Cycling the Oregon Coast
Those bicycling along the south Oregon coast will find less automobile traffic, wide shoulders, and lots of places to see and camp. Much of US 101 hugs the coast, offering amazing sights and views from the road. This is especially true during the last half of the trip.
First time visitors will be amazed at how nice the state campgrounds are that frequently offer dedicated hiking / bicycling camping and cater to the many bicyclists enjoying the scenery.
Almost all cyclists travel from north to south, because of the prevailing winds, so the directions and information below assume that direction of travel. Included are hints, suggested side trips and information about campgrounds and hotels.
In the sections below, there are several side trips that are mentioned including a ride out to Charleston. Those are highly recommended.
Weather: The Oregon coast has about 6 months of sun and 6 months of rain. That is an oversimplification as there can be weeks in the winter when it is 60 degrees and sunny. However, the general rule is that the rains start on November 1, and then fade away in the spring. The driest months are July and August. September and early October can be wonderful. Warm and dry weather starts to phase in during March. Usually, by June it is mostly sunny.
The coast has perfect temperatures for bicycling. The high usually does not exceed 70 degrees (21 C) during the day although it can get much warmer when traveling a short distance inland. During sunny days, the winds are from the north, so always travel south. When the wind comes from the south, it means that a storm maybe coming.
The south coast is preferred because there are more sunny days and less traffic. There are more campgrounds and secluded beaches making it easy to find a place to camp.
For those wishing to make comments, suggestions or provide information, please feel free to contact this website.
An excellent book about road rides and mountain biking along the Oregon South Coast is available. Titled, "Oregon South Coast, Bike Ride Guide" by Tom Baake is available by calling Westways Press in Cools Bay at 541-269-5833. The book is also available in several book stores along the coast including Escape Hatch at 642 Railroad Street, Brookings; Gold Beach Books on US Route 101 (Ellensburg Ave) in Gold Beach, as well as several visitors centers and bike shops.
Bicycling the South Oregon Coast - North to South
There are two cycling trips in this section: Port Orford to Gold Beach, then Gold Beach onto Brookings. This is the most physically challenging portion of cycling the Oregon South Coast. It is 28 miles (45 km) from Port Orford to Gold Beach, and Route 101, the Pacific Coast Highway, hugs the coast most of the way driving the cyclist up and down several demanding hills. Yet cycling along this portion of the Oregon South Coast is rewarding with amazing views, plus bird and whale watching as you bike. The bike ride from Gold Beach to Brookings is 28 miles (45 km) and starts out with the most challenging climb on the Oregon South Coast, the climb up Cape Sebastian. After hitting the peak, there is a turn to the right up to Cape Sebastian State Park and that presents another short brutal climb that is worth it on a clear day for the view. Then, test your brakes flying down Route 101 ... more
For those cycling from north to south, Crescent City - Del Norte is the end of the trail. Yet it is one of the highlights of the trip as it marks the beginning ... more
Cycling from Reedsport to Coos Bay / North Bend is about 25 miles (40 km) and is relatively flat. This section includes the lower half of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which is the major attraction along this route. Prior to starting this portion of your trip, be certain to stop at the Dunes Information Center, located in the middle of Reedsport at the traffic light of Routes 101 and 38. The Umpqua River Lighthouse and Umpqua River State Park are located less than a mile off of Route 101 and are highly recommended. The best way to get to the lighthouse and park is to cycle ... more
It is 26 miles (42 km) from Brookings to Crescent City. Route 101 and this part of your cycling adventure is considerably less physically stressful than the previous section. Starting out from Brookings or one of the parks north of town, travel through the urban center and cross the Chetco River. South of the Chetco is the unincorporated area of Harbor. After leaving Harbor, route 101 is nearly flat the entire way into Crescent City. There are also few viewpoints from Route 101, which is why many ... more
North Bend and the town of Coos Bay are immediately next to each other and, to the outsider, appear to be one city. Coos Bay / North Bend is the largest metropolitan area on the Oregon coast and offer those cycling all the challenges and advantages of a city. There is more traffic yet there are more stores, restaurants and hotels to choose from. The only bicyclists not taking the side trip out to Charleston are those who are trying to set a cycle speed record to travel the coast. The trip out to Charleston offers some of the best scenery ... more
The cycle ride from Bandon to Port Orford at 27 miles (44 km), maybe the flattest part of the southern Oregon coast. It can also be the least exciting, unless one takes some side trips. Many bikers / campers will have spent the night at Bullard's Beach State Park, just two miles north of Bandon and start their day biking through town. Prior to cycling through Bandon, note the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge which is on either side of the Coquille River. The most efficient way to see the refuge is to cycle across the Coquille River Bridge and take the first right (west) onto Riverside Drive then stop in the parking lot. Have those binoculars handy and enjoy the views. Continue biking south on Riverside Drive and enter Old Town Bandon, a great place to shop and hang around. Don't get there too early ... more