We arrived in Yuma, AZ in October 2018 and were workamping until May 2019. Since we arrived in Yuma we have had a difficult time finding roads to ride with our motorcycle. We were about 30 miles from the California border and we found we needed to travel at least a few hours before we could find some scenic roads.
After some research, we found a ride on Motorcycle Nerds website that caught our attention. It seemed to have a few cool things to offer like scenic roads with cool twisties, Christmas Circle Community Park, and over 100 metal sculptures. As with any ride we see second hand, we won’t post it until we have ridden it ourselves. Sounds like a road trip to us!!!
We Needed To Get To CA First
We took Interstate 8 into California and CA-111 up to Brawley. That in itself was about a one hour and twenty-minute ride. We were ready for a break. There is a new (at the time of this ride) Pilot Travel Center in Brawley that we stopped at. It is a great stop for fuel, it had clean restrooms, and we got a snack. For these reasons, it’s also where we start this ride on our Left/Right text-only PDF spreadsheet that will be available for this ride soon.
After leaving the travel center we headed back up CA-111 to CA-78. You will stay on CA-78 until you come to a border patrol checkpoint. After going through the border patrol checkpoint you will make an immediate left turn to stay on CA-78. CA-78 will take you into the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. You will pass many RV boondocking sites and Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreational Area.
The Never Ending Desert Road
CA-78 seems like a never-ending road but eventually, you will come to Borrego Springs Rd. You will make the right onto Borrego Springs Road and continue until you get to Yaqui Pass Rd. On the corner of Yaqui Pass Rd and Borrego Springs Rd, you will see an abandoned gas station. Make a left on Yaqui Pass Rd. After making your way a short distance down Yaqui Pass Rd you will hit a section of road with some cool desert/mountain views with some twisties thrown in.
When you get to the end (CA-78, make a right. Travel up CA-78 until you see San Felipe Rd. If you pass San Felipe Rd by about 500′, you will see the historical Scissors Crossing/Vallecito-Butterfield Stage Station monument. We stopped here and besides the monuments, we were able to grab some great pictures.
According to Wikipedia, the monuments represent a wrong way concurrency junction where State Route 78 intersects with County Road S2. It closely follows the Southern Emigrant Trail or Great Southern Overland Route. If you want to know more about these monuments, check out Wikipedia.
Back on the bike we headed back to San Felipe Rd and rode through the twisty roads and awesome mountain views as we headed for Montezuma Valley Road. Once at Montezuma Valley Road you will make a right. This road starts out as your everyday normal road with homes, farms, fields and oh yeah, Bigfoot.
A short distance past the Bigfoot statue (I think it’s some kind of garden center) you start approaching Hellhole Palms. The road now becomes a beautiful mix of mountain views and twisty roads with a couple of really good spots to stop and grab some pictures. We even stopped and had a little snack as we looked out from our scenic overlook. You can see the Salton Sea from where we were.
After our photo-ops and snack, we got back on the bike. The road continued it’s awesome views, twisties, and switchbacks until we came down the other side and landed in Borrego Springs. Once you hit Borrego Springs you will be making a right turn onto Palm Canyon Dr.
This road will take you through a commercial area with gas stations, hotels, stores, and a bar and grill. We took it until we hit a traffic circle known as Christmas Circle. Although it’s a traffic circle it is also a community park. There are parking spaces all around the circle. On the inside of the circle, there are numerous picnic tables and restrooms. How cool is this? This is where we had lunch.
Head Home Or Check Out Metal Art?
Once you have relaxed, ate and used the restrooms, it will be decision time…lol. You can either head back or do what we did and head up to the metal art sculptures. Depending on where you are in the circle is how you proceed. The easiest way to explain it is if you were coming down Palm Canyon Circle (the way you came from.)
From that point to go home you would take the second right out of the circle and get on Borrego Springs Rd and head back towards CA-78. If you want to check out the metal art as we did, take the 4th right which is also Borrego Springs Rd. We took Borrego Springs Rd until it curved around to the right. We went about a half a mile past the curve and started the metal art viewing from there as we slowly made our way back to the circle.
Set Back Various Depths
The metal art sculptures are set back various depths from the road. Normally we wouldn’t take the bike in the dirt but the sculptures were so cool and we wanted to get pictures of the bike in front of them. A crowd favorite was the enormous metal sculpture of a giant serpent. It was so large it extended across the road!!! There were spiders, jeeps, horses, and a whole lot more cool stuff. You can view those pictures by clicking the link at the bottom of this article.
We made our way back to the traffic circle and continued around the circle to the second right which was the continuation of Borrego Springs Road. As we made our way back towards CA-78 we found additional metal sculptures including a herd of horses and a huge bird. These metal sculptures were very impressive.
From this point, you would just follow the directions in reverse to get back to the Pilot station. Since we came from Yuma Arizona, we covered a lot of ground in one day. We felt it was totally worth it. The ride through Hellhole Palms and the Metal art were probably one of the most fun rides we have done since we arrived here in Yuma. By staying some additional time in the area you could easily spend more time sightseeing and enjoying the area. There is a lot to do in Borrego Springs and we would encourage everyone to visit.
NOTE: There Is A Turn By Turn PDF Version Of This Ride Available
Note: The “Turn By Turn” “Text-Only” version of this ride is a subscriber-only feature. If you are not a current subscriber, you can subscribe to this site by using the sign-up sheet on the home page. The text-only version will be Emailed to you as a spreadsheet in a PDF format. It will contain the directions in a left/right style.
Check Out The Video On Our YouTube Channel Of This Ride
Ride Often/Ride Safe