Angeles National Forest: Driving Crazy

— by Caroline on Crack

I’ve been sworn to secrecy about the location of this great driving road but I ain’t the best keeper of secrets — come on, I have a blog. Anyhoo, I can say that this road is way the hell up in the Angeles National Forest and is full of twisties and switchbacks and all that good stuff. So I’ll rely on the fact that Angelenos will have to brave the 605 and the 210 as the filter that will keep the weekend warrior population on this “secret” road down a bit. It is far but if you have a performance car of sorts and really want to wind it out and you love driving, this place is great for that.

Located off the 210, exit the first road east of the 605 you see that starts with “A.” Travel up that north. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you see a Cingular store (southwest corner) and a bank (northeast) at an intersection. BTW, there’s a Starbucks near Cingular if you want to get caffeinated before you start.

Continue on this road which is actually a numbered highway. It winds up through the mountains. It’s not the good part yet so don’t worry if you get stuck behind a slow camper. Remember, there’s no need to tailgate. People here are usually good about pulling over into the turnoffs to let faster vehicles by. Maybe just flash your brights and they’ll get out of the way faster.

Eventually you’ll see a road that goes on a bridge, the road is named after a utensil. Wait till you pass the first couple of dirt turnoffs before you really start since there is the occasional ranger as well as the usual looky-loos taking in the views.

This utensil road has a stretch where there is no center line so be very careful when coming around blind corners. Also beware of chunks of rocks in the road and, during the winter, icy patches. You take this all the way to….G-something Ridge where you can either drive up toward the ski lift or back down to civilization.

I usually opt for driving back down since at this point, if I’m not the driver, I’m queasy and if I am the driver I have an adrenaline headache. But driving back down, you get to pass through two tunnels which, when no one is around, are great to accelerate through with the windows down to really hear your engine. Obviously this is best when you have a performance car.

So happy driving. Know the limits of your car and of yourself and be safe.