Text: Dennis Lint • Photography: Dennis Lint
This ride is very diverse with sections that include: climbing through the Cleveland National Forest, outstanding views of Lake Elsinore, and scenic roads through native oak forest. Many interesting attractions spaced out along the route allow for a full day of riding.
Approximately 120 miles
Starbucks (27211 Ortega Hwy/Hwy 74 east of Interstate 5).
Mad Madeline’s Grill, 28495 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA, features 21 varieties of hamburgers, (951) 699-3776.
Ortega Highway (Route 74) climbs into Cleveland National Forest and proceeds through deep canyons of mountain pines. De Luz Road is heavily shaded and beautifully lined with native California oak trees.
Traffic can be heavy on Ortega Highway, and I recommend crossing early in the morning on weekends or after rush hour on week days. Traffic is light in all other areas.
Great roads with curves to be taken at various speeds. Major elevation changes throughout the entire ride.
Roads are well maintained. The only possible issue might be the numerous concrete ford crossings that lace the low areas of De Luz Road. They can be very slippery if moss is present.
- Temecula Old Town for eateries, history, and tourist shops.
- Temecula wine country for wine tasting, restaurants, and picnics on beautiful vineyards (www.temeculamapguide.com/temecula-wineries.html).
- Great overlook point of Lake Elsinore at The Lookout Roadhouse Restaurant (www.lookoutroadhouse.com).