Angeles Crest Highway Road Etiquette
Angeles Crest Highway is one of the most scenic highways in Southern California. This beautiful two-lane highway is comprised of 66 miles of twisty turns, breathtaking views, and spectacular scenery. With one lane of travel in each direction, it serves as both a commuter road between Palmdale and Los Angeles and a frequent destination for tourists, hikers, cyclists, bikers, and motorheads alike.
However, it can also be treacherous, it remains one of the most dangerous highways in California, annually accumulating injuries and fatalities. Natural causes such as wildlife, rocks slides and precipitation, combined with the single lanes of travel and mix of various vehicles can result in preventable accidents.
The purpose of this Road Etiquette is to bring awareness to the many dangers of this highway, so we can avoid them, enjoy the scenery, and return home safely to our family and friends. Sharing and Caring are the two main principles, this applies whether you’re riding a motorcycle, bicycle, or driving a car. Only by being informed, courteous and observant can we make this highway a place for all to enjoy, safely and securely.
For the sake of safety and enjoyment, please read and practice the following rules formulated from the accumulated wisdom of proficient drivers and riders of The 'Crest.
Turnouts (both designated and undesignated areas on the side of the road) are intended to be used by slower moving vehicles to allow them space to turn in and give way to motorists closely following behind them. It’s not just a common courtesy—it's the law! (California Motor Vehicle Code 21656) If you have vehicleS in your rear view mirror, slow down, safely pull into the next available turnout and let them pass. Failure to do this may cause frustrated motorists to become aggressive, leading to unsafe passing situations.
Double Yellow Line
Staying in the proper lane is a good way to avoid potentially lethal head on collisions.
Pass Safely and Courteously
People you’ve passed might be the first responder if you’re involved in an accident.
Be mindful of this, and always show respect to other motorists in your thoughts and actions.
Speed limits exist for a reason. Drive/Ride at your own pace. Only law enforcement can enforce these limits, attempting to 'block' speeders is not only illegal, but potentially dangerous.
Always use turn signals, lights and hand signals/gestures to communicate your intentions to other motorists.
U-turns are extremely dangerous on the highway. Attempt to do so at intersections first, such as Mt. Wilson or Upper Big Tujunga, by turning off the highway, then reentering it, where motorists are more likely to be looking for merging vehicles. Only use turnouts as a last choice, as visibility can be limited.
Do not stop in the middle of the road.
We all share this highway. Single file is a must, so cars and motorcycles aren’t forced to cross the double yellow to pass. Always be aware of your surroundings and the part you play.
Driving in groups
Limit the group to 5 cars, and leave a decent distance between cars to allow passing and utilizing turnouts. Groups are a privilege, not a right.
Riding in groups
Ride at your own pace.
Always be aware of your surroundings and check your mirrors.
Drive/Ride/Cycle with functioning head, brake and turn lights.
If you’re involved and/or responding to an accident, secure the area to avoid further accidents.
Attempt to assess and help by gathering others who can direct traffic, attend to the injured , take notes of the mile marker and seek emergency responders.
There is limited cell reception in the mountains, so we must rely on other motorists to get help.
Fire stations along the road include:
Angeles Crest Fire Station - mm27.70 on Angeles Crest Highway
Clear Creek Fire Station & Information Center - mm33.80 on Angeles Crest Highway
Red Box Road - mm38.38 on Angeles Crest Highway
Monte Cristo Fire Station - mm16.68 on Angeles Forest Highway