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Advice for Oregon

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Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Advice for Oregon

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? 

Thanks guys, 

Allie and Rog 


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My husband has ridden the

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

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Thanks for Oregon advice

Thanks for taking the time to respond - if we get towards Bend will give you a shout �.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Advice for Oregon

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. 

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Thanks for Oregon advice

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...

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
BTW, FWIW to anyone reading

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. 

Utente WS Ritratto di durkintj
101 is challenging.

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.

Tailwinds, Tom,+OR/Upper+Smith+River+Rd,+Drain,+OR+97435/Cottage+Grove,+OR/@43.777365,-123.8620217,10z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m20!4m19!1m5!1m1!1s0x54c3c3b9ac656e47:0x7b79c93b5e4b888!2m2!1d-124.0967779!2d43.7023389!1m5!1m1!1s0x54c145b8d792a0eb:0xb00fcc18b11814e!2m2!1d-123.4214549!2d43.7756239!1m5!1m1!1s0x54c1304c864c322d:0xba853c2b6e7b5fec!2m2!1d-123.0595246!2d43.797623!3e1!5m1!1e4

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS

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.


Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Reedsport to Eugene via St Vincent Creek Campground

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.,+Oregon+97467/44.0419535,-123.0821384/@43.8877096,-123.8981803,10z/data=!4m10!4m9!1m5!1m1!1s0x54c3c3b9ac656e47:0x7b79c93b5e4b888!2m2!1d-124.0967779!2d43.7023389!1m0!3e1!5i1

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Seattle Area and Vancouver Island Are Great!

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

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Looking forward to it!

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.



Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Phone Number

My cell phone number is 360.509.0147. Pete

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Willamette Valley

Dear Moors,

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 ... 


Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS

Too right! Found the back roads and it was hot hot hot, but glorious. You live in a great place �

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
OR 101

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.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
I noticed that once in

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. 

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
In Port Oxford now

Hey there,

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.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
I beg to differ on Oregon

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.



Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Oregon coast

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. 

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Oregon coast

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.