Bicycle Travel > Routes

Route through or around Los Angeles.

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Hi everyone,
We will be coming down from Vancouver and will be purchasing the ACA maps to follow along.
Just wondering if the road directions go around or through Los Angeles and
if this is a harrowing experience. My wife and I are even considering putting
our bikes on a bus and bypass Los Angeles if the traffic is too craxy. If you
have travelled this route I would appreciate hearing from anyone with thier
experiences. Our final destination is San Diego. Thanks for any responses.


Hi mike,
We have cycled twice from LA to San Diego, as well as cycling north from LA to Malibu. All of this is on the coast or beach . No reason to bus through. From Santa Monica south you will be on beach paths or roads right by the beach. We did find it easier to leave LA on a weekday to avoid the weekend crowds. The two times we went we cycled different routes to Long Beach, as well as different routes through San Diego. Also, once we went through Camp Pendleton and the other time we didn't. If you want to read my accounts of each and see the detailed maps, you can check the appropriate days (easily found) on my journals. Check for Finetastic Adventures 2011 and 2013. Let me know if you have any questions.

Mike, I agree with Marti.  I've done Long Beach to the border....Mostly mellow roads and bike paths along the shore if you plan it well.  Sketchy drivers passing Newport Beach but a good shoulder as I remember.  Otherwise a nice ride.

Marine Base Camp Pendleton doesn't allow civilian car traffic but will allow a civilian biker with ID. No ID is a no go and no alternate route as far as I know.

Once in San Diego plenty of bike paths to make it to the border.  Tijuana?  Not recommended.


The alternate route to going thru Camp Pendleton is to take the I-5; it is legal to bike on the interstate for that portion. It is very safe with a wide clean shoulder, but noisy of course. But it's only for a few miles.  We opted for the I this year since we had already ridden thru, which is a nice option.

bobbys beard:
i went through camp pendleton after a local bike shop told me the only alternative was back into the desert (i was headed north) if i'd have known i could bike on the interstate, i would have done that instead, because i got lost on the camp and clocked up about 8 bonus miles, aswell as getting cross examined by a marine. i always feel quite safe on the interstates.

you must have a cycle helmet to go on the base too.

i didn't take a map for the pacific coast and opted to follow route 1 as closely as i could, which took me past LAX and some pretty stressful situations for a few hours. i'm sure the coastal route is much nicer though.   south of malibu, heading out of LA, i thought the road was very narrow in parts, with heavy traffic, but there were a lot of local bikers, so it probably isn't as bad as it seemed.... and i'm here to tell the tale :)

between there and san diego is fairly straightforward. it takes you through some nice beach towns.  san clemente being the highlight for me. nowhere near as nice as route 1 north of san fran though.


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