Highway 101 – The Pacific Coast Highway
Forget Route 66 This is the king of Motorcycle Tours!
Highway 101 – The Pacific Coast Highway
Spanning the west coast through three states, Highway 101 is the ultimate road trip that will see you winding around national parks, cruising through the giant Redwoods, hugging the pacific coast and meandering through sleepy seaside towns.
Magellan join the 101 in Portland where we follow the Columbia River. The road soon opens up to spectacular views over the Pacific Coast and thrusts you onto some lovely sweeping bends through quiet seaside towns, before coming into California and the Redwood National Park. From the dense forest, the highway once more hugs the Pacific, but this is where it gets technical! Mile after mile of hairpins with steep cliffs on one side and rugged Californian coastline on the other all the down to San Francisco.
Highway 101 is one of the most iconic roads in America, and every motorcyclist should have it on their bucket lists.
Redwood National Park
Redwood National Park is home to some of the tallest trees on Earth.The trees here have been standing for over 2,000 years, attaining heights of than 300 feet and averaging eight feet to as much as twenty feet in diameter. Named for the deep colour of their surface the redwoods bark can be up to 12 inches thick, allowing them to impressively survive forest fires.
Magellan have a day and a half riding through the park seeing us journey through dense forest sections, open grasslands and past many golden beaches along northern California’s coast. In the park there’s the opportunity to drive through a living redwood; with a 6 foot wide by 6 foot high hole cut into it. On our last tour everyone had a photo op riding their bikes through this iconic landmark.
San Francisco and The Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco has unlimited options for a fun filled day. Magellan have a rest day here where you can follow in Steve McQueen’s footsteps and ride the streets as he did in the 1968 film Bullitt, take a boat trip out to Alcatraz, go whale watching, ride on the famous tram cars that carry thousands of visitors up and down the steep streets. Or just kick back in town with visits to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate park, Haight and Ashbury and Chinatown.
Leaving San Fran we ride over the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Constructed in 1937, it’s one of the most internationally recognised symbols of San Francisco and of the United States as a whole. For our riders on the last tour it was an incredible experience to ride over this spectacular landmark.
Yosemite National Park
Spanning an area of over 3,000 km, Yosemite National Park is famed for its granite cliffs, clear lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, giant sequoia trees and epic mountain ranges. There are many attractions not to be missed in the park including the 3,000 foot vertical rock formation of El Capitan, which brings many rock climbers year upon year to tackle their way to the top. The granite Half Dome, named because of its shape. Yosemite falls- the highest waterfall in the park dropping over 2,000 feet from the top and the spectacular Glacier point; at an elevation of over 3,000 feet above Half Dome village, it provides a breathtaking view out over the horizon.
Magellan have a rest day in Yosemite, where we have a 4 hour loop taking in the best sites of the park. Aside from getting a bit soggy, the guys on our last tour had a great day riding!
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley located in eastern California sits 282 feet below sea level at its lowest point, and is famed for its weather extremes; being the hottest and driest of all the national parks in America. It’s also the largest national park in the lower 48 states. The landscape is ever changing and will see you riding past salt flats, sand dunes, canyons, volcanic craters and 11,000 ft mountains.
Magellan rides through Death Valley on the way to Las Vegas and it provides a spectacular days riding. Father Crowley overlook on the western outskirts of the park is a fantastic photo op, with the views of the valley stretching for miles; the vista point is a well known spot to see fighter jets that are testing their skills through the narrow canyon. We also stop at Zabriskie Point where 5 million years ago sat the Furnace Creek Lake long before Death Valley existed.
There’s an unlimited amount of things to do in Vegas, whether it be on or off the bike. It’s not all about the gambling! Take a stroll down the strip taking in The Big Apple roller coaster, the Bellagio fountain shows and Botanical Gardens. In Caesar’s Palace you can see a replica of the Trevi Fountain, the fall of Atlantis, not to mention the vast array of casinos and forum shops. Here you will also find the best buffet in Vegas with lobster and champagne up for grabs. Venture out of the city for some shooting, supercar driving and a helicopter ride over the strip. The valley of fire is 50 miles north of Vegas and well worth the ride, famed for it 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone formations, its Nevada’s oldest state park.
Magellan have a rest day in Vegas, with many options for a good day on offer. On our last tour we all took a sunset helicopter ride over the strip which was epic!
The Grand Canyon and Skywalk
The Grand Canyon with its distinctive layers of red rock has long been recognised as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Carved out by the Colorado river the Grand Canyon is nearly 300 miles long and 18 miles wide. Magellan stop at the Canyon for lunch and what a stop it is.
Arriving at the west rim it’s a short bus ride to the main canyon, where you can stand right on the edge to get spectacular views out over and indeed into the mile deep canyon. Here you will also find the Skywalk – a horseshoe shaped cantilever bridge with a glass walkway suspended out over the canyon’s rim with a 500 foot drop beneath it.
The Ortega Highway while beautiful, is not for the faint hearted! The stunning road in Orange County is one of California’s most popular motorcycle drives, and it’s not difficult to see why with severe hairpin turns, open stretches, pine forests and beautiful mountain scenery. With imposing cliffs nestled on one side and deep canyons on the other, this road epitomises what riding in the states is all about, especially in California; you really could be nowhere else! It’s a road that commands respect, it would be very easy to get caught up in the fun the Ortega Highway promises, but one mistake on a bend and it’s straight down into the canyon!
Magellan tackle the famous road on the last day of our PCH tour, and what a way to go out on a high!