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51-104°F
11-40°C

15 May-30 Sep

Spectacular California Self Guided Motorcycle Tour

Discover the spectacular beauty of California’s coastline, mountains and deserts on this 9 day motorcycle adventure. Starting with the buzz of Las Vegas – the unique Mojave Desert resort town – with its glitzy casinos, luxury hotels and endless entertainment options, your tour heads out North past the famous Nevada test sites and the infamous Cottontail Ranch. You’ll explore the back country of Mammoth Lakes and then sublime, beautiful Yosemite National Park before reaching San Francisco for some sight-seeing. Cross iconic Golden Gate Bridge, ride down the famous Route 1 – Pacific Coast Highway – through Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel and then pound the cliff edge of Big Sur. Head inland passing Bakersfield the country music capital of California and cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Finally you hit the bends that mark the descent into the hottest, driest place in North America, Death Valley. Up out the other side it’s an easy ride back to Las Vegas.

 

Total mileage c. 1500

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PRINT DETAILS

  • Yosemite

    Yosemite
  • Death Valley

    Death Valley
  • San Francisco (Napa wine valley, Alcatraz)

    San Francisco (Napa wine valley, Alcatraz)
  • Golden Gate Bridge

    Golden Gate Bridge
  • Pacific Coast Highway

    Pacific Coast Highway
  • Big Sur

    Big Sur
  • Sierra Nevada Mountains

    Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • Las Vegas glitz and glamour

    Las Vegas glitz and glamour
Expand all
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Day 1 Hello Las Vegas! Arrive
Day 1 Hello Las Vegas!

From the airport, just take the brief shuttle ride to our hotel. If you're still awake, I think you’ll find something to do this evening in this glitzy resort town with it 24 hour casinos and endless entertainment!

Day 2 Las Vegas - Bishop - 265 miles, 4 hrs
Day 2 Las Vegas - Bishop

It’s a relaxing day’s ride today as you shake Las Vegas out of your system, heading north out of Vegas. Skirting Death Valley on your left and the Nevada nuclear test sites on your right, you find yourselves at the infamous Cottontail Ranch (not your lunch stop!). From here head west into the mountains, with a lovely winding ride bringing you to Bishop.

Day 3 Bishop - Oakhurst - 185 miles, 4 hrs
Day 3 Bishop - Oakhurst

Today is spent exploring the wonders of Yosemite. Ride through the ski resort of Mammoth before a stop at the slightly weird Mono Lake. Then you continue climbing through the winding granite canyons of the famous Tioga Pass, rising to over 3000 m, stopping to take a trail etched into a vertical cliff as the mist from a 900 m waterfall keeps you cool, and just enjoy the park's natural wonders. Yosemite is just as beautiful, wild, rich and sublime as you’d expect, only more so! The riding fun isn't over yet, as you head south down scenic Highway 41 through the California goldfields to Oakhurst.

Day 4 Oakhurst - San Francisco - 265 miles, 6 hrs
Day 4 Oakhurst - San Francisco

You ride along the Merced River before picking up a lovely back-road over the mountains towards San Jose. Some urban interstate brings you around Oakland, where you cross San Rafael Bridge into Marin County, an unabashed introduction to Californian self-indulgence: a pleasure zone of conspicuous luxury and abundant natural beauty, with sunshine, sandy beaches, high mountains and thick redwood forests. You then ride south to pretty Sausalito and the chance to see San Francisco from across the Bay. Once a hotspot for drunken sailors and bawdy saloons, Sausalito is now much more like the Cote d’Azur. Then it’s over the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco.

Day 5 San Francisco Free Day
Day 5 San Francisco

A free day to enjoy the beautiful city of San Francisco, a funky individualistic, surprisingly small place – and certainly the most liberal city in the USA. Several excursions are possible, such as a trip to Alcatraz, a Bay Cruise or a Napa Valley wine tour.

Day 6 San Francisco - San Simeon - 220 miles, 5 hrs
Day 6 San Francisco - San Simeon

Roll out of the city on the beautiful, winding Skyline Boulevard for coffee at Alice's Restaurant, then onto the Pacific Coast Highway, the famous Route 1, to Santa Cruz for lunch, fun and sun on the beach. This is yet another great ride, and you end with the coastal grandeur of the Monterey Peninsula, whose crescent shaped bay and cypress groves have been celebrated by poets, authors and artists. Stop for lunch, take in the shops, Steinbeck's Cannery Row and the great ambience before our incredible afternoon ride – the Big Sur. 90 miles along cliff edges, this road is universally considered the best section of Highway 1. Rocky cliffs form a sublime landscape, redwood groves line river canyons and the Santa Lucia Mountains rise out of the blue-green Pacific. About halfway along you come to Esalen, named for the long-gone native tribe who once enjoyed the natural hot springs on a cliff top high above the raging surf. You cruise up to Hearst Castle, where you may take a guided tour of this grand mansion, and your overnight in San Simeon.

Day 7 San Simeon - Lone Pine - 305 miles, 5.5 hrs
Day 7 San Simeon - Lone Pine

Set off through tiny seaside art communities and miles of sandy beaches to Morro Bay. Here we head inland and take the Carillo Highway across mountains and farmland to Bakersfield, country music capital of California. From here you head back into the hills, following the Kern River to Lake Isabella Reservoir and Sequoia National Park. Both Isabella and Kernville towns were moved following the damming of the Kern River and the creation of Lake Isabella reservoir in the 1960s. As with many of our small-town stops on this tour, this area is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers, with no major industries or businesses, reliant almost totally on tourism. Your day’s ride ends with the descent to Lone Pine, and your historic hotel. Hopefully there’s time to visit Alabama Hills and the local film museum too.

Day 8 Lone Pine - Las Vegas - 275 miles, 4.5 hrs
Day 8 Lone Pine - Las Vegas

Well, you’re nearly there, but you have one more spectacular ride today. Descend down switchbacks that zig-zag into Death Valley, the vista is immense, like looking across a sea of sand and stone. After lunch at Furnace Creek (aptly named!) you rise up from the valley floor to over 600 m elevation at the once thriving Death Valley Junction, current population 4! From here, it is an easy run into Las Vegas. If there’s time you’ll visit Red Rock Canyon before you return your motorcycles and enjoy your final evening on tour.

Day 9 Depart Las Vegas Depart
Day 9 Depart Las Vegas

The end of the road as you prepare for the flight home. We hope you've got plenty of photos because you've got an awful lot of memories to bring home. Have you just ridden the most scenic motorcycle tour on Earth? Very possibly!

  • Our Tour Price Includes
    • Harley-Davidson® authorized rental motorcycle (current year model, dealer owned, under 20k miles with factory warranty)
    • Standard motorcycle insurance cover including CDW and State minimum liability cover
    • Emergency roadside assistance
    • Personal hardcopy tourbook including maps
    • Accommodation in 2-4* hotels
    • Some breakfasts
    • Hotel to dealership transfers
    • Bike locks
    • Unlimited mileage
    • All taxes and any one way fees
    • Helmets (if requested). We strongly recommend you bring your own
    • Luggage storage at dealership
    • SatNav included in selected models
    • GBP pricing – we take the currency risk
    • Guaranteed financial and legal protection, for your peace of mind from our Travel Trust Association membership and ATOL Bond
  • Pre-bookable options
    ‘Try before you Fly’ Harley-Davidson® 2 hour Orientation Ride Flights (we are an ATOL bonded, UK company) Specialist Travel insurance for motorcyclists (EU residents only) Optional CDW & SLI motorcycle insurances Excursions/activities Pre and post tour accommodation and tours Pre and post tour motorcycle hire UK airport hotels and parking US Airport to hotel transfer Trike
  • Our Tour Price Does Not Include
    • Meals except where specified (allow c. £30/person/day)
    • Riding gear
    • Additional activities
    • Personal expenses, souvenirs, tips
    • National Park Fees
    • Fuel and oil on tour (allow c. £15/motorcycle/day)
    • Hotel parking fees
    • Airport to Hotel transfer

Our Main Motorcycle Models

  • Electra Glide Ultra Limited
  • Electra Glide® Ultra Classic®
  • Street Glide®
  • Heritage Softail® Classic
  • Fat Boy®
  • Dyna® Switchback ™
  • Sportster® Iron 883
  • Tri Glide Ultra Classic
  • Bring Your Own
  • Road Glide Ultra

  • Other models may be available upon request

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