Last week, we moved from Phoenix to the mountains outside Lake Elsinore, California. We are staying at Ortega Oaks RV Park and Campground in the Cleveland National Forest about 45 minutes from the coast. This place is amazing! As Harley riders and Mini Cooper drivers, we LOVE a winding road. This place sits in about the center of one of the most fun roads we’ve been on this far in our travels. Here’s a map:
We are the blue dot on the map. Unbelievably, we brought the coach here up the super curvy section to the east. Slow and steady wins the race. We checked the California DOT map in advance to be sure we were approved due to our overall length and were happy to find that they built the road to accommodate vehicles our size.
Our campsite is spacious and tree lined. We are backed up to a lovely hill with huge boulders. They had a bunch of trees fall in January when they got a “once in a hundred years” snow fall of 8 inches. They’re still cutting up the piles of trees, but the free firewood is quite a bonus for us given this is our first place with a fire ring since we left Concan, TX in January. Bob is quite pleased.
Saturday, we took a short 120 mile ride to explore the west side of Ortega highway and a bit of the Southern California coast. AMAZING! The ride to the sea was gorgeous! This road must be very popular with local motorcyclists because we saw a ton of riders out enjoying the day.
Once we made it through the crazy traffic congestion near I-5, we stopped for lunch at Capistrano State Beach.
It was great to relax and listen to the sounds of the ocean waves and smell the sea breeze while enjoying our food.
We stayed along the coast heading south to Oceanside. What a beautiful stretch of interstate!
The ride back inland on hwy 76 and I-15 was filled with great hills, orchards, valleys and curves. The hills here are quite rocky, so it’s not hard to imagine this area as a favorite for hikers and mountain bikers.
Our final stretch home is always a treat on the curviest part of Oretga highway. Just heading up from Lake Elsinore, we are treated to sweeping switchbacks as we climb up to 2655 feet. A rider’s dream, for certain!
A last tip for our rider friends…avoid the road during rush hour. There are a bunch of commuters going over the hill in the morning and evening, so you’ll likely get stuck in a train of cars. Ride midday for the best traffic flow and opportunities to lean into the curve!