Hi WS Community,
We are 8months in to a big cycle trip and are currently heading North passing over the California border to Oregon (Crescent City). While we are loving the coastline and the State Parks, we are struggling with the heavily trafficked Highway 101 and yesterday had the most stressful day of too close, too fast, horn honking traffic so are reluctantly deciding to leave the 101. Giving up the bike is altogether too upsetting, so we are looking to try and track inland , perhaps to get to the Sierra Cascades route North? We would be so grateful for cyclists advice on which routes have less traffic and introduce us to the beautiful landscape of Oregon. We had intended going Noth to Vancouver Island, but I guess if we end up anywhere we can rent a car for a couple of days and shoot up in that direction at the end of 2 to 4 weeks.
Any advice on where is best to leave the 101 to turn inland? Any advice on routes and loops once inland?
Allie and Rog
My husband has ridden the Oregon coast border to border several times. He tries to be very aware of traffic but has not had any problems. This is high tourist time for family vacations so we highly recommend riding with a mirror (we use helmet mirrors). If you want to divert over to our area, we are 35 miles east of Bend, Oregon with less cars but great scenery. Be safe, Sally and Gary Goodman
Thanks for taking the time to respond - if we get towards Bend will give you a shout �.
Get off the 101 as much as possible in California. Take secondary (D3, D4 etc) roads that paralel the 101. Especially getting out of Crescent City and moving on up the coast. Take Lake Earl Drive (D3) to Ft Dick, then over the Smith River and on to S Fred Haight. . . Once into Oregon there is more of a bike lane on the 101, and it gets more bike friendly. Stop in Bandon it is such a cute little town. The coast is lovely and there are very little easy routes over to the central part of Oregon that are bike friendly. Big mountains to go over too. I would stick it out on the coast. Enjoy the ride.
Hi and thanks for this, will definitely stop in Bandon and I think Coos Bay has a festival on at the moment. Think we have a plan...
BTW, FWIW to anyone reading this archive, I had no problems on the 101 in CA this year, and even enjoyed riding on the limited access highway sections open to cyclists. It's way better than traffic lights and cross traffic trough town. You just need to look back at the exit and entrance ramps, but there are no cloverleaf interchanges, so no merging traffic inbetween. The 101 in OR is another story. Greater Portland is very bike friendly, but outside of that Oregon probably has some of the worst drivers anywhere. And SW oregon is worst of all.
I am new to Warmshowers, and I may not be posting this in the best place, but I saw your response to "Advice for Oregon" and thought I'd see if you had any advice for me. I am bicycling to a conference in Davis from Klamath Falls, Oregon, and taking Amtrak (not as bicycle friendly as they advertise themselves to be) from Seattle to Klamath Falls. I will give myself some 8 days to do the 300 or so miles I think it is (not gotten maps yet). I did a route like this some 35 (or more!) years ago and memory REALLY fails me. I remember a lot of climbing and a lot of mosquitos north of Davis. I'm aiming for 30-40 mpd because, well, I'm older, crankier, etc. Would you recommend routes, even a cute place to stay? Thanks so much!
Hi Sorry don't have a lot of info for you. This website is clunky & I did see how to respond directly to you. If you google it it shows around 330 miles & 5,935 ft up · 9,990 down!
I would look closely at the maps because google is not always bike friendly. I would also search the app ridewithGPS, I use that as a cross check. For my money I would go to Portland ride from there to the coast (either Astoria or Seaside) & go soutth to Brookings & then bus it to davis. I know not what you asked, but its what I would do.
Hello Arlene. I am currently in Klamath Falls coming up via Sakramento, Chico, Redding and Bieber.
It is doable. I think there is no direct route from Klamath Falls to Redding because that is the freeway. So you have to detour either west or east to get into the valley. The ride from Klamath to Bieber is beautiful. Less traffic but be aware there are nearly no villages or shops in between to load up on food and water. If you do 30-40miles per day you need to camp out.
As soon as you come down the valley into Redding you have more options to load up but also more traffic on the road.
Good morning. Can you offer any details about your experience with Amtrak? I’m thinking of using them to get out of Los Angeles to begin my ride, possibly in Santa Barbara.
I’m also new to Warmshowers and would love to hear about your recent experience. Thank you.
I would imagine that someone else can comment on specifics for Amtrak bike transport from LA to SB. I am guessing that on the commuter trains (Pacific Surfliner) you would have a better experience than on the long-haul overnighters (Coast Starlight). I was recently on the Empire Builder from Spokane, WA to Portland, OR and they did NOT have trackside service for bicycles, so I had to partially disassemble my bike and box it up ($15 for the box and $10 handling). I used the Amtrak Cascades commuter train from Eugene, OR to Portland and it was trackside and free. The Coast Starlight seems to be the same as the Empire Builder for its entire route, so beware of your timing. Also be aware that with the boxed bikes, they are VERY serious about the weight and contents. They were cranky about the fact that I had a small bag attached to my seat post!
Russ, what was the Amtrak issue with the small bag attached to your seat post?
Peter, they indicated that nothing except the bicycle was to be in the box. You need to take off the pedals and they can be in the box, but no bike bags, panniers, etc. The bag I left in there held the tools for disassembly/reassembly (that you need to carry yourself, because they have no tools at the station).
Hi there, 101 is challenging. Some side roads parallel, Example is 42S from Bandon to Coos Bay is easy. Seven Devils on the west side is challenging hills. There are high mountains east of the coast with busy highway(s) crossing until you get to Reedsport. From there to Cottage Grove I have used this route below several times and highly recommend it, quiet low traffic scenic Oregon forests. Stop at Vincent Creek Campground. Bring supplies including water because there are no services until Cottage Grove. let me know if you have questions.
Thanks for this. Will definitely use your advice on our way up to Reedsport. The 38 also sounds good although locals have told us it’s busy (although they aren’t cyclists so have a different perspective on roads). There’s also a backroad that goes NE of Reedsport to Eugene which is our destination before heading up the Willamette Valley (with diversions). Thought we might try that. Do you know it? If you don’t know it we will stick with your suggested route ���. And thanks again.
The above link is incorrect unless you choose BICYCLE as the Google Maps mode of transport. I rode this route in late August and it was beautiful. One car per 1/2 hour. There is a very small wooded National Forest campground on the road just 3 miles (?) before St. Vincent Creek CG (28 mi.)which is where I stayed. There is a very small campground store (Smith River Store, 16 mi.) but I would bring chlorine tablets and your food.
From highway 38, 13 miles East of Reedsport, Loon Lake Road winds up to the Lake and beyond. There is a host 6 miles past the lake: me. I'm far from being the perfect host; don't even have a hot shower. I take polar bear showers. There's no wyfi. The house is an archetectual aberration; but! It's not the destination, it's the journey. Look lake road does have loggong traffic and tourists. I cycle down the middle of the road, verring to the right for on comming and to the left for up comming, or stopping when there has been three of us at on hair-pin turn. Otherwise, it's almost like it was in '94, just the sound of the wind, the river, and the scenery. It's not New Zealand, but it really is not bad.
Once you get to Washington it should be easier and less traffic. We live on the west side of Puget Sound near Bremerton and I can advise you on many routes around here and up to Victoria B.C. and beyond.
Peter at [email protected]
Great. Will be in touch when we get a bit closer if that is ok? Thanks so much for replying. Perhaps we can ring you to discuss sometime? Will drop you an email.
My cell phone number is 360.509.0147. Pete
If you end up in Eugene, there are a number of back roads you can take north all of the way to Portland. It's pretty flat until you hit the hill(s) of Portland. Usually I stay on the parallell roads east of 99W to Corvallis. (I have a WarmShowers place in Corvallis, too.) There a parallel roads between 99 and 5 taking you to Salem, and then the roads east of 5 the rest of the way, taking in Silverton and the Canby Ferry.
Summer on the 101 sucks because of the traffic; winter sucks, too, because of the rain. But there is a glorius window in the fall ...
Too right! Found the back roads and it was hot hot hot, but glorious. You live in a great place �
I'm not sure if it's because summertime prevailing winds are from the North, but whoever planned the bike paths on 101 designed the south-going bike lane to be quite a bit wider and safer than the northbound. I have done both, and agree the northbound can be scary, but should improve substantially when you get into Oregon. Regardless, the OR coast is gorgeous and worth doing, except perhaps for the 40 mi between Reedsport and Florence, where you are inland of a large sand dune area and can't see the ocean from that stretch. Best of luck to you, and if you're near Portland and need some help, give us a shout.
I noticed that once in California the traffic seemed to double! And everyone is in such a hurry.
We loved the Oregon Coast, and found the traffic less, and the drivers much kinder. Inland is HOT. I don't advice it.
Cycling in Oregon is a dream compared to California.
going south on 101 from Seattle.
101 till Port Oxford is ok, big shoulders, bridges with yellow cyclists’ lights, horninging maybe just a couple of times per day.
so yes take 101 at least after Port Oxford - we are here safe and sound.
What is a disappointing is that there no warmshowers hosts in oregon. Those who are do not answer, so 101 is very touristic, scenic and with good cycling infrastructure but really dead. For us people from warmshowers from other satetes ( from washington to colorado) were the biggest gem on the trip. Oregon on the coast is different.
I beg to differ on Oregon hosts. I am a host in Klamath Falls, admittedly it has been warm and smoky here, but it's better finally now, and I always respond. However, I have only been contacted once this whole summer season. Yes the coast is very nice, but there are responsive and responsible hosts in Oregon.
Sorry to hear that there you've found no Oregon hosts on the coast. I do know of an awesome host listed in Seaside. We are not on the coast, we are in the Columbia River Gorge 93 miles east of Portland.
I have ridden the Oregon coast 10 X's over 24 years. Its one of my favouite tours.
Yes, prevailing winds in summer (when most people ride) blow north to south, so much easier to ride south. Prettier too, as you are right next to the coast and can see the views. That's another reason the west-side road shoulders are wider, so tourists can pull over for the views (and may it was easier for the road engineers). If possible, try another tour in early fall (September is great), as there's much less car traffic and tourism, but weather is still nice.
We are the hosts in Brookings, OR. All but two of our travelers came to us from the north and none complained about traffic issues in Oregon. Our last visitors only suggested that riders get a ride crossing the Astoria bridge since there is no bike lane there and that is at the top of Oregon.
yeah... you, unfortunately let the transition into oregon deter you... I know it is bad in the south... but it gets better the further north you go... drivers get more tolerant... even friendly toward your impediment to their travels... I recommend one thing to cyclists... when you have backed up traffic and get the chance to let everyone pass whom you have delayed... STOP and wave as they drive by with apologetic gestures... mouth a sorry to every driver as they go by... keep in mind as you ride NO ONE cares that you are riding your bike across the country... when they have appointments and reservations... your ride is YOURS... let no one steal the joy of YOUR ride... just keep saying... "if you hit me .... hit me full on .... DO NOT leave me mangled in the ditch to suffer"... NO FEAR
I'm gonna be the devil's advocate on this thread, so please accept my apologies if anyone feels attacked... I strongly disagree with the overwhelming sentiment. I've ridden the Oregon Coast twice ('16 & '17) and it was incredibly easy to ride. There is always enough shoulder where you don't really feel like you are riding with traffic. There are also enough "bike-preferred" detours on the old 101 that you really aren't ever battling vehicular traffic. Finally, Oregon Coast drivers are by far the kindest to cyclists anywhere in the continental US. With all due respect, OP is either not very used to riding with cars or they are overexagerating.
We have recently cycled Vancouver to San Diego. Plotted routes that took us off the main roads as much as possible. Had only a couple of days where the roads were stressful & you are past those. Have a look at our Plotaroute page for the routes we used.
This is a old thread of a conversation, but I thought that I might add a few words of wisdom to any who read this looking for tour advice along the Oregon coast. My wife and I put 6300 miles on our bikes wandering around the U.S. in the spring and summer of 2019. Part of the trip included the Adventure Cycling Pacific Coast route from Seattle to San Francisco. We found the US 101 to be extremely busy in late July and early August. We too had a few run ins with traffic, mostly RV'S & Logging trucks. It was by far the most stressful place in our whole journey. Yet on the flip side the scenery was magnificent. We have since decided to live in Astoria, Oregon for a year because we love the area and climate so well here. My advice, as far as riding the Oregon 101, is try to avoid it in the summer. Traffic is always heavy. Adventure cycling does get you off the 101 whenever it can, but that is a small fraction. The temperatures on the coast are moderated by the ocean, which makes Spring & Fall very rideable. My last piece of advice is get visible! I see so many riders who wear dark clothing and deck out their bikes in black panniers. After being hit head on by an automobile in 2007 I am really serious about being seen. Bright clothes, orange bandanas pinned to your panniers, high flying safety flags, and flashing lights are all great things. The farther ahead that a vehicle sees you the more time they will follow your movements and avoid you. Enjoy Oregon. The native residents are super friendly (give them a wave if they pass you politely and safely). If you stay in Astoria drop us a line. We'd love to meet you.