California's Northwest Passage

Join us to discover the hidden routes to El Dorado

"Best Explorer's Route Adventure"

Join us for an adventure motorcycle ride to explore the coastal zone of Northern California. In a single day you can ride through mountain passes, dense redwood forests, grassy rolling hills, coastal cliffs and sprawling vineyards – all on roads that seem like they were made for motorcycles. We might be biased, but we think there is no better place to ride a motorcycle than in our own backyard.

From Yoda Brian

Are you ready for some of the best back road riding in the Continental US?…. here it is folks … and it doesn’t get much better than this. 6 full days (with shorter options on most days) that will blow you away. Gorgeous sections of Hwy 1, stunning vistas from ridge roads high up in the coastal mountains, winding ranch roads through hill country, and more than a few goat trails alongside meandering rivers and creeks far from civilization. The Green routes are all paved and could be ridden on a street bike. The Blue routes include some dirt/gravel sections that are not too technical (all noted) and the Red adds a bit more dirt, some of it more technical, but all doable by an experienced rider on a loaded adventure bike.

 About the ride

This is a week long adventure motorcycle ride to explore and discover California's fantastic north-both coastal mountains and inland forests and some magic in between.  The ride is mixed paved and dirt with some harder dirt road options and is suitable for all bikes, small and large.  Riders will be staying in hotels each evening and eating in local restaurants so there is no need to carry a lot of gear. There is no support vehicle so riders will need to carry their own gear on their bikes.  The weather this time of year is most often great, but it can change and affect the routes we take.  Riders need to carry gear to be prepared for unlikely cold and rain, just in case

Why am I so excited for this ride? 

Well it is thanks to Yoda Brian's talent and work.

Yoda Brian is a passionate biker and discoverer and loves to dream up and design new adventures.  He has spent a lot of time developing these new routes and when I saw what he was able to create I was super excited.  These are the best routes I have ever seen in this area and I have ridden here a lot. And this is one of the greatest motorcycle locations in the world.  I have been working with him to make this a new gpsKevin style ride.  The ride plan has turned out fantastic. Don't miss this opportunity to have a great adventure. I love it when rides are created out of passion.  gpsKevin 

Lost Coast   

Yoda Brian and Yoda Brad

Self Guided Trail

This ride is designed to be a self guided adventure. Riders install a custom GPS microSD Card into their Garmin GPS unit. The routes are then displayed as the rider travels along.  Navigation is made easy.  Riders can choose to follow along at times or can choose among hard and easy options.  Or riders can simply choose to ride off the routes and return to them later.  For many, this allows them to just experience the trail without the burden of getting lost.

Do this ride yourself:  Purchase Rider Packet and GPS microSD Card for this ride

Note: A Full Rider Packet consists of printed ride descriptions and paper ride maps and a custom GPS microSD card for your Garmin or BMW GPS unit.

Rider Choice (Scroll Down Menu)

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Notes:  I suggest you plan and order early.  Normally I ship within a week.  But sometimes I run out and it can take me several weeks to get new cards and maps.  And sometimes I am out riding and building new adventures so that can be hard too. I list the Option for 2 SD cards because many riders like to carry a backup card or a cheap backup GPS in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Ride Details

 I know many of you also enjoy dreaming about the ride and making your plans, so here is the detail, enjoy! 

SG Ride Plan CA's Northwest Passage

View the ride maps below

OK since many of you like to study more detail about the ride, below are the ride maps.

I put these ride maps on the web page because I know a few of you love looking at the ride detail and dreaming about the ride.  At first glance these maps do not look so impressive, but they are way cool.  If you start zooming in, you can see the ride in incredible detail.  I have spent a ton of hours sorting through the details of the ride for each day, so for those of you that enjoy this sort of thing, well enjoy!


The Blue lines are MAIN routes

The Red lines are Harder routes

The Green lines are Easy options

The Black lines are the out and back viewpoints

How does the ride navigation work?

This is a self-led GPS ride; all riding is on your own.  You are responsible for your own riding.  You will be given a GPS map file and instructions on how to use your Garmin GPS unit.  People will hook up in small groups of less than 6 riders and tend to ride together.  You are not encouraged to ride alone.  You are responsible for your own riding and yourself. 

 (see my ride Navigation Video)


Are you right for this ride?

When something goes wrong on a ride, would your riding friends say that you are more likely to need help or more likely to give help?  You should be in the more likely to offer help camp.  This ride is filled with riders that are more likely to give help, so most of the time the riders never need help.  Additionally there is all the normal stuff, come prepared to maintain your bike, fix your bike on the trail, repair flat tires, deal with bad weather and rain and make a joke or two.

How do I make the GPS stuff so easy?

I develop very high quality ride maps custom for our ride. They come from much of what I and others have ridden.  I take the best from all my rides and make new ones. 

(See my Custom Ride Maps Video)


Note from me, gpsKevin

My goal for this ride is simple:  great riding.  So you can count on great routes and places to ride.

But in addition, the ride is about discovering new places, meeting new friends, seeing new parts of the country.




Q: What bikes are good for this ride?

A: Almost any adventure bike can work well.  The routes have options suited for bikes from the V-Strom to the 1190 Adventure.

 Not recommended are dual sport bikes unless you are OK with a lot of back pavement.  

Q: What gas distance range should my bike have?

A: I would suggest that  you carry enough fuel to make 150 miles due to the fact that sometimes the route can have issues and it is good to have a little margin.

Q: What is the total distance of this ride?

A: Total ride distance is 1,357 miles and can vary by your personal route choice options.

Q: What are motel room arrangements?

A: Rooms are double occupancy, meaning each rider shares a two bed room with another rider.

Q: Is the riding really on my own?

A: Yes, but everyone hooks up and rides with a friend, or a new friend or me.

Q: Will I do this ride again next year?

A: No, sorry, I hardly ever repeat rides as I love to develop and discover new places and rides each season. And I have a long dream list of rides now. So this is likely the only time for this ride. Remember: Every time we say no to a ride that is one less ride in life.

Q: Do I need insurance?

A: Yes, you must carry proof of medical insurance and liability insurance for yourself/motorcycle.

Q: Would this be a good ride for new riders?

A:  No, this ride is for experienced riders only. The riding has easy route choices and tough route options. Each evening we will study the following day's choices. You will find lots of supportive people at the ride.

Legend of the Northwest Passage

According to Wikipedia the California Northwest Passage (CNWP) is a land route through northern California's coastal mountains not entering the foreign state of Oregon. For centuries, explorers sought a navigable passage as a possible trade route to the Pacific Ocean.  It was thought that horses would provide the only means of navigation through the rugged mountains, however, in 1974 an explorer named simply John was able to conquer the route on a Honda.  While John was an excellent horseman, the Honda SL350 succeeded where none had before.  Here is John pictured on his Honda just before the celebration.  Sadly John died in 1979 and there have been no known crossings since that time.

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story: gpsKevin

News Flash Update:  January 5th

Claims of a KTM rediscovering the CNWP. No details were given, although the old Black & White photo leaves us skeptical.