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  1. #1
    Newbie MixteMinx's Avatar
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    Ride from Eugene to Olympia

    Hi guys! Has anyone here ridden to Eugene from Olympia before? It's something I want to do this summer, but I can't find a lot of route information online. Well, I did find a mapped route (http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1052894) but couldn't find a more personal account of if there were busy roads, gravel/nonpaved roads, good places to stop along the way, etc.

    Any information would be appreciated! And heck, I might as well make this an invitation too. I have a couple friends who are thinking of going with me, but the more the merrier!

  2. #2
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    That route looks like mostly secondary roads, which means they should be less traveled. I don't know for sure, though.

    I think following the STP route from Oly to Portland, then something like this route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/811913 from Portland to Eugene will be a bit flatter. The route that you linked to has a fair amount of hills between Longview and Hillsboro.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member adventurepdx's Avatar
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    Hey Mixteminx, here's my personal notes on looking at the route.

    • Eugene to about Forest Grove: I haven't ridden the route listed, but can imagine it being fairly low traffic, except around the cities.
    • Forest Grove to Longview: You'll get to use the Banks-Vernonia Trail, which is 22 miles long and very nice. After that you'll have some pretty good climbs (the most on the whole route) to get over that spur of the Coast Range into the Columbia Valley. Traffic on the roads should be light, but use caution on the section of SR 47 outside Banks. Also, for the record, I detest riding over the Longview (Lewis and Clark) Bridge, but that's more my personal preference.
    • Longview to Chehalis: Yep, all of the roads listed are fairly low traffic, and terrain flat to rolling, with a few short steep sections but nothing major. Looks like the route between Castle Rock to south of Chehalis is the same routing as Adventure Cycling Association's Pacific Coast Route. You could use the STP route for the same section (which routes you west of I-5 vs east) but there's not much of a difference between the two (other than more dogs on the ACA route from when I rode it.) The bonus of using the ACA routing is passing through Lewis and Clark State Park (more about that in a minute.)
    • Chehalis-Centralia: Jackson Hwy picks up the closer you get to Chehalis and the section of road between Chehalis and Centralia is pretty heavily trafficked and meh. To note: there is a bridge over the RR tracks at Centralia that has a "No Bicycles" sign posted (it's on the route.) As there was no viable alternative when I rode it, I grit my teeth and hoped for the best. Thankfully it's pretty short. There is a much better route between the two cities that uses Airport Road (it's on the STP routing) to the west of I-5, but when I rode it last year it was closed for construction. It may be open by now, so you may be able to ride it. Check in with Lewis County about the status.
    • Centralia-Olympia: The road from Centralia to Tenino is low traffic and rolling. I haven't ridden Old 99 from there to Olympia, but have ridden the multi-use trail (Yelm-Tenino to Chehalis Western) instead. It's less direct, but it's a rail trail, and you might like it.


    One thing to note about this route (and most routing you'd encounter between Eugene to Olympia unless you choose a more mountainous route) is the shortage of sanctioned camping. From what I know, you'll encounter campgrounds (mileposts approximate):
    • Brownsville (MP 30)
    • Willamette Mission SP (MP 90), you'll need to use the ferry to cross the river to get to it, has hiker-biker sites only
    • Stub Stewart SP (MP 145), nice new state park with walk-in sites
    • Camp Wilkerson County Park (MP 175)
    • Lewis and Clark SP (MP 230), nice old-growth forest and a hiker-biker site

    Of course if you're stealth camping or using other lodging, this won't be much of a worry.
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