Author Topic: San Bernardino to Twentynine Palms  (Read 2590 times)

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Offline BikeFree7

San Bernardino to Twentynine Palms
« on: March 13, 2014, 11:45:55 am »
I am planning to bike from San Bernardino to Twentynine Palms later this week, and I'm wondering whether it would be possible to go through San Bernardino National Forest at this time of year. I will do the trip in at least two days, because my knees have been giving me trouble lately, so I can only do short distances because I have to take breaks to stretch. I know going through the park means lots of elevation gain, but if I took route 38 East to Big Bear Lake, and then Burns Canyon Rd. from Big Bear, the incline would be a little less severe. And there are many more places to camp through San Bernardino National Forest, whereas paralleling I-10 until Route 62 is in a much more populated area and it seems like it would be difficult to find places to camp. Has anyone biked through San Bernardino National Forest, or paralleling I-10? How are the shoulders? And weather? I have warm clothes, but anything under 15 degrees would be too cold for the gear I have.

Offline BikeFree7

Re: San Bernardino to Twentynine Palms
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 03:35:00 pm »
In case anyone needs this information in the future, the route through San Bernardino is awesome! The shoulder isn't always very big, but the road is extremely twisty, so cars generally go pretty slow. It is a serious climb to Onyx Summit, 8,443 ft from 3,000 at the beginning of the national forest and 1,500 or so from San Bernardino, but completely worth it. I did the climb in one very long day and stopped a lot, but it can definitely be done in much less time. From Onyx, it is an easy, beautiful ride down to Big Bear and then on highway 18 to highway 247 (old woman springs) to Yucca Valley. Highway 18 again doesn't have much of a shoulder, but it is extremely twisty and gorgeous. It shoots you right into the desert and then there is a straight, slightly downhill for most of the way, ride into Yucca Valley. The camping within San Bernardino National Forest is in abundance, but once you leave, the desert is very barren and there isn't cover. The only issue with this route is that it leaves you in Joshua Tree National Park and if you are heading East, the only way to go is on route 62 which is an awful road to bike on. I haven't left yet, but I am dreading leaving the park because 62 is very unpleasant and unsafe, fast traffic, no shoulder, flat, and ugly.

Offline BikeFree7

Re: San Bernardino to Twentynine Palms
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 03:29:36 pm »
I take back what I said about 62. It is a great road to bike, barely any traffic and  beautiful, though redundant. There really isn't much of a shoulder once you get ten miles outside of twenty nine palms, but the traffic is so light it doesn't matter much. I was lucky enough to have two still days biking it, so it was pretty easy, lots of down hill. It does get very hot and be sure to bring lots of water because there is no place to get water until Vidal junction which is 95 miles out. I found a great place to camp just past the intersection with 177, but there is virtually no shade along the way. The only truly unpleasant part of the ride was the last 17 miles into Parker from Vidal junction, the traffic was heavier and the side if the road was either extremely bumpy  pavement, loose gravel, or a tiny strip between the edge of the rumble strip and the gravel. Lots of big trucks and dips. Otherwise, great route, go for it if you are considering a trip in this area.

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