the 49 then a number of smaller roads unti lyou hit the main 162 road from Orrovile to Quincy. This is a fantastic newly asphalted road of about 100 km in length. Passing the Orrovile resrvoir and then 

over the Bidwell suspension bridge and the high into the hills. A few stops and it was amazing to hear absolute silence except for the wind in the tall trees. The road continues down into Quincy and is really special. Great long winding bends which you can gracefully hit at around 100 km/h without any effort. That and the total lack of traffic makes it biker heaven. 

On down into Quincy and my favourite overnight stay at the Featherbed Inn run by Shelly Hunter and her husband. Web details are on the previous tour info. Unfortunately the town was quiet and nothing was open. We had to settle for a Subway sandwich in the end. A great night also at the Inn! 

IMG_4656.JPG
garminbasecamplogo.jpg
PDF-logo_edited.jpg
Click on the button for gpx or pdf files

Day 5 Quincy to Mt Shasta

Another beautiful morning greeted us in Quincy. Our normal breakfast point was closed so reluctantly it was back to Subway for breakfast. This was the only big diversion we made from the previous trip to this area. We decided to head further north to Mt Shasta close to the Oregon border and not through to Redding. 

After a great start with winding woodland roads we started to climb again back into the Sierra Nevada range. This time the next stop was the Lassens National Park. for me this location is more spectacular than Yosemite simply because of its wildness and beauty and, of course, less tourists

IMG_6672.JPG
IMG_4613.JPG
IMG_4498.JPG

Again a stop at the mud pools and also took some time to make some quite spectacular footage of us riding through the park. The Area had suffered badly from the wildfires back in 2021 and was still recovering but the park had made sure that the roads were open and good to go. The asphalt was almost new so riding was spectacular! 

After the park the roads winds down to the valley and then the roads straighten out to form great long passes through the dense forest. At a couple of points the road stretched completely out of sight into the beyond. Finally around 1700 we hit Mt Shasta.  A great logging town just off Interstate 5 and a great overnight stay at the Strawberry Valley Inn. Highly recommended comfortable rooms and plenty of food choice in the town

 

garminbasecamplogo.jpg
PDF-logo_edited.jpg
Click on the button for gpx or pdf files
IMG_4811.JPG
garminbasecamplogo.jpg
PDF-logo_edited.jpg
Click on the button for gpx or pdf files

Day 6 Mt Shasta to Eureka

After breakfast we left Mt Shasta and headed north on I 5 for about 30km. The headed northwest through some flat country before yet again heading up into the mountains. Again winding roads awaited which was perfect along with the conditions. The road then headed southwest as we really got up into the mountains following the Highway 3 all the way down to the 36. Again the first part was great; very little traffic and great roads. Hitting the 36 brought more traffic as this turned out to be the major through road from Redding to Eureka. Nonetheless weather was great and so were the roads. We arrived in Eureka around 1700 and made our way to the Grill House close to our hotel. Absolutely amazing food and beer. After all about 200 were we done for the day!

Restaurant was The Shamus T Bones!

Day 7 Eureka to Point Arena

Again similar route as last time but this trip we hit the 254 from its start. This took us through the Redwoods park which was quite impressive. The film above gives you a good idea what it was like. The 254 rides all the way back to the 101 which then heads directly West to the Coast and there starts the PCH or Pacific Coast Highway. Upon reaching the cost the fog rolled in and despite great views at the start the fog limited our views out to sea. After a lunch stop an Denny's in Fort Bragg along the route we arrived at our hotel stop around 1640. 

IMG_4665.JPG
EXZF5275 - Copy.JPG

A jacket was certainly needed as we hugged the coast road south as the temperature was only around 15 degrees compared to the usual 25-35 over the past days. Wharfmasters Inn has changed hands since we were last there and although a bit tired looking is still an impressive ''middle of nowhere'' location for a stay. Food is pretty scarce apart from a pizza joint on the peer so be warned! 

garminbasecamplogo.jpg
PDF-logo_edited.jpg
Click on the button for gpx or pdf files
Driving through Yosemite
Great Roads and drone footage

Day 8 Point Arena to San Francisco

Final day of what has been a spectacular tour! Leaving Point Arena heading south on the 101 the weather had turned quite cold. Sun was not getting through the mist so an extra layer was required. The 101 hugs the coast right up until the end before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Be sure to take in the spectacular Bay views which can be done by exiting the freeway just before the bridge. Across the Golden Gate bridge and back to Treasure Island and bike drop off. The last part of the trip took us back into downtown San Francisco before heading up onto the Bay Bridge. 

Conclusion, probably the most spectacular riding I have ever done or ever will do. Thanks to Bryan for joining me on this trip. Great riding buddy with same riding style and mentality. Looking forward to the next trip in 2024 and maybe up towards Oregon next time!!

 Enjoy the photos in the pictures section and if you want more information drop me a line! 

IMG_4501.JPG
garminbasecamplogo.jpg
PDF-logo_edited.jpg
Click on the button for gpx or pdf files
whats new.jpg
garminbasecamplogo.jpg
theadventures.png
logo.jpg