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  1. #1
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    Paved route from Swisshome OR to Alsea?

    My Oregon highway map indicates there is a way to get from Swisshome on Hwy 36 to Lobster Valley Rd near Hwy 34. That area between the two highways is quite a maze. Since I was driving back from the coast with the family, I decided to see if I could figure it out.

    From the highway map, I estimated the location of the side road at less than 5 miles past Swisshome. This put me at a very nice looking road called Indian Creek Rd. Keeping alert for possible side roads, I didn't see any promising junctions. Indian Creek eventually turned to gravel.

    Does anyone know of a paved route between the two highways? Using Google Maps, this is my best guess, but it's far from clear if this is completely paved. Some of the pavement is clearly in bad shape from what I can tell.
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

  2. #2
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    I'm looking at the 1996 Siuslaw National Forest map, so things may have changed a bit in terms of pavement. In fact, I recall some road(s) in that area being taken out of service by the forest service a few years back. You might want to call them and find out which one(s). Anyway, the dead-tree map says that just two to three miles up Indian Creek from hwy 36, long before you hit gravel, you should turn north (right turn) onto forest road 32, as shown on your Google map. I'm not surprised you missed it. I think I was on it once when I was looking at some property there a decade ago and I had the advantage of following the for sale signs. Other than that, it looks like you could cut a bit of mileage out at the cost of a mile or two of gravel by jumping off 5 Rivers Rd (FS32) at FS3509 to the paved FS3505 to the upper end of Lobster Valley Rd (58150).

    I'm sorry to not be of more help. My entire household has been down with some sort of nasty respiratory tract infection for the past four weeks and none of us are up to riding out to scout it out for you. When are you planning to ride this route? Maybe we will have a chance to check it out before then.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    Thanks B. Carfree! I truly appreciate the intel!

    A friend of mine was asking me about some possible routes for a trip we have planned the week of July 15th. I was looking at this as an option. I'm leaning towards either this route or using the Smith River Byway to Clay Creek or stealth camping somewhere near Alma. (He was suggesting Hwy 36 to Triangle Lake or Richardson Co. Park. I am hoping to steer him in a more interesting direction.)

    I will ride this route some day - if not this summer, it's definitely in my list of routes to ride!

    Sorry to hear about the illness. I hope your family is well soon!
    Last edited by mtnbud; 06-21-13 at 08:15 AM.
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
    Thanks B. Carfree! I truly appreciate the intel!

    A friend of mine was asking me about some possible routes for a trip we have planned the week of July 15th. I was looking at this as an option. I'm leaning towards either this route or using the Smith River Byway to Clay Creek or stealth camping somewhere near Alma. (He was suggesting Hwy 36 to Triangle Lake or Richardson Co. Park. I am hoping to steer him in a more interesting direction.)

    I will ride this route some day - if not this summer, it's definitely in my list of routes to ride!

    Sorry to hear about the illness. I hope your family is well soon!
    If you head to Clay Creek, BLM is only opening Clay Creek, Whiteaker Creek and whatever that campground is south of Cottage Grove from Friday afternoons to Monday mornings this summer. I'm sure the water will be left on and no one will hassle you if you go there on weekdays. In fact, it might be nicer with the campgrounds closed.

    A fun little connection between the Siuslaw watershed and the Smith River watershed is to take the M-Line from the top of Oxbow summit (top of south sister road, six miles west of Alma). It is mostly lost chip seal/ good gravel and connects up to real pavement at the junction of Esmonds Creek Rd/West Fork Smith River Rd/Roman Esmonds Tie Rd. I always surprise a bear or two when I ride along that ridge. Just stay on the main track. I think the Googlemap shows it as J-line and as not going through, but it is marked M-line at Oxbow Summit and definitely goes through. It's about eight miles long.

    When it reaches pavement, you can turn right to head down Esmonds Creek; six miles later you will be at mile post 10 of Siuslaw River Rd. about halfway between Clay Creek and Whiteaker Creek campgrounds. Or, you can turn left and go down West Fork Smith River Rd (watch out for the nasty bike-eating pothole on the right side in the first quarter mile) and likely surprise more bear. W. Fork Smith River Rd ends at Smith River Rd about ten miles from Upper Smith River Rd (25 miles from Alma). If you want some more climbing, you can make an immediate right turn after you turn left on W. Fork Smith River Rd and head up to Roman Nose. There's a small stretch of medium/large-rock gravel on this, but it's on a fairly flat section and is only a couple hundred yards long at most. The climb up Roman Nose from M-line is about like the climb up to the M-line from Alma. At the top of Roman Nose, a right turn has you descending, eventually it gets quite steep, on pavement down to Whiteaker Creek Campground. A left turn puts you on some gravel towards Kentucky Falls and eventually either down to the Smith River or on some back roads towards Mapleton that I really need to explore.

    I much prefer the type of routes you pick to what your friend seems to be suggesting. In fact, my wife got annoyed with me for agreeing to mark the route for the Blackberry bRamble last year because it meant we had to ride on hwy36. She wonders why anyone would ride on such a relatively unpleasant road when we have much better options available.

    Have a fun trip.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I much prefer the type of routes you pick to what your friend seems to be suggesting. In fact, my wife got annoyed with me for agreeing to mark the route for the Blackberry bRamble last year because it meant we had to ride on hwy36. She wonders why anyone would ride on such a relatively unpleasant road when we have much better options available.

    Have a fun trip.
    Agreed! Thanks for all the info!

    I didn't know they were only opening those BLM campgrounds on the weekends. I'm with you and assume no one would notice us using the campground during the week.
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

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