14 days
Difficulty level
1725 miles

California Gold Rush

Following in the trails of the pioneering gold rush 49er’s, ride 1725 miles over the best combination of cool coastal roads, warm desert highways and the twisties and fresh mountain passes that California, Nevada and Arizona have to offer. You’ll take an awe-inspiring ride through Death Valley, ride through the majestic mountains of Yosemite National Park, and cross into San Francisco over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Cruise along Pacific Coast Highway 1, meander down into the desert oasis of Palm Springs. Experience the beautiful Joshua Tree National Park, the vastness of the Mojave Desert, and ride across the Hoover Dam.

DEPARTURE TIME Please arrive at least 1 hour before tour start
Motorcycle/Car rental Transport to rental company
Gas at designated stops Multi-lingual Tour leader
Support van w/ luggage Entrance fees National parks
Continental breakfast when available at hotel Accommodations 3/4 stars when available
Tour book PDF w/route descr. Half Shell Helmet
Welcome Meeting Pictures from the tour
Loss Damage Waiver MC State minimum SLI insurance
Farewell barbeque
Optional attractions
Food and beverages
Insurance/LDW upgrades
Anything not listed in “Included” above
 Tour dates are subject to change. Please ensure that your tour will be arranged on the desired date before booking your flight tickets.

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Day 1: Arrival Las Vegas, Nevada

We begin our tour in Las Vegas, where we’ll stay for two nights, right on The Strip, with all its wonderfully over the top hotels! We’ll have our welcome meal, and you’ll be briefed on the routes and roads, paying particular attention to safe riding practices. We’ll pick up the bikes on the afternoon of day 2, in readiness for an early start next morning. The rest of the time you are free to do as you please. There’s so much to see in this gamblers’ paradise, from the dancing waters at the Bellagio, to the calm canals complete with singing Gondoliers at the Venetian. Check it all out, have a little flutter, lose your jetlag and acclimatize to the heat.

Day 2: Las Vegas

(Fun & Explorer day)

This morning, you’re free to do as you please until we meet up later to collect our trusty mounts, which we’ll be riding across deserts, through canyons, & over mountains in the coming days. But first, you have another evening to enjoy the hustle & bustle of Las Vegas, & prepare for an early start in the morning.  While you are in Las Vegas why not consider treating yourself to one of our exciting Helicopter Tours!


Day 3: Las Vegas - Lone Pine

(Driving day 1: 222 miles)

The day we’ve all been waiting for! After an early ride up The Strip, we’ll leave Las Vegas and head west to Death Valley, the lowest place in North America, and the hottest place on earth! A series of sweeping mountain curves will take us hundreds of feet below sea level to the valley basin, and the ancient mudflats of long-forgotten seas. More mountain curves will take us back up into the cooler and more comfortable air of the beautiful Eastern High Sierra, where we’ll stay overnight, and look back on our incredible day!


Day 4: Lone Pine - Oakhurst (Yosemite)

(Driving day 2: 265  miles)

From the lowest place in North America yesterday, we’ll ride Tioga Pass today, the highest pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, twisting and curving on our way to Yosemite National Park. Who said America was all long, straight roads? Yosemite is breathtakingly beautiful and famous for its Giant Sequoia groves, granite cliffs, waterfalls & streams. Oh, and don’t forget to look out for bears!


Day 5: Oakhurst (Yosemite)

(Fun & Explorer day)

By popular demand, we stay another night, so we can go back into Yosemite to fully explore this stunningly beautiful National Park. Perhaps you’d like to take a ride up to Glacier Point, for stunning views over the park, or explore Mariposa Grove’s giant Sequoia trees. Outside of Yosemite NP, check out Oakhurst itself, or take a ride around to Bass Lake, a popular watersports centre and holiday resort.


Day 6: Yosemite National Park - San Francisco

(Driving day 3: 222 miles)

We leave the High Sierra today, heading westward to the coast, and riding more wonderful roads through an area of outstanding natural beauty. From the headland, we’ll catch our first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, then ride across it as we enter San Francisco, for our two-night stay.


Day 7: San Francisco

(Fun & Explorer day)

Free day to explore this vibrant city. You absolutely must take a ride on a tramcar, visit Chinatown, the shops (and the resident seals) on Pier 39, eat ice cream at Ghiradelli’s, and check out Lombard Street, the ‘most crooked street in the world!’ Or take a boat ride to visit the infamous Alcatraz prison, which stands on a rock in the bay, once the home of notorious criminals but now a fascinating tourist attraction.


Day 8: San Francisco - Carmel

(Driving day 4: 153 miles)

Back on the road again today, and leaving San Francisco we’ll be riding on Highway 1, along the spectacular coastline of the Pacific Ocean. A slight detour inland will take us to visit Alice’s Café, a favorite haunt of bikers, the most famous of whom was Steve McQueen. Then it’s back on Pacific Coast Highway as we ride towards the Big Sur & Carmel. Be sure to look out for migrating whales, which can sometimes be seen as they come up for air off this dramatic coast.


Day 9: Carmel - Pismo Beach

(Driving day 5: 140 miles)

Feel the cool Pacific breeze on your face as we continue on the fabulously scenic Highway 1. We’ll take time to enjoy the spectacular views, & you can ride this beautiful stretch at your own pace. Further down the coast, you’ll have the opportunity to photograph the massive elephant seals basking lazily on the beach. Overnight near Pismo Beach.


Day 10: Pismo Beach - Santa Clarita

(Driving day 6: 174 miles)

Today we continue south towards Los Angeles, occasionally leaving the coastal route to take advantage of fabulous forest and curvy mountain roads, and visiting at an old, 1860’s stagecoach stop for lunch. We’re staying in the hills tonight, away from all the traffic and the hustle and bustle of the sprawling Los Angeles suburbs


Day 11: Santa Clarita - Palm Springs

(Driving day 7: 192 miles)

You’re going to love today’s ride, on the cool winding mountain roads of the Angeles Crest Highway. We’ll stop to admire the spectacular views, and visit a favorite biker hangout, then continue our descent through the San Bernadino Forest for a refreshing swim in our hotel pool, in the lush tropical oasis of Palm Springs.


Day 12: Palm Springs - Laughlin

(Driving day 8: 199 miles)

Leaving Palm Springs, we’ll ride through the amazing landscape and rock formations of Joshua Tree National Park. We’ll join the Historic Route 66 at Amboy, as we head to our Laughlin resort, for our overnight stay right on the banks of the mighty Colorado River.


Day 13: Laughlin - Las Vegas

(Driving day 9: 158 miles)

Today we’ll ride some of the twistiest parts of Route 66, with a visit to the quaint old silver mining town of Oatman, where wild burros roam the streets. Later we’ll be crossing the magnificent Hoover Dam, built in the 1930s to harness the power of the great Colorado River. Then it’s back across the Nevada desert to Las Vegas, to return our bikes and later maybe meet up to recap the good times over a farewell meal.


Day 14: Departure Las Vegas - Home travel

We say goodbye to California Gold Rush and Las Vegas and return home.  Group travel by shuttle to the airport. Thanks for a great ride, good times, and sincerely thank you for choosing to tour with Explorify. We wish you a safe trip home and hope to see you again on one of our other tours in the US, South America, Asia, Oceania, or Europe.

Note: Because of the time difference travelers from Europe will arrive home the date/day after departing the US.

Also: This program is a guideline for activities and experiences on the tour. Deviations may occur, but we guarantee that our positive tour leaders will do their utmost to execute the program as described – as far as it is feasible and circumstances allow. We are continually working to improve the program, thus you may experience positive surprises.

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