I've booked to go to Portland next summer for 2 weeks with bikes.
Will it be better to do a big loop south of Portland towards Bend / Eugene then back up the coast OR to ride north up to Seattle and back?
Does anyone have any experience of touring around Oregon?
I've done driving hols, rafting trips and have family in Ashland.
The coast and the wine country are great, but for scenery (and lots of climbing) you need to go East up the Columbus river valley.
this thread is relevant to my interests .. cc @Klar
I've ridden a bit of both, great part of the world for riding. The coast is nice, but traffic may be quite heavy in summer and and you can pick up a fair amount of mist and drizzle. I'd go inland - the Columbia river gorge west to The Dalles from Portland on the old highway is a great ride on a pretty much empty road. Then roughly along/ parallel to the Pacific crest trail route south down to Diamond and Crater lakes which are brilliant for a couple of days on the bike. You could return north to Portland inland via Eugene or the coast. Or continue south/take a few diversions and pick up the train back to Portland. If you can find some of the previous Cycle Oregon routes that may give you some good ideas.
A loop going north from Cascade locks on the Columbia river via Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier would also be a great ride - you could return south on the coast or head over to the Olympic National park/St Juan Islands and again train it back to Portland.
Loads of great riding opportunities, you almost can't go wrong...
I've spent a lot of time hanging around the bus station so if that's your plan and you need any hints, let me know ;)
thanks everyone, that's very helpful.
I think we'll head inland, then down to Bend, Eugene then come back up the coast, should be enough for 2 weeks.
So excited, I'll keep this thread updated
that's great, thank you!
Anytime. Don't miss Crater lake if you go south - the loop round the edge is an outstanding day ride.
It gets really hot in summer. On the eastern side of the coastal range, you're looking at 35 celsius during the day. Also lots of forest fires this year (summer 2018). I'm quite jealous, having been to the area, but not ridden it. The scenery, the nature, the rivers, the lakes, are amazing. Hope you like trees and hills!
On the coast it's maybe 20ish and misty quite often. But also beautiful and clean. The sea is too cold to swim. The 101 has quite a bit of traffic.
hmm, if it's not possible to swim in the sea then maybe I should skip the coast and stay inland then. I'm also not 100% sure Eugene looks that interesting. Bend has some MTB trails I'd like to have a day on so I do want to go down there.
Is there anything interesting around Eugene / Salem or would it be better to remain to the east of that and head back up to portland through the National Forests?
Eugene is a college town (Universityof Oregon) and it's pretty boring driving through it - I can imagine it would be tedious to cycle around it. Closer to the coast is the Siuslaw National Forest but the Williamette/Umpqua/Deschutes national forests to the east will be more interesting.
Do note that there is a LOT of logging up there so the forest roads will have some pretty big trucks out there. Also. Hilly. And you will have limited route choice. But in fairness, the roads in the National Forests are always of good quality.
Yes, I understand there's some interesting wine country just south of Portland so maybe it's a better idea to turn around at Bend, head directly north and over the mountains towards the coast, skipping out Eugene
It's more than interesting - it's the best Pinot Noir region in the US. Definitely worth visiting but the prices are a bit dear. I can highly recommend McMinnville as a place to stay.
Inland looks amazing and I’m definitely not trying to put you off doing that - but I rode the coast a couple of years ago and it was amazing, with national parks at convenient camping intervals. It is trafficky though and if I went back I would totally do what Balmain suggests.
I live in Washington State so I'd love to put a plug in for heading up the coast towards the Olympic Peninsula. Tonnes of beautiful roads, plus a fair bit of bike trail stuff if you don't want to ride with traffic.
A good chunk of the peninsula is in the rainshadow and is likely to be dry in the summer, if you're getting closer to the days and realize that it's wet looking where you planned to ride.
My limited knowledge of Oregon cycling is the portion of my Pacific Coast tour that went from Tillamook on the coast, West of Portland, down to the border with California. (See photos on page 1 here, starting from the first bike/coast pic down to the "Welcome to California" sign!)
We put bikes on the bus from Portland to Tillamook, pretty cheap and convenient. Maybe we were lucky with the weather but besides a very predictable mist in the morning, it was generally pleasantly warm and dry, with a reliable tail wind all the way. (Everyone does the coastal route North to South due to prevailing winds.) Hwy 101 is a very pleasant bike ride, and hiker/biker campsites make for very convenient touring.
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