How to Travel to the Southern Oregon Coast
It is surprisingly easy to get here. There is a major airport a few hours north, and several regional airports in and around the area. For drivers, just seek out US Highway 101 and head towards the south Oregon coast.
Airports – Flying to the Southern Oregon Coast
Portland: The Portland International Airport (PDX) is about a two and a half hour drive north of Route 38. The Portland International Airport offers flights on many major airlines to airports around the world.
Directions: Take I-205 south to I-5 and continue south towards Salem and Eugene. After Eugene, take exit 162 and merge onto Route 38. Continue on Route 38 to Reedsport. Enjoy the hour drive down OR-38 along the beautiful Umpqua River. Total travel time from the Portland Airport to Reedsport will be about 3:30, but it will feel like much less because most of I-5 is not crowded and the scenery along I-5 and OR-38 is so fascinating. Don’t forget to stop at the Elk viewing area just before Reedsport.
Medford: The Medford (Jackson County Oregon – MFR) Airport is located between Crater Lake and the coast and offers regional connections to Las Vegas (LAS), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN), Eugene (EUG), Portland (PDX) and others (subject to change). It is about two hours from the ocean.
Directions: Head north on I-5 towards Grants Pass. Take exit 55 onto US 199 and follow it to the coast and the Giant California Redwoods. US 199 will also continue onto US 101. Once in California, the drive down US 199 offers spectacular views of the Smith River and the valley.
North Bend / Coos Bay: The Southwest Oregon Regional Airport (OTH) located in North Bend in the heart of the south Oregon coast. The airport offers a new terminal (2008) with connecting flights to San Francisco (SFO) and Portland (PDX).
Crescent City: The Jack McNamara Field Airport (CEC) located in Crescent City offers connecting flights to San Francisco (SFO) and other airports. It is located at the southern end of the south Oregon coast near the California Redwoods along the Pacific Coast.
Arcata / McKinleyville: The Arcata (ACV) airport is located an hour and a half south of Crescent City and offers connections to San Francisco (SFO), Sacramento (SMF), Seattle (SEA) and Los Angeles (LAX) airports among others.
Directions: Drive north on US Route 101 to Crescent City.
Driving the Oregon Coast
US Route 101 transverses the length of the coast.
The nearest Interstate Highway is I-5. There are two main routes from the Interstate to US Route 101: OR-38 (exit 162) and US 199 (exit 55). Each highway hugs the valley of major rivers and are enjoyable drives with wonderful scenery (yes, part of the fun is getting here). Traffic is usually light on both roads. OR-38 enters from the north, at Reedsport, while US 199 enters from the south, at Crescent City (CA).
Crater Lake: Crater Lake is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Northwest, yet many visitors miss the spectacular nearby south Oregon coast. A three-hour drive and you will be gazing up into the California Redwoods, ready to start your Pacific coast adventure.
Directions: Head out the south entrance to Crater Lake National Park and turn right onto Route 62. Route 62 will merge into Crater Lake Highway. Follow Route 62 / Crater Lake Highway until Route 234. Turn right onto Route 234 / Sams Valley Highway to I-5. Head north on I-5 towards Grants Pass. Take exit 55 onto US 199 and follow it to the coast and the Giant California Redwoods. US 199 will also continue onto US 101. Once in California, the drive down US 199 offers spectacular views of the Smith River and the valley.
Note/Warning: Some computer maps / GPS systems may designate a route from I-5 exit 61, towards Galice and Agness via BLM-34 and NF-23 as an alternative route. This is not recommended. During the months from October through mid-May the road may be blocked by snow. Portions may not be paved and the road can be hazardous even during the best weather.