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edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
7/13/15 11:03 a.m.

So I am in the riverside area for work this week and was wanting to take a drive though the mountains since they are few and far between in the midwest. I was wanting to know if anyone knows of any good roads for a spirited drive in my less-than-stellar rental Nissan Versa?

My only 2 preferences are a good view and something curvy to keep it interesting

also any good restaurants near Riverside or surrounding areas would also be good to know too!

The0retical
The0retical Dork
7/13/15 11:30 a.m.

Take 18 north through Crestline then hop on 138 back to I-15 south to get back to Riverside. The view going up 18 is pretty nice and 138 is very tight and entertaining.

If you have a little more time Highway 2 is always good but it can be heavily patrolled.

There's also highway 38 which is less twisty than 138 but still a nice drive.

Other than that take I-15 south to Cajalco Rd and follow that west by Lake Matthews. Not mountains but rolling hills with some nice scenery with fun corners.

So far as food goes down there I don't eat down there too often but the restaurant in BassPro is pretty good so is the Yard House in Victoria Gardens Ontario.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
7/13/15 11:56 a.m.

Isn't Carbon Canyon out there somewhere (they made a driving game based on it). Not sure if it's a good drive though.

Gary
Gary Dork
7/13/15 11:59 a.m.

When I'm out that way I like the "Palm to Pines Highway," California Highway 74 from Palm Desert to Idylwild.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g32846-d2559309-r129663927-Palms_to_Pines_Scenic_Byway-Palm_Desert_California.html

Also, same Highway 74 in the other direction heading back to the coast is known as "The Ortega Highway." But that one is more popular and can be crowded.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WV_GaR7dm6Y

I prefer Palm to Pines. I love the views of the Coachella Valley as you climb up out of Palm Desert. It's gonna be a bit warm this time of year!

kb58
kb58 Dork
7/13/15 2:29 p.m.

FWIW, highway 74 was featured at the start of the movie "It's a mad, mad, mad world."

kb58
kb58 Dork
7/13/15 2:32 p.m.

Though it's a fair bit out of your way, the drive up the south side of Palomar Mountain will leave you smiling.

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
7/13/15 2:50 p.m.

thanks for the advice so far guys! 18 and 138 look like fun. anyone know about 330? it also looks like a good road and is in about the same area

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
7/13/15 3:56 p.m.

also wanting to cruise some down highway 1, any particular stretches of it better then others?

Gary
Gary Dork
7/13/15 5:10 p.m.

Best parts of CA Hwy 1 (or the "PCH") are much farther up north. However the stretch of the PCH through Santa Monica/Malibu is nice, but I wouldn't call it a driver's road. If you're contemplating that then maybe try Mulholland in the Hollywood Hills, or some of the canyon roads above Santa Monica. Also, the Angeles Crest Highway (California Hwy. 2) above LA is a great driver's road, although it's some distance from the Riverside area. I'm a Southern New Englander, but between 1995 and 2010 I spent a lot of time in SoCal on business and vacations, and logged over 10K rental car miles, a lot of those on great driver's roads which I sought out. There's a lot of them out there.

Also, the local motorcycle guys know a lot of the good roads. Here's one man's recommendation for the Riverside/San Bernardino area:

http://www.lateralg.org/roads/desert/desert.htm

But from where you'll be in Riverside, don't discount the Palms to Pines. You're there, experience the desert from a few thousand feet up. It's spectacular.

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
7/14/15 9:23 a.m.

well found a pretty decent route yesterday up around the NE side of san bernardino. I headed out of town on 330. great curvy road climbing up the mountain, traffic was there but not to heavy. once i hit Running Springs I headed west on 18, not as fun as 330 but still decent but traffic across this stretch was pretty heavy which slowed it down some. Then I went north on 138 which, like The0retical suggested, was probably the best section. very very little traffic, lots of tight curves and switch-backs, awesome drive. once I got to where 138 flattened and straightened out I turned around and headed back through the curvy awesomeness. once I got back to 18 I headed south back into town. This stretch of 18 was 4 lane back into town but full of high speed sweeping turns and 60+ mph switch-backs which was fun carrying speed down the hill, and being 4 lane it was easy to get around the light traffic that was there. Here is a picture of the route i took if anyone would like to see it for reference:

<img src=" photo 435762F1-04DA-4190-8D8B-EED7DEC2A6FE.png" />

I may hit the Palms to Pines today and do HWY 1 later this week to get in some easy coast side cruising.

thanks again everyone for the suggestions! and on a side note the nissan versa handles decently for what it is, reasonably balanced with just a touch of understeer into hairpins and oversteer under hard braking into corners but nothing unmanageable. brakes were actually better then I expected. but what totally ruins the car was the CVT, weird rpm drops off throttle, stays at low rpm even with heavy pedal inputs. also the throttle pedal has has a weird, i guess you could call it kind of a detent, that if you push the pedal to it you more response, but once you push pass the "detent" where the throttle is about 2x as stiff you actually start getting higher rpm but it is still very slow to respond which made for awkard power that was basically unusable on curvy roads. a standard automatic would have been atleast 3x more fun then the CVT, it was truly terrible.

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
7/15/15 10:04 a.m.

well yesterday I did the Palms to Pines hwy but went though it backwards. I started going south on 243 for 10 then headed to Palm Desert once I hit 74. the drive down the mountain through the desert into Palm Desert was amazing, great views in every direction. After eating at a small seafood restaurant in Palm Desert i headed back up 74 which was better going back up since the sun was just starting to set. I then took 74 all the way back over to 215 and headed back to the hotel.

<img src=" photo Screenshot 10.png" />

I also love see some old awesome cars carving though the mountains, there was a v12 jaguar XJS going balls the the wall that I tried to chase but the Versa wasnt up to the challenge.

Pacific Coast Hwy is the plan for today for some easy beach cruising. Any beach between seal beach and dana point thats worth stopping at? preferably not overly busy.

OldGray320i
OldGray320i HalfDork
7/15/15 11:03 a.m.

It's a short drive, and sounds like you're doing some "coastal" work, but Glendora Ridge Road, north of Upland, CA, on the way to Mt. Baldy (on the east entrance) is 26 miles of nothing but twists and turns. Still my favorite drive. Take the 210 to Mountain avenue in Upland, head north, and just before you get to Baldy's town, you'll see it.

I think SBCSO hangs out there more than they used to, though.

yupididit
yupididit Reader
7/15/15 11:09 a.m.

There's a few through Redlands heading east towards Calimesa. Sorry the name escapes me.

But, I do recommend the 74 Ortega from Lake Elsinore to PCH.

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
7/15/15 11:54 a.m.
OldGray320i wrote: It's a short drive, and sounds like you're doing some "coastal" work, but Glendora Ridge Road, north of Upland, CA, on the way to Mt. Baldy (on the east entrance) is 26 miles of nothing but twists and turns. Still my favorite drive. Take the 210 to Mountain avenue in Upland, head north, and just before you get to Baldy's town, you'll see it. I think SBCSO hangs out there more than they used to, though.

hmmm that road does look like fun, maybe will hit that one tomorrow

yupididit wrote: But, I do recommend the 74 Ortega from Lake Elsinore to PCH.

i will be taking this way back from PCH, Ive had 2 other people say that i need to go through there too so it must be good

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
7/16/15 9:50 a.m.

so the PCH a big let down, which i guess some of you guys said that the stetch i was going down wouldnt be great. there was MAYBE a total of 3 collective miles of what you expect the PCH to look like where your actually looking over the ocean. the rest was stop and go traffic through little high dollar towns. I did get passed by a Porsche 356 Speedster which was awesome, not sure if it was a real or replica but the way his gauge needles were bouncing around over every tiny bump making them almost unusable makes me think it could have been real.

<img src=" photo 816400CB-EC2C-44E8-817C-8EA17CA0CDD3.jpg" />

<img src=" photo 96518347-E10D-41C1-8A41-07DF171C7F0F.jpg" />

<img src=" photo EC45FB5D-DD15-4320-9D7E-1362984E2FB2.jpg" />

once i hit 74 toward lake elsinore it was a fun drive, back up though the mountains and a great view over the lake once i hit the other side of the mountain, but the fun twisty section was kinda short and the traffic was just heavy enough to always end up behind someone who doesnt know how to let people pass.

today I will probably head up to Mt. Baldy and hit that stretch, it looks very promising, and its only a 2 hour loop which will be nice compared to the last 2 days that had 4+ hour loops, the versa isnt super comfortable so by the end of those long drives im ready to get out of the car. And i think the steering wheel isnt quite center with the seat, right turns keeps me in the seat really well but left turns im almost sliding over the bolster... its annoying to say the least.

heres todays loop <img src=" photo Screenshot 14.png" />

Mitchell
Mitchell UltraDork
7/16/15 3:40 p.m.

The PCH gets nice a bit north of Malibu; it gets stunning once you reach Big Sur.

The Angeles Crest is quite nice. Take the 215 north until you hit 15, then head west on 138. You'll hit the Angeles a rest/2 after about 15 minutes. Full up in the small town you pass through; once you're trough, there isn't anything except ranger stations until you reach the other side.

I should get out of work earlyish afternoon tomorrow, and I live in the next town over, in Colton. Send me a PM if you want to meet up.

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
7/17/15 10:13 a.m.
Mitchell wrote: The Angeles Crest is quite nice. Take the 215 north until you hit 15, then head west on 138. You'll hit the Angeles a rest/2 after about 15 minutes. Full up in the small town you pass through; once you're trough, there isn't anything except ranger stations until you reach the other side. I should get out of work earlyish afternoon tomorrow, and I live in the next town over, in Colton. Send me a PM if you want to meet up.

yea hwy 2 looks like a good drive, i may take it easy today and just hang out after work. Depending on how work today goes I may be flying out saturday morning. if i end up staying over the weekend i will hit you up and will defiantly get up to hwy 2.

as for driving through Mt. Baldy I have to say it was probably my favorite stretch so far, very very little traffic, passed maybe 5 cars total, 3 in the opposite direction and 2 going the same direction which i didnt get to until the last ~3 miles which was pretty much the bottom of the mountain. Had awesome views and a mix of hairpins and switchbacks with some long winding sections. only complaint was there was some large, around fist sized, rocks that would be in the road that you had to keep an eye out for but were easily avoidable.

also came around a corner with "some speed" to find 3 cops standing there talking outside of there cars. they all turn to watch me come out of the corner and one yells and signals for me to "SLOW DOWN"... my bad!

OldGray320i
OldGray320i HalfDork
7/17/15 10:48 a.m.

Cool, I was checking in to see if you'd driven "Mt. Baldy". I've driven a few roads in CA (most of the ones you've done so far) and a couple here in AZ that are good, but GRR is always my favorite.

Halfway through GRR, you can take a right, forget the name of that road, and it winds on down a different way which after a few miles brings you to a "T" intersection - to the left takes you in to town, to the right takes you up the "back half" of 2, I think. Just looked at a map - it's actually Hwy 39, and it never makes it to the 2. And, the map doesn't even show the linkage between GRR and 39.

I have never run the 2, and always wanted to.

As you go up the 15 to pick up 138 to the 2, you pass through Wrightwood, and that was always fun easy skiing in winters. Further east on 138 takes you to Silverwood Lake.

If you guys start early and from the west end of the 2 (Pasadena, I think) , you could hang out at the end of the day in the mountains or at the lake.

Oh, and funny the Po-Po was up there in number - they now have signs that it's a speed enforcement zone, used to be it was just the occasional sheriff's deputy.

Cheers.

92dxman
92dxman Dork
7/17/15 4:10 p.m.

I work in a Nissan dealer and there are a few stick shift Versa Note base models on the lot and I get evil thoughts of how one of those with some sticky rubber and light wheels would be

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy Reader
7/18/15 4:20 a.m.

Well I hope you missed this today...

Cajon Pass Fire

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
7/18/15 1:21 p.m.
Boost_Crazy wrote: Well I hope you missed this today... Cajon Pass Fire

I actually got a call yesterday from Cummins' resource center about that fire to make sure i wasnt effected by it. luckly im about 30 minutes south of there

vdubinsd
vdubinsd New Reader
7/18/15 2:02 p.m.
yupididit wrote: But, I do recommend the 74 Ortega from Lake Elsinore to PCH.

That was a daily commute for years for me. Sitting bumper to bumper on it is a lengthy visit to hell. Without traffic it is a slice of heaven. Careful on the Orange County side...double fine zone and CHP who will write you for several moving violations per stop can be costly.

Mitchell
Mitchell UltraDork
7/21/15 9:59 p.m.

Today I took the 243 to the 74, then the 74 up into Palm Desert. It was an excellent fun save the last ten miles, when some jerk with out of state plates ignored all of the turn-offs and held up a line of cars.

OldGray320i
OldGray320i HalfDork
7/22/15 1:13 a.m.

Driving up Mt. Lemmon one day, tail gating a little to see if the guy will pull over. Eventually he does and I go by. A while later, get to a parking pull out and stop. A few minutes later, the guy comes up and proceeds to lecture me about how I shouldn't tail gate, it was rude, etc.

"You could've been courteous and pulled over to let me pass." Stunned, it took a few seconds for the guy to recover and continue his lecture.

It amazes me, you can flash your lights, you can run up and back to tail gate a little, but nope. Nobody is going to let the guy who wants to go faster than 5 under the speed limit by.

On occasion, I am the guilty party taking a leisurely drive through the mountains at 5 under. And if somebody behind me is going faster, I pull over.

Not hard to be courteous, really.

Mitchell
Mitchell UltraDork
7/22/15 2:49 a.m.

I have found that 49/50 drivers on CA's canyon and mountain roads are courteous and pull over at turnouts. I do not tailgate, but I hold the distance that says, "if you don't mind, I would like to get by." Those that do not pull over usually have out of state plates.

What I find really strange (and quite favorable) about the roads is that there is no posted limits in most places; there's a warning when a 35 mph zone is ahead, and then another sign that states that it has ended, without any indication of what the posted limit becomes. On some roads, the limit is an actual limit: I think the Angeles Crest is 55 mph most of its length... That's quite generous for much of the stretch.

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