Description - This area of California desert boasts 350 sunny days every year and almost no humidity. The scenery is unforgettable, from snow-capped mountains in the distance to brilliant blue skies and a periodic lush oasis to break up the desert browns with a splash of color. Visitors can enjoy the rugged outdoors and harsh desert geography, or visit the resort towns located just off the byway-- or do both! Opportunities abound for hiking, jeep tours, spas, museums, shopping, celebrity tours, art galleries, casinos, horseback riding, skydiving, and hot-air ballooning.
Copyright: - California Scenic Highway Program
Aptly named, Route 74 carries the motorist from an elevation of 4,000 feet to near sea level
- The portion within the San Bernardino National Forest, characterized by its various species of oak and pine, serves as an excellent example of the forest land in many of the mountain areas of the state. Distant views of the San Jacinto Valley far to the west, and the higher peaks of the San Jacinto Mountains to the north and northeast exist from this portion of the highway.
From the east boundary of the San Bernardino National Forest to Route 111, the highway drops spectacularly 4,000 feet down "Seven Level Hill" which is so named because the highway makes seven switchbacks on the face of the mountain. On extremely clear days, mountains 200 miles away in Mexico, can be seen from the top of "Seven Level Hill." Because of the wide range in elevation of this section, from over 4,000 feet to nearly sea level, the motorist can view in a few miles all of the various types of vegetation typical of the southern Mojave Desert from the yucca, typical of higher elevations, to the mesquite and sagebrush of the lower elevations.
Recreation - The Route 74--Part of Palms to Pines Scenic Byway is known for it's natural, recreational and scenic attractions.
Climate - A warm, dry Mediterranean climate prevails over Southern California - inland it is generally hot in the summer and mild in the winter. During the summer, valley temperatures can soar above 100 degrees while remaining pleasant in the mountains. Most of the precipitation comes as rain during the winter months. During the winter months higher elevations experience snow and freezing temperatures.
Route 74-Part of Palm to Pines Scenic Byway is located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California. It lies roughly between the cities of Hemet and Indio traveling from the western edge of the San Bernardino National Forest to the junction with State Route 111 in Palm Desert. (The portion from Junction SR 243 to SR 111 is also a U.S. Forest Service Scenic Byway.)
From Interstate 215 south of San Bernardino, take Highway 74 eastbound past Homeland and Hemet. Follow 74 to the intersection with Highway 243, where the byway begins, and stay on 74 to Highway 111, where the byway ends.
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