It says something about an area’s desolation when you discover General Patton used it back in World War II to train doughboys for tours of North Africa. Word had it there’s even a passel of unexploded ordnance left behind. Getting there’s the trick though—escaping the sprawl of Los Angeles necessitates logging hours of freeway miles before you can cut southeast through the secluded inland valleys and foothills east of Temecula. San Felipe Road (S2) intersects off Hwy. 79, and as it heads east, rolls into Montezuma Valley Road’s (S22) happy mix of hills and sweepers through Ranchita. By the time S22 drops down into the valley—the Montezuma Grade—the ride has morphed into an eye-popping combo of twists and turns with epic views. Hang on for the final dramatic descent to the low-key desert community of Borrego Springs.
Overshadowed by more glamorous Palm Springs to the north, Borrego’s not exactly Shangri-La for urban types, but for cruisers, it’s damn close.