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View Full Version : Touring: PDX to Coos Bay


lovedoctor
04-25-2012, 11:53 AM
Greetings folks, I'm starting to plan a touring trip for me and a buddy likely to happen in late June. Starting in SW PDX/Beaverton, ending in Coos Bay where some friends live. I'd like to start planning out some semi-specific routes, and I'm soliciting suggestions either from personal experience or if there are resources that might give options (i.e. touring books/websites).

I'm very familiar with the major driving routes from PDX to the coast, and I'm tentatively planning on heading out TV highway thru Forest Grove (I know, not the prettiest ride through Hillsboro, but past FG it's really nice through the wineries), and then heading over the range on Hwy 6. I'm open to other suggestions including 47, 99, 26, or less-traveled rural roads, though. Since the distance as the crow rides is about 250 miles, I'm figuring this will take around 4 days. Once we get out to the coast, I'd like to ride a day or two on 101 along the coast, but duck inland for a while to see some of the coastal forests. Again, lay down some suggestions if you have 'em.

Also, this is not an exclusive ride. If anyone is interested in riding with us, you are welcome for all or even just part of the ride. We plan on camping a couple of nights and hotel/moteling a night or two.

Happy trails,
Alan

lynnef
04-25-2012, 12:57 PM
taking the Little Nestucca is really pretty, and lightly traveled. Look at the Reach the Beach route, although you can skip the Newberg part by heading south out of FG on Fern Hill/Spring Hill/North Valley, and rejoin the route at the intersection of Ribbon Ridge and Kuehne, heading from there to Lafayette, Dayton,Sheridan, Willamina, Grand Ronde, then over the Little Nestucca to Hwy 101/Pacific City.

jeff
04-30-2012, 10:52 AM
yes, the back way from Forest Grove south that Lynn suggests is really a nice ride.

This map details that route, among others:
http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=34809&

There's also the main Nestucca Rd. west out of Carlton - a great ride but a pretty good climb over the summit.

Simple Nature
04-30-2012, 05:26 PM
I keep forgetting about that map-site. Thanks for the reminder.

jeff
04-30-2012, 05:58 PM
SimNat, let me know if and when you need another reminder - i have a vested interest.

lovedoctor
05-01-2012, 11:51 AM
Thanks guys and girls. I'll definitely keep Nestucca in mind. Does anyone have any experience further south? I'm fine with taking 101 all the way down, but would be interested in a few detours inland if there are any stretches of great scenic road. As always, thanks again for any suggestions.

jeff
05-01-2012, 02:33 PM
Love Dr., if you want to head out the coast further south, then you could follow the Willamette Valley Scenic bikeway (http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/BIKE/WVSB_main.shtml) or something like it south to Eugene. From here the Smith River Rd. through the Siuslaw National Forests is one of the most delightful routes anywhere. Just follow the Wolf Creek Rd. southwest out of Eugene, continue south/west on the Siulsaw River Rd. and then the Lower Smith River Rd. - all paved, with some camping opportunities - through to Reedsport. A really quiet. remote road.

jeff
05-01-2012, 02:36 PM
also, you might want to check a Siuslaw National Forest map - it shows paved roads, and much of the area along the coast north of Coos Bay would be shown on that map. Probably give you some good ideas for side trips.

jeff
05-02-2012, 12:14 PM
L Dr. - also realized that the Lane County bike map (http://ecomm.lanecounty.org/Store/Item.aspx?Item=5) shows this route quite well - along with lots of other intruiging possibilities.

RonC
05-02-2012, 04:33 PM
Love Dr., if you want to head out the coast further south, then you could follow the Willamette Valley Scenic bikeway (http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/BIKE/WVSB_main.shtml) or something like it south to Eugene. From here the Smith River Rd. through the Siuslaw National Forests is one of the most delightful routes anywhere. Just follow the Wolf Creek Rd. southwest out of Eugene, continue south/west on the Siulsaw River Rd. and then the Lower Smith River Rd. - all paved, with some camping opportunities - through to Reedsport. A really quiet. remote road.

Thanks for posting this Jeff. I mapped it out on Google maps, and it's around 90 miles from Eugene to Reedsport. How does it compare climbing-wise with other routes over the coast range? Sounds beautiful!

lynnef
05-02-2012, 04:41 PM
if you map it out on ridewithgps.com, you'll get elevations. The very easiest way over the coast range is out of Grand Ronde over the Little Nestucca (Sourgrass Summit).

jeff
05-03-2012, 10:07 AM
How does it compare climbing-wise with other routes over the coast range? Sounds beautiful!

good question - in my memory it's not bad at all, just a steady climb up Wolf Creek Rd. out of Eugene to the Siuslaw River drainage; but it looks like there's another good climb between the Siuslaw and the Smith River drainage that i don't remember.? Like Lynne says, you can get the scoop on the elevation profile/gain on RidewithGPS.com.

RonC
05-03-2012, 10:42 AM
if you map it out on ridewithgps.com, you'll get elevations.

Hey, that's a nice mapping site! Thanks for steering me there. I don't care it if has hills, as long as I'm mentally prepared for it. I've ridden the Grand Ronde cutoff before as part of a (longish for me) ride from SW PDX down to the Wheatland ferry, across to Amity, back roads most of the way to the afore mentioned cutoff from HWY 18, 101 down to Slab Creek Road to Hwy 18 (way better than riding 101 over Cascade Head), and then into Lincoln City. I think the climb from the ferry over the hill to Amity was actually slightly harder than the Grand Ronde route through the coast range. It's definitely the easy way across the coast range, though I'm still partial to the Nestucca River Road route, understanding its quite a bit hillier with a short bit of gravel.

lovedoctor
05-03-2012, 01:11 PM
Wow! Lots of good info in this thread. Thanks for all the contributions. Looks like we'll be riding mid-July if anyone wants to join.

jeff
05-03-2012, 01:29 PM
Be sure to report back on your trip!

lovedoctor
07-20-2012, 04:20 PM
Be sure to report back on your trip!

Got back on Monday, and it was a dandy of a trip (in a mostly good way). I took the route South out of Forest Grove as posted by some of the helpful folks here to Carlton, then Meadowlake/Nestucca River Rd. First off, I must type this in all caps:

NESTUCCA RIVER ROAD IS CLOSED! until sometime in August. This was not posted anywhere online that I saw, including the BLM website for campsites in the area (that area also closed. You would think they would mention something...) nor the Googles. There is a major repair going on that makes the road just past the summit impassable even for bikes. The detour around it involves many extra miles and a heck of a hill. The only campsite with running water was of course on the West side of the closure, so I ended up drinking boiled river water with lots of floaty bits in it. I was able to get around the construction (a giant pit where the road once was with a backhoe in it) by dragging my fully loaded Big Dummy cargo bike (big and 90 pounds) through a rocky river bed and up a very steep and thorny river bank without the park ranger catching me, but it was not at all fun.

After that adventure, sailing down 101 was a breeze. Lots of campsites and beautiful scenery. Folks in Newport and Coos Bay area generally not too bike friendly, which was disappointing, but for the most part drivers on the sketchy sections of 101 were reasonably accommodating. I talked to two brothers biking to San Diego along the way; they had a map from adventurecycling.org that showed some good side routes to avoid said sketch. I'll check that out next time. My wife and son drove down to Coos Bay and we stayed with friends that homebrew (for the hydrating properties, ya know!) and I hitched a ride with them back up to PDX.

Overall, it was a very memorable trip that will be repeated again. Self-supported touring/camping is a blast, especially when there are at least some small pockets of civilization nearby to refuel and pick up nutritious beer. I would post pictures, or you could just googlate images of "beautiful oregon coastline". Same thing.

Matt P.
08-02-2012, 02:25 PM
The BLM has it posted here: http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/salem/files/NestuccaNR_final.pdf

Closed through August 17th. It will open up 5 days after I *need* it to be open, so it looks like Cycle Wild's Annual Trip A will have to take an alternate route.

RonC
08-02-2012, 05:10 PM
I actually prefer the Bald Mountain - Bible Creek detour route that remains open. It's quite a bit more climbing, but no gravel section. Some of my friends who are less enthused about roads with the word "Mountain" in them feel differently.