Touring on a Hog can magnify the freedom of the open road.
Harley-Davidson motorcycle owners can sign up for package tours or strike out on the road with a friend or two. But if you have always wanted to join a tour on a Hog and don’t have your own bike, you can go on an organized trip with a motorcycle supplied by the tour company. Self-guided tours can take you almost anywhere, but tour companies allow you to ride the more popular routes and make new friends along the way.
The Sturgis Rally attracts up to half a million Hog riders every year. This 1,600-mile tour begins in Denver, Colorado, takes you through Estes Park, into Cheyenne, Wyoming, and then to Sturgis, South Dakota. While there you can explore the Black Hills, Spearfish Canyon, wander the Old West streets of Deadwood and spend time gazing at Mount Rushmore. Next, you loop back into Wyoming, passing Devil’s Tower and follow the footsteps of General Custer into Casper, where the Oregon and Mormon trails meet. From there, you continue south to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, before returning to Denver.
Highway 1 Loop Tour
Starting in Los Angeles, you ride north through Malibu and stop for lunch in Solvang before continuing on to Morro Bay. North from there you pass through Monterey, Half Moon Bay and San Francisco. Passing through Bodega Bay into Mendocino, the trail deviates inland to the Drive Through Tree in Leggett and on to Laytonville, then southeast, past Clear Lake and through Mendocino National Forest into Sacramento. Continuing east, you stop at South Lake Tahoe and then descend east out of the Sierras, passing through Carson City and Virginia City to spend the night in Reno, Nevada. South through Tonopah and Indian Springs, you wind up in Las Vegas. Next, your trail leads southwest into Barstow, following Route 66 back into Los Angeles and ultimately to Santa Monica.
Nostalgic Route 66 takes you 2,700 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. Following the old Pontiac Trail through Springfield, Illinois, proceed south across the Mississippi River to Meramec Caverns, a hideout of Jessie James’ gang, and to Rolla, Missouri. Continue southwest through Tulsa, Oklahoma, then on through El Reno, Bridgeport and into Weatherford. Next you pass into the Texas Panhandle and into Amarillo, then on through Adrian, Texas — the halfway point of Route 66 — and over the southern Rocky Mountains into Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a two night stay. Over the next week, you will pass through Taos, Gallup and Albuquerque, then cross into Arizona seeing the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, Winslow and the Grand Canyon. Passing into California, the route leads through Needles, the Mojave Desert, Barstow and the San Gabriel Mountains before reaching Victorville. From there, you have only a couple hours’ ride to the Santa Monica Pier and the end of your journey.
Old West Discovery Tour
This 2,625-mile ride starts in Los Angeles, passes through Palm Springs and into Laughlin, Nevada, passing through Joshua Tree National Park along the way. Next stop is the Grand Canyon, then on through Monument Valley with a swing northeast through Bryce Canyon. Turning west, you pass through Zion National Park on the way to Las Vegas, then ride northwest and cross into California to visit Mammoth Lakes. From there, it is a short and lovely ride across the Sierras into Yosemite, then on to San Francisco. Heading south, you will pass through Monterey on the way to Carmel, then continue south through Pismo Beach and return to Los Angeles.