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drosen
03-14-2010, 07:02 AM
I went onto the new Google map maker that has the bike routes available. Very good! Anyway, I was routed from my house in Washington County through Gaston and then to Cherry Grove, then up the coast range. It looks like it's all paved. Has anyone used this route? Have anything to say about it? Good roads? Thanks.

DR

bikerinNE
03-14-2010, 10:03 AM
Kinda off topic, but needs to be stated I think.

Just a comment on computer generated routes from google, mapquest, or yahoo... be very suspicious of the routes created through the hill country. As seen from recent examples that have made it to the media – even car routes can leave some stranded, which has sometimes lead to fatal results. See James Kim for evidence, and there have been several other examples as well. The routes can often times lead someone through the mountains away from local resources. If you go, whether by bicycle or car, be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Often times, those routes will lead you away from vital resources that would have been readily available had you have chosen a more popular route. Use google, but it should in no way be a replacement for the big folding paper maps and a compass, which everyone who’s traveling should know how to use in conjunction with a good map of the region. Be able to orient yourself using said compass and map.

wsbob
03-14-2010, 11:11 AM
bikerinNE...excellent point! ;) I've got the Washington County 'Country Cycling' map. With the exception of a few small complaints...a great map to have, though presently out of print. It shows parts of, as you refer to it, 'the hill country; an area between the points north to Hwy 26 and beyond...about 10 miles south of Hagg Lake...and 10 miles west into the hills. According to this map the hills are laced with roads, but they're all gravel with the exception of Hwy 26 and what I'm guessing might be the Wilson River Hwy (could be it starts out as Gales Creek Rd).

Suitably equipped, I'd love to go out and explore by bike, some of the country those roads pass through, but I'd be very careful before I did. The map doesn't show that there's anything even remotely like a village or even a store out there. I suppose some of the land is timber company owned, but who actually might live out there is something I wouldn't know about, and it certainly can't be determined by this pretty good map. People could ride up there, have a problem and have who knows how hard a time getting back out. :cool:

Who would a person contact to find out about route advisability out and up through the hills? Probably someone in the county offices. Maybe contact the Washington County Department of Land Use and Transportation Planning Division? It had a hand in creating this great map I have. Report back here. Most likely, other people would also like to know more about the situation related to routes up through the hills.

Simple Nature
03-14-2010, 12:38 PM
I have an incling of recollection that I once owned one of those Wash-Co maps.
If I find it, I could look into scanning it at full scale and post the pages.

The routes here on the west side heading into the hills can really get you turned around and utterly lost. It is very hilly and more and more, gated [not that this will stop a bike]. Eventually you will be dumped out on US 26 or US6 or wind up in Timber. I would definitely be sporting some MTB tires.

Simple Nature
03-14-2010, 12:39 PM
I went onto the new Google map maker that has the bike routes available. Very good! Anyway, I was routed from my house in Washington County through Gaston and then to Cherry Grove, then up the coast range. It looks like it's all paved. Has anyone used this route? Have anything to say about it? Good roads? Thanks.

DR

What did you plug in for destination?

drosen
03-14-2010, 02:29 PM
What did you plug in for destination?

I plugged in my home address to Pacific City. I think I may have to make it a day trip to PC to see how it is. I'll take motion-sickness pills as it's a pretty windy route.

wsbob
03-14-2010, 07:04 PM
I have an incling of recollection that I once owned one of those Wash-Co maps.
If I find it, I could look into scanning it at full scale and post the pages.

The routes here on the west side heading into the hills can really get you turned around and utterly lost. It is very hilly and more and more, gated [not that this will stop a bike]. Eventually you will be dumped out on US 26 or US6 or wind up in Timber. I would definitely be sporting some MTB tires.

This last time I went to the Beaverton Bike Advisory Council, I recall a member mentioning that a Beaverton bike map was going to published again soon. Whether the mention was in regards to the Washington County map I earlier referred to, I can't say for sure.

lynnef
03-14-2010, 10:29 PM
Don't go through Cherry Grove. It is surrounded by nothing. If you want to get to Pacific City, there's much better ways. The Reach the Beach route is pretty good, and you are really never in the middle of nowhere, except going over the Coast Range.

I recommend Forest Grove-Gaston-Dayton-Amity-Ballston-Sheridan-Willamina-Grand Ronde-Little Nestucca Hwy-Pacific City. Real roads, occasional other people, and cell phone coverage.

jeff
03-15-2010, 05:33 PM
Dro, pretty sure there's no pavement due west of Cherry Grove. You can hop a gate and ride up a few miles past Lees Falls on a good dirt road, but it turns into a slot canyon. There are ways through, where you can come out on the Trask River Rd. (paved up to the county park about 15 miles east of Tillamook), but none paved and reportedly some very rough going, and very sparse signing.

The nearest paved through routes through the coast range are Hwy 6 to the north, and the Nestucca River Road (out of Carlton) to the south. the Nestucca route is really nice, very low traffic. There's about 2 miles unpaved midway, but very manageable.

drosen
03-15-2010, 05:48 PM
Jeff, thanks for the info. I have ridden most every way to Pacific City- through Carlton to Beaver (the toughest route by far, at least for me), The RTB route, through Tillamook, all of them. This was a new route that I had never heard of. I appreciate the warnings of the roads.

Psyfalcon
03-15-2010, 06:45 PM
The middle of nowhere isn't so bad, if you're prepared for it. Might not be a great route to do alone though, or when snow threatens the passes.

Look at some of the XC stuff they're doing in Alaska. It involves pack rafts and bear spray.

drosen
03-15-2010, 08:23 PM
The middle of nowhere isn't so bad, if you're prepared for it. Might not be a great route to do alone though, or when snow threatens the passes.

Look at some of the XC stuff they're doing in Alaska. It involves pack rafts and bear spray.

Uh..... no thanks! :)

Psyfalcon
03-15-2010, 08:34 PM
Your loss ;)

My mtb has the rack and panniers. My commuter does not. :p

wsbob
03-16-2010, 12:39 AM
Dro, pretty sure there's no pavement due west of Cherry Grove. You can hop a gate and ride up a few miles past Lees Falls on a good dirt road, but it turns into a slot canyon. There are ways through, where you can come out on the Trask River Rd. (paved up to the county park about 15 miles east of Tillamook), but none paved and reportedly some very rough going, and very sparse signing.

The nearest paved through routes through the coast range are Hwy 6 to the north, and the Nestucca River Road (out of Carlton) to the south. the Nestucca route is really nice, very low traffic. There's about 2 miles unpaved midway, but very manageable.

Jeff... "reportedly" ... . So it sounds as though you haven't personally gone the Cherry Grove to Trask River Rd route. A lot of people like a challenge. I would think there's a business opportunity for those with the know-how and initiative to put together guided, supplied tours through the back country.

Many years ago, my dad took me fishing in the Trask. I don't remember a lot about the trip to it. It's great though, to realize that Willamette Valley residents have something like this so close by.

Carlton is off my map. Looks like I need another.

jeff
03-16-2010, 06:43 AM
ws, you're entirely right, i haven't ridden it -- it is an intriguing looking route between the Trask Rd. through to... well, somewhere south of Cherry Grove or...? I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from trying it, it would be a great exploration indeed. But one should be aware -- according to my source -- that it's some very rough country with rough roads to match, and seemingly not marked at all, lots of dead end logging roads, etc. Compass, maps, and a preparedness for a bivouac would be essential.

I'd love to hear a report back!

Simple Nature
03-16-2010, 11:54 AM
Jeff... "reportedly" ... . So it sounds as though you haven't personally gone the Cherry Grove to Trask River Rd route. A lot of people like a challenge. I would think there's a business opportunity for those with the know-how and initiative to put together guided, supplied tours through the back country.

Many years ago, my dad took me fishing in the Trask. I don't remember a lot about the trip to it. It's great though, to realize that Willamette Valley residents have something like this so close by.

Carlton is off my map. Looks like I need another.

I have spent significant time on the backroads in Washington Co. by car and I can tell you Jeff is right... and add to that possibility of logging trucks, hunters, and other wild and crazy people ralleying the backroads, you will remain on alert between incidents.

I love the idea about setting up guided routes in rural Washington Co. Opportunities abound but interest wanes. It is some beautiful countryside however! Lots of elevation changes to be prepared for.

scholzj
03-17-2010, 09:38 AM
this route looks fun. I have been eying a route slightly south of this that starts in Yamhill and ends at the trask river road. This looks like it would be a great route back to the valley. Oh and mtb tires are not needed for dirt and gravel. just watch any cyclocross race this next fall. A larger volume tire makes the ride more comfortable but as long as you have sufficient tire pressure so as to not pinch flat for your given tire width you will be fine. I do most of my non paved road riding on my surly long haul trucker with 1.5" schwalbe marathons and they work just fine. Figure this trip to be a two day tour with the possibility of a third day if the going is harder than anticipated and pack accordingly. This sounds less risky than other backcountry trips that i have done. Oh and if there is a road it is not backcountry.
Now all i need is a weekend of dry weather and a weekend off of work. Thanks for the idea.

Simple Nature
03-17-2010, 09:56 AM
Okay, so I may have over emphasised the MTB tires... I love the marathons and yes, these are quite sufficient for any terrain. I was warning about 700-c23 at 120psi. Not only will you loose your teeth but you might loose a few screws on your ride as well.

back·coun·try (bkkntr)
n.
A sparsely inhabited rural region.

OutdoorDad
03-19-2010, 07:07 PM
I've driven several routes from Cherry Grove out to the coast when exploring in our Jeep a few years ago (I miss that Jeep)... The routes I took started off with pavement but always devolved into hard pack with occational new layers of loose gravel covering rutted areas. Get a really good hard copy map of the TSF - look for one with all the 4x4 trails. The roads criss-cross all over back there and one could get turned around in a hurry if you're not careful - there are very few road signs just forks splitting off here and there.

Don't relie on a solid GPS signal either. The pine needles are just the right length to play havic with reception for the GPS and most 2-way radios. Cel signals are non-existant roughly 1/3 of the way into the coastal range.

Keep your head up and ears open, because this is cougar country. Don'tsweat the bears -they will keep their distance. Cougars - mostly the young males - may see you as a possible snack. We've seen more and more cougars every year. Acouple years ago, two young (teens) cougars walked through our camp between the tent and the fire pit. Never had an issue with the coyotes - except at dusk but you should be out of the woods long before sun down.

Check with rangers as to the conditions up there before you go find out if all the snow is gone from the high points of your route.

Bring a camera because it is spectacular and the views are incredible. If you're quiet and observant, you will see wildlife.

http://i40.tinypic.com/358e93p.jpg

http://i44.tinypic.com/29pb4ah.jpg