With winding roads, lavish celebrity homes, and multiple lookouts offering views of the LA city skyline, Mulholland Drive in California is a major highlight for motorcyclists who visit from around the world
As American rock band R.E.M sing in their song ‘Electrolite’:
“Ever want to fly, Mulholland Drive, I am alive. Hollywood is under me, I’m Martin Sheen, I’m Steve McQueen…”
That’s exactly how you’ll feel as you take on Mulholland Drive – alive. On top of the world. Like you’re Steve McQueen, one of the biggest motorcycle personalities of the 20th century!
Many might be familiar with the surreal David Lynch movie of the same name. It’s the road of classic Hollywood chase scenes.
But Mulholland Drive is also one of the most famous and scenic destinations in California for motorcycle riders.
Mulholland Drive – Not Mulholland Highway
Often, people confuse Mulholland Drive for Mulholland Highway. But Mulholland Drive is a street and road in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California. It is named after pioneering Los Angeles civil engineer William Mulholland. The western rural portion in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties is named Mulholland Highway.
You can indeed continue onto Mulholland Highway (which leads to Leo Carrillo Beach State Park and spans 55 miles total – read more about that here).
But for a shorter and equally scenic trip, Mulholland Drive itself is about 21 miles long. It is a winding, mostly two-lane route, lined with palm trees that rise into the blue skies. The route brings you right through the heart of Los Angeles.
Starting at Cahuenga Boulevard, near the Ventura Freeway (the 101), the route will bring you all the way past the 405 into the hills above Encino. You’ll pass by the famed Hollywood Bowl Overlook, which offers a clear, breathtaking view of the most iconic attraction in Beverly Hills – the Hollywood Sign. You’ll roll through some winding mountains and have an amazing view of Hollywood, as well as the Valley.
Spot a celebrity
You might even spot some famous faces who live on Mulholland Drive – from Madonna to Bruce Wilis. You’ll definitely spot a few mansions!
Snap some pictures along the way, and then take any of the canyon roads like Laurel Canyon, Coldwater Canyon, or Beverly Glen to cruise past some monumental LA neighborhoods and find your way back into city life. At the crossroads of Mulholland Drive and Laurel Canyon Boulevard, there is a small deli and market called the Country Canyon Store – we would recommend stopping off there for a bite or coffee!
Ali from Los Angeles says, “As one of the classic and most iconic motorcycle roads in the world, Mulholland can’t be beaten. My husband and I have traveled the route many times. The views are incredible. But be aware of others, as tourists often are looking at the views or taking photos, and not watching the road sufficiently. Stop off at a park or overlook and have a picnic while enjoying the California sun!”