Elfin Forest Road, California, USA
Such are the number and quality of roads on offer in San Diego, it’s easy to wonder if the Great Roads in the county were designed for 911s. Porsche owners are spoilt for choice. Deciding which one to drive depends on your mood; are you up for a challenge or a leisurely meander?
This lightly travelled, nine-mile road fits both bills and is hidden in the rolling hills east of the Pacific Ocean. It has 40 curves of varying difficulty and includes many crests and blind dips, sure to bring a smile to your face.
The journey begins heading north from San Diego on the 15 Freeway. Exit West Valley Parkway, turn left and continue on the road for two miles. You may think this is the Great Road to Del Dios Highway (issue 123) but while it’s the same exit, the roads could not be more different.
Moving through the city of Escondido, turn right onto Citracado Parkway. Be patient – the drab scenery only lasts for a short time. Continue until you come to Harmony Grove Village and turn left. Pressing on, make another left onto Harmony Grove Road.
The road quickly begins to bob and weave. For the most part, it is ultra smooth. But take caution as the El Niño weather phenomenon has contributed to hillside erosion and rains often leave mud and debris on tight turns. The shear nature of this drive will no doubt test your driving skills.
Speed limits vary from 25mph to 50mph and can change quickly. San Diego County Sheriff officers are known to strategically stop along the road – they’ll certainly see you before you see them.
Midway through this expedition, the road is lined with huge eucalyptus trees providing a canopy of sorts. And, while they are beautiful, the plants encroach upon the road, making some sections of the route very narrow. This will require your full attention.
Exiting this lush landscape, you approach Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve and its 11 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Here, the Tarmac name changes to Elfin Forest Road. The final miles contain fewer twists but no less fun; the road rises and dips along sensational straights where you can really push your 911.
Winding down your speed, your trek on Elfin Forest Road ends at San Elijo Hills Road in San Marcos. Epoch Kitchen and Bar is located nearby; the perfect place to reflect on the magnificent road you have just driven, and to decide on the next Great Road you and your 911 will tackle. Are you up for a challenge?