HWY 2 – Angeles Crest Highway

Posted on: August 29th, 2011 by chadman 3 Comments

Angeles Crest Highway, or “The Crest”, is a 50 mile stretch of well maintained and paved road that connects north eastern Los Angeles with the Antelope Valley to the north. Heading South to North, the road begins in La Canada Flintridge and terminates in Wrightwood some 50 twisty miles later. There are no services between La Canada and Wrightwood, with the exception of food at Newcomb’s Ranch about half way up. As such, “Nuke’s” is a popular congregation spot for performance enthusiasts on the weekends and they usually show motorcycle or auto racing on their TV’s.

The road is generally used by commuters from the Antelope Valley to Los Angeles during the week, but on the weekend the road handles a large influx of motorsports enthusiasts as well as large amounts of outdoor recreation seekers like hikers, mountain bikers, and in the winter snow boarders and skiers. The ski resorts have been known the throw parties for the younger set during their off seasons, so watch for hungover party goers making their way back down the mountain on Sunday mornings.

Like Mulholland to the west, this is also a favorite proving ground for the local hotshots, so be wary of those exceeding their talent on this road. There are several “got ya” corners on this road, most notably “squid’s leap” so do take your time if you are unfamiliar with this route. This road has a fast, open flow to it, and can suck you in to a fast pace and then surprise with the unexpected diminishing radius turn.

Motorcycle accidents are a common site on weekends, so be prepared for what you might witness as well as having to wait out the emergency medical response. Helicopter medivacs are a common occurrence due to the remote nature of this road.

View Angeles Crest Highway in a larger map

Sped up video of Angeles Crest Hwy from La Canada to Newcomb’s Ranch. And as you can see from the video, be prepared to be patient on this road, especially on a weekend. This road is a gateway to many great outdoor activities and so can be choked with SUVs, campers, tour busses, slow motorcycles, the CHP…you name it. More often than not, people just don’t use the turnouts. Just relax and enjoy the view.

Newcombs Ranch is a popular stop, about halfway between Los Angeles and Wrightwood.

Newcomb’s Ranch in winter time. Yes, bikers are crazy enough to come up here in the snow.
A couple of cold ducks

Panoramas of Newcomb’s Ranch
Newcomb's Ranch on Angeles Crest Highway

Newcomb's Ranch Panorama

If you’re up there on a Sunday and the weather is particularly nice (or Newcomb’s Ranch is showing a moto race) be prepared for some heavy motorcycle traffic. Again, just relax and enjoy the view.

Panorama from Inspiration Point
Inspiration Point Panorama

The first of the two tunnels

Looking out over the Antelope Valley from atop Angeles Crest. You can see the highway hugging the mountain on the upper left.
Angeles Crest Hwy looking down to Palmcaster

3 Responses

  1. lowbuckrider says:

    For some reasons I always ride this road during the winter, the front side from the 210, is usual clear and heavily traveled. The backside , from Newcombs Ranch to Wrightwood is usually less traveled, a lot of rocks and gravel, in the winter this is were you will find ice. This side is the most fun and has the best scenery in my opinion.

  2. Bruce says:

    How long does the route take to drive all the way through?

  3. Jacob says:

    How long does it take? That depends entirely on what speeds you’re comfortable with. Usually 90 minutes to 2 hours.

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