Top 5 Motorcycle Routes Around San Antonio, Texas

Sep 15, 2021


Custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle parked in San Antonio, Texas.

San Antonio is a city with one foot in the past and one in the future. Formerly a part of Spain and Mexico, it’s over 300 years old and boasts five 18th-century Spanish frontier missions, all of them designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s also one of the fastest-growing American cities, and has been for the past three decades. San Antonio is home to 2.5 million inhabitants and popular attractions like SixFlags, SeaWorld, and the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the largest rodeo events in the U.S.

If you’re traversing the city by car, you’ll never have a dull moment in San Antonio. The same goes for motorcycle enthusiasts. The motorcycle routes surrounding the city are jam-packed with exhilarating turns, cutbacks, and straightaways, while the towns along the way are full of Texas-themed tourist attractions. Those looking for peace and quiet are bound to get their wish; further west you’ll find secluded desert straightaways and wagon roads with not a motorist in sight.

Get ready to ride through a state that produced the Battle of the Alamo and three U.S. presidents. Below we’ve listed the top five motorcycle routes in the San Antonio area. Plan your trip and let Riders Share help you choose the perfect ride for your next adventure in the Lone Star State.

1. The San Antonio Loop Around

One-day trip — 33 miles

If you’ve got an hour to kill one weekend afternoon, there’s no better way to spend it than a ride along The San Antonio Loop Around.

This loop is a staple for the nature-lover cruising through the San Antonio hills and their twisted roads. During the first half, you’ll pass several high-end properties. The second leg of your journey, Smithson Valley Road, is more secluded. You’ll pass a wooded area with a massive house on top. The 46 takes you back out onto wide-open lanes. More hills, houses, and ponds adorn this portion of the route. You’ll get a double-dose of this kind of scenery as you loop back onto 1863. The road gets steeper past the main intersection; you’ll be riding along some higher hills. Expect some cliff action, a valley, and some more houses near the very end.

The San Antonio Loop Around is in good shape. In the first half of the route, you can either admire the beautiful homes or focus on riding through several curves. Smithson Valley Road is narrow but well-paved. The lanes get wider once you get onto 46. 1863 is full of curves—some of them narrow—so your ride back is bound to include a bit of technical riding. There are no major potholes.

You’ll have to wait for New Braunfels for amenities; until then, hills and trees are the dominant feature. You can get some tasty BBQ at Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ off 46 and Rivercreft if you’re willing to go out of your way. Take advantage of the up-front motorcycle parking.

2. Gruene-Fredericksburg-Bandera Loop

Two-day trip — 239 miles

The Gruene-Fredericksburg-Bandera Loop is the Texas ride everyone remembers most. It showcases several of the Lone Star State’s natural and motorcyclist-friendly highlights. And while this route covers similar territory as the Good Ol’ Texas Hill Loop, it’s almost 100 miles longer and no less engaging.

Scenery-wise, it’s hard to beat the Gruene-Fredericksburg-Bandera Loop. With rolling hills, green orchards, crystal-clear ponds, and spring-fed rivers, you’ll have plenty to write home about once you finish this gorgeous route. In addition to its natural beauty, this loop also boasts a bevy of prime Texan tourist stops. Bandera is the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” so sign up at one of the ranches in town to experience the life of a cowboy for a day. Under normal conditions, you can see a rodeo every Tuesday and Saturday in the summer. Towns like Gruene, Luckenbach, Fredericksburg, and Kerrville are full-to-bursting with country stores, dancehalls, and museums. Many of these towns have superb historic districts and are motorcyclist-friendly. You’ll want to check out the motorcyclist’s resort on Koyote Ranch between Kerrville and Bandera. You can camp by the river too!

Expect a variety of road types. Twisty turns, cutbacks, and straightaways await those willing to tackle this loop’s 240-mile length. Cutbacks are especially prominent between Kerrville and Bandera. You won’t notice much traffic on this route, so feel free to open up the throttle on those straight-aways! This route is all smooth pavement and blacktop except for the three-to-four-mile stretch between Medina and Bandera. Keep a lookout for deer in the early mornings and late evenings.

As noted above, this route is jam-packed with stuff to do. Meet like-minded people at the motorcyclist bar outside of Leakey, or enjoy some comfort food in the laid-back atmosphere at BJ’s Cafe in Camp Wood. You can park your motorcycle rental and spend the night in any of these towns so you can do some exploring on foot—you won’t regret it!

3. Texas Pig Path Ride

One-day trip — 60 miles

Get ready to go whole-hog on the Texas Pig Path Ride. This route is for the rider looking to get acquainted with Texas ranch country and a few of its historic wagon roads.

Don’t expect to see vast, purple mountain vistas—this route gets you up-close-and-personal with Texas ranch country as it follows Turtle Creek to Guadalupe River. It’ll take you along quaint drainages, tree tunnels, and low-water crossings. There are several old, paved settlement wagon roads along the way. Plan to stop at Center Point Cemetery to see a railroad tunnel and bat sanctuary. 

All the roads are paved and smooth, so riding will be a breeze. Keep in mind that this route consists of a single-lane road with very few shoulders and limited pull-off areas for photo ops. The turns and inclines will more than make up for this.

Grab food and fuel in Centerpoint and Comfort. These towns are also home to junk, art, and antique shops. Check them out if you have the time and inclination. You can also grab a tasty burger at Back Door Potter in Center Point.

4. Del Rio Secluded Desert Loop

One-day trip — 73 miles

If you’ve ridden too many Texas Hill Country motorcycle roads and want a break from all the rolling scenery, the Del Rio Secluded Desert Loop is right up your alley.

As we mentioned above, this route is a change of scenery from those popular Texas Hill Country motorcycle routes. The views may not be as impressive, but this ride through the desert is flat and relaxing. The countryside scenery—some of it green—is better than highway driving, too.

This route throws up some great twisties and sweepers as compensation. While there aren’t many potholes, we advise watching out for the tar-snakes on particularly hot days; that Texas heat can turn them into soft, sticky messes. The edges of the road tend to be graveling too, due to past flooding; stick to the center line and you’ll be fine. As for wildlife, you’ll want to watch out for vultures and deer while riding this loop. One perk of riding around such isolated territory? Non-existent traffic. 

The Del Rio Secluded Desert Loop is so secluded, you won’t find a single gas station along the entire route. Fill your tank in Del Rio before you start.

5. Secluded Desert Ride on Ranch Roads 163 & 189

One-day trip — 170 miles

Think of the Secluded Desert Ride on Ranch Roads 163 & 189 as a longer version of Del Rio Secluded Desert Loop mentioned above. It’s the perfect option for the rider looking for some meditative cruising in the heart of the desert.

This is the kind of route you take when you want to blow the cobwebs out or go on a ride without seeing a single car. Scenery isn’t high on the list of reasons for riding these roads, but if you happen to be on them during the spring or summer, you’ll see acres of colorful wildflowers.

This route is smooth cruising for the most part; there’s hardly any bumps or potholes. Expect long straightaways with a few curvy sections thrown in for good measure. You’ll have to slow down for the cattle guards.

Getting away from it all has its trade-offs. There aren’t any amenities along the route, so you’ll have to get gas in Comstock or Loma Alta.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Do these rides impress on the screen? Then they’re guaranteed to knock your socks off in person. And if they still don’t meet your need for adrenaline and excitement, never fear—there’s plenty of world-class Texan motorcycle routes nearby in Austin and Houston.