Mention Southern California to most people and the first things that come to mind are the sun, beautiful beaches and beautiful women. And they wouldn’t be wrong for those images because all are indeed part of the fabric of this part of the country. It is why so many move and visit here, that and the nearly perfect year-round weather.

But here’s another part of life in Southern California that is also true, though it is not a part of that surfer dude image. Off-road riding, especially dirt bike riding, is huge in this part of the state. The reason, besides the weather, is the fact that much of Southern California, at least once you get a bit east of Los Angeles and the coast, is desert. Lots of it. So there is ample space for hitting the trails and getting dirty.

Instinct Images
Instinct Images

According to USA Today, California in general, and Southern California in specific, offers literally hundreds of dirt bike riding areas, some private and some managed by state, local and federal agencies. The Angeles National Forest, just east of Los Angeles, by itself has 364 miles of routes and trails.The Imperial Sand Dunes, east of San Diego, offer miles and miles of gigantic sand dunes for kicking up the dust and getting the thrill of catching air when possible. The AV Motoplex in Lancaster, just north of Los Angeles, is a private area that also provides tracks for both adults, what I call big kids, and tracks for the little ones too. Palm Springs is another area that offers so much for those who love to strap on those goggles and kick up the dirt. There really is no shortage of places to go.

Don’t let the glamour of Hollywood and the beauty of the beaches lull you into thinking that Southern California is only about beaches and bikinis. Nothing wrong with that option, but head inland and prepare for a wide open world of dirt and sand.

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