Need Oregon Coast routing guidance from Hwy 101 to Eugene (Smith River Road)
We will be riding the Oregon Coast beginning next week and recently learned of the Smith River road option to get from 101 to Eugene. From what I gather, this route is paved and receives low traffic, but adds some mileage. If anyone can share opinions and detailed directions of this route, it would be very helpful. The other option is just taking 126 from Florence to Eugene. Any helpful advice is much appreciated.
Have a nice ride,
Smith River flows into the Umpqua, at Reedsport, so You have to continue down the coast Douglas County then head back up the Smith NE, thru the Siuslaw NF .. A NF map of the logging road network would be helpful ..
About 20 miles south of Florence, go east on Lower Smith River Road http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=4...42701&t=h&z=15
This is BEFORE you cross the last bridge into Reedsport, but after the settlement of Gardiner. Stay on Lower Smith River Road which keeps you on or near the north bank of Smith River. Do not turn on North Fork Smith River Road. If you want to add a little more mileage (14 extra miles), you can turn left (north) on West Fork Smith River Road; this is a likely road to find a bear or two on (let me know if this interests you and I will provide details). When you reach the intersection of West Fork SRRd, you are 55 miles from Eugene and have two decent climbs ahead (cat 4 and cat 3). Stay on Lower Smith River Rd (at this point it is the obvious paved choice) until about a quarter mile past North Sister Rd (which has a sign indicating road closure in a few miles). At this point (1/4 mile past N. Sister Rd) continue straight onto South Sister Rd (a right turn would put you on Upper Smith River Rd, don't go there) I think this junction is 15 miles from the junction of West Fork Smith River Rd. Stay on South Sister Rd, it will quietly change its name to Oxbow Rd and take you to the Oxbow summit. Just stay on the pavement (slightly rough chipseal) and you can't go wrong. At the bottom of Oxbow summit (east end) you will find the Siuslaw river. 25 miles from the West Fork SSRD junction you will arrive at the Alma site; go straight here, which puts you on Siuslaw River Road. (If you look back at this intersection you will see a giant BLM map of the area. I will try to upload it for you and post it.) Within the next mile or two you will pass the Sheriff's Forest Work Camp and then a junction where right takes you to Lorane and left starts you up your last big climb (cat3) towards Eugene. Obviously you go to the left here and are 28 miles from Eugene. This road (Wolf Creek Rd) ends at Territorial just south of Crow Rd. Crow Rd brings you on in.
Once you turn onto Lower Smith River Road, there is only one small store that you will pass. It is best to have some means of filtering water since there is no guaranteed source of clean water (lots of creeks and weeping rocks) unless you are going to ride hard and dry. I have often ridden very long distances along and near this road without being passed by a car (up to 90 miles at a time), thus it is my favorite place to ride. There are lots of places to camp along the Smith River, most of them are unofficial but obvious.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RIDE HWY126 ALL THE WAY FROM FLORENCE TO EUGENE! Okay, that was a little harsh, but 126 sucks. The best part is the 14 miles to Mapleton because it has a shoulder, but forget about the rest. If you decide to do this, at least turn onto hwy 36 at Mapleton (if you can handle a bit of gravel, there is a nice way from Swiss Home to Alma)
I'll dig up the picture of the BLM map at Alma as soon as I can. Have fun, this is a highlight kind of road, but you are on your own out there. Let me know when you will be there and I may be able to sneak out and ride a bit of it with you. I'm a bit slowed down at the moment (I'm sure the ladder I fell off of moved, except that it is screwed into the wall.). But I'm back on wheels and always game for an excuse to ride the O&C roads.
Last edited by TheHen; 08-28-10 at 11:37 PM.
Reason: mistaken mileage estimate
I've never put an image up here, so I hope this works. This is the map that is at the Alma Site (junction of Oxbow Rd and Siuslaw River Rd, 30 miles from Eugene.
I see north is down and west is to the right. I guess the BLM hired an Aussie to make this map. By the way, all the green and red roads are paved except a portion of the M-line which is gravel but firm enough to easily ride on 700X25 tires during the dry months.
Map and Compass 101, you are supposed to flip a map over
to have it look like the direction you are facing..
Many thanks to TheHen for great directions. Looks like we will be arriving in Eugene Sept. 6th as we will be purchasing train tickets which depart at 9am on the 7th. I just learned that our Yak trailer will not be allowed on the train (thanks Amtrak), so I will be boxing it up and shipping it back home from Eugene. That will likely require us to be in Eugene by 5pm in order to deliver the trailer to a postal center for boxing and shipping. Any recommendations on where to take it not too far from the train station? Also, any suggestions on decent inexpensive lodging nearby would be great? Thanks for all the help!
If you are planning on shipping via USPS, your schedule won't work; USPS closes at 2:00 PM on Saturday and won't open until 9:30 on Tuesday. A FedEx/Kinkos is 10 blocks away from the train station, but they are closed on Labor Day as well. Fortunately, FedEx seems to be open on Sunday as it is one of those 24 hour places. I don't know how small you can make the trailer, but it seems like it should be able to fit into a box that Amtrak would accept as checked baggage. The train station is at 5th Ave and Willamette St. At 14th and Willamette there is a place that will overcharge you to ship by any means; they package things too I think, but they are also closed on Sunday and probably on Labor Day too.
As far as lodging goes, I have heard the Whiteaker Hostel is pretty good ((541) 343-3335). There is Hilton two blocks from the train station. I've never stayed at either, so I don't know their rates or any worthwhile details. I'll check around for other rooms (A friend has an empty house that she rents occasionally. It is 2 miles from the train station, mostly along the bike path). How many in your group? What ages and genders?
I feel I must warn you that Eugene has far more than its fair share of bike thieves. Never leave your bike or stuff unattended.
I've been to the site of that map many a time. It is along what was my commute into town a few years ago. When looking at the map you are facing west, not south. Since it is not exactly a pocket map, it would be a bit difficult to flip it over to look like the direction one is facing.
Originally Posted by fietsbob
Last I was there a package shipping place on Willamette, , quite a ways from the amtrack station, so deal with the trailer first ,
then go back to deal with the bike.
Talgo and Coast starlight are separate train systems . Talgo is a commuter system Washington state a major funder , Eugene is it's southern most stop
Coast starlight runs up from LA both to Seattle and Van BC Talgo I think takes un boxed bikes
Amtrak you have to pack it in a box , sold at the station or with luck a leftover is there from an arrival that rode away..
Kilt wearing cyclist
I was on the 36 from Mapleton to Eugene a couple of weeks ago. There are stores in Deadwood, Triangle Lake and Last Pass (the wide spot in the road at the downhill base of that climb after Triangle Lake) where you can buy snacks and get water.
Here's a link to my mapmyride page of that trip.
I did this route at the beginning of a tour several years ago except I went from Florence to Eugene. I would recommend it. The part along 126 is not the most fun but at east there is a wide shoulder.
Originally Posted by PomPilot
When you get close to Eugene (from the northwest) you can get onto a system of bike paths which pass through a beautiful wetland and which eventually end up in downtown.
A few weeks ago my wife and I stayed in Eugene at the Campus Inn which is near the train station and across from the University of Oregon. It was $78/night.