World's Best Motorcycle Roads: CA Route 190

A road near Death Valley that will bring you to life.

California State Route 190Julia LaPalme

Much of the pavement that passes through Death Valley National Park runs straight across the valley floor near or below sea level, but at the western boundary of the park, California State Route 190 coils up on itself as it tumbles down toward the lowlands. We traveled this route during our photo shoot for the BMW R80 G/S featured elsewhere in this issue, stopping at Father Crowley Overlook for a view of the sinuous path leading down into Panamint Valley. With summertime temperatures frequently surpassing 100 degrees, fall, winter, or early spring are the best times of year to ride this epic road.