Hanging out in the campground one day, we were chatting with one of the other work campers. He was also a rider and we were discussing the lack of paved scenic roads in Yuma. It seemed everywhere you wanted to go led to a dirt road.
Well, he was explaining that he had just been riding around and found a cool little loop. He said he hadn’t checked anything out along the loop, he just rode it. That’s were we come in.
Time To Plan
If you give us any kind of idea for a ride and then tell us there might be some cool stuff to check out along that route, we’re on it!!! The planning phase has begun!!!
As we usually do we mapped it out on Google maps. We check out any kind of interesting things that may be along the way and mark them out too. Then we pick a day and ride.
Pilot Travel Center
We were staying at the Sundance RV Park in Yuma but as I have done before, I will not start this ride from the campground as not everyone camps. Instead, I will start it from the Pilot Travel Center on North Frontage Rd in Yuma.
The Pilot Travel Center is a good place to get gas, hit the restrooms, and grab a cup of coffee before beginning. Once all that is completed and you are ready to ride, you will need to get onto Interstate 8 heading west.
Either Way Will Get You There
There are two ways to accomplish this. You can either go out the side exit and make a right onto Fortuna Blvd and catch the exit from there or make a right out of the front exit onto North Frontage Rd and take it until you see the sign to get onto the interstate. Either way, it’s fairly easy.
Once on the interstate heading west, take it to exit 172. Make a right at the light then make your first right onto Picacho Rd. About a half a mile up you will come to a fork. Make a left to stay on Picacho Rd. This is also the beginning of S24 and this road will be the primary road you will be driving on moving forward. If you keep following the S24 signs you will stay on course.
Lots Of Farmland
You will be on Picacho Rd/S24 for about 3.5 miles. You will first be riding by a few commercial buildings such as the Quechan Community Center and Quechan Pool but once through that section, the road scenery mainly turns to farmland.
If you are following the S24 signs, you will have to make a right on Ross Rd to continue on S24. Again, you will be passing lots of farmland. Lettuce is the main crop but you will also see other vegetation such as Citrus and Date farms.
S24 Is The Key
After about 2 miles you will see a sign with S24 (Bard Rd) pointing to the left. Make that left. See why I said those S24 signs are important? It’s much easier to read those big signs rather than the small street signs.
You will be on S24 (Bard Rd) for about a mile or so and it will curve around to the right. There will be a tiny (and I mean tiny) Post Office building on the corner.
The Cloud Museum Is A Cool Stop
The road will then curve around to the left. About a half a mile down on your right, you will see the Cloud Museum. It’s an outdoor museum of sorts containing numerous Model A’s, Model T’s and other memorabilia from the early 1900s from the Bard area.
Check out our article on the Cloud Museum including a video walk around. We have provided a link to that article below.
As you pass the Cloud Museum on your left is a big Date Farm store. Inside they sell dates in almost every possible form. You can even get a Date shake!!! There are also restrooms inside if needed.
Ok, moving on down the road, the road will curve around to your right and left. Your next point of interest will be the Laguna Dam. A word of caution. The section of Imperial Dam Rd road that goes by the dam is a little rough, to say the least.
If you pull over by the dam for photo-ops (you know we did!!!), you will see a section of fence you can walk through to cross to the other side. There are signs that say “No Trespassing” but according to a worker at the dam, those are meant for people fishing. Apparently, you need a permit from the Indian reservation.
There are benches you can sit on and just relax or walk in the “wash” and get some pictures. Just a little note, if you walk or bicycle in the “wash”, it will take you to Mitry Lake but it’s quite a distance up.
Another Choice To Make
Continuing past the dam and getting back to smoother roads, you will come to a road called Senator Wash. If you go straight you will start to loop back towards the beginning of this ride.
We suggest you make a left on Senator Wash Rd. If you decide to take this route, you will pass a few recreation areas with camping that will lead you to a cool ride over Squaw Lake. Right before the ride over Squaw Lake on your left side, there was a day rec area. It cost money if you are going to stay there but we just pulled in to use the restrooms and take some pictures.
After our quick stop, we were heading over Squaw Lake. Of course, we stopped and grabbed some more pictures. Once over the lake, the road ends. Sort of. We pulled into the dead end and took more pictures.
There is a camping area and another boat launch so of course we had to ride through and check it out. No worries, all the roads are paved here.
Back On Senator Wash
After checking out the campground we were heading back over Squaw Lake and on our way home. We just followed Senator Wash Rd back to S24 (Imperial Dam Rd) and made the left.
At the time we went, they were doing construction on a bridge as soon as you get back onto S24 (Laguna Dam Rd) and it’s only one lane so you will have a little delay here, unless of course when you ride this the construction is done.
Grab A Quick Pic
There is a spot where you can pull over to get some pictures of the Imperial Dam but the road to get there is dirt. We grabbed some pictures but did not ride up to the dam itself.
Following Imperial Dam Rd, you will be riding through a section of the Yuma Proving Grounds. Here you will find what we like to call Roadside Oddities/Attractions. You will pass a Helicopter on a pole on your left side and then a field of old tanks on your right side.
Roadside Oddities And Attractions
As you come to the end of Imperial Dam Rd, you hit US95. On the corner, you will see two large canons. Yup, photo op. After your photos make a right onto US95.
As you are riding US95 back towards Fortuna Rd, you will pass two more attractions on your right side. The first one is set back a bit and is a little hard to spot until you are right on it.
Tiny Church/Bridge To Nowhere
It’s a tiny (and I mean tiny) church. Look for a sign near the road that says “Pause, Rest, Pray.” You will need to travel down a dirt road to get to it but the dirt is packed down tight. The “Geezer Glider” made it with no problem.
A short distance past the church is the “Bridge To Nowhere.” That is also down a dirt road and this time we passed on riding it. We took pictures from a distance. We did, however, go back another time with the truck and got better pictures.
Back To The Beginning
You will now come up to a light which is Fortuna Blvd. Make a left. Hopefully, the train isn’t passing through as it’s one long wait. Down the road, a few miles after the track you will be back at the Pilot Travel Center where you started.
Approx Miles- 65
Check Out Our Slideshow Below Featuring 118 Photos Of This Ride
Check Out Our Video On Our YouTube Channel