Scenic Drive California: Cerro Noroeste
Tejon Pass, Frazier Mountain, Tecuya, San Emigdio, Mount Pinos, Appache Saddle, Mount Able
Los Padres National Forest stretches from Ojai to Monterey, mostly along the California Central Coast. If you were on Interstate 5 (atop the Grapevine) & you wanted to head West, you really want to take this scenic route.
Exit Frazier Park Rd @ Lebec, on the top of the Grapevine (Interstate 5 N of jct Hwy 138). Process westbound thru the Frazier Park stop sign (5 mi), up the hill past the turn off for Lockwood Valley Road. Frazier Mountain Park Road now becomes Cuddy Valley Rd, continue up to pine trees. Turn right on Mil Potero Highway & drive thru Pine Mountain Club (4-8 mi). Continuing past the golf course, heading up to Apache Saddle. Approximately 6000′ at this forested intersection the road is now Cerro Noroeste Road – left turn & you wind all the way up to Mount Able (10 mi/closed in winter) or straight/veering right to the gorgeous rolling hills & cloudscape country. BitterCreek Wildlife area & Hwy 166 (23 mi) are all out this way. Sports cars & motorcyclists love this route, so do hikers & hunters. Every weekend you can find hundreds of bikes cruising this scenic byway.
Numerous forest roads can be found out this way. Quatal Canyon #9N09 is a great side route to explore if you like long dirt roads, red dirt, lupine & pinyon pines. 9N27 leads up to Caballo Campground & even further out to the ridge line, Marion Campground & Blue Ridge 4×4 trail. Across from the Apache Saddle ranger station, San Emigdio dirt road #9N has a great viewpoint & more 4×4 trails. Way out west is Valle Vista Campground, perched on the edges of red cliffs overlooking the great Central Valley of California.