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Pacific Coast - Camping possibble?

Old 04-21-17, 04:54 AM
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Pacific Coast - Camping possibble?

Hey,
I'm thinking for a long time now about cycling the PacificCoast from Vancouver to LA. If possible I want to it this July/August.

I'm from Germany. If possibly I'd like to do camping all the way.
I bought three books by now with numerous hiker/biker sites. But always with the remark that things are subject to change (camp sites closed on short notice etc.)

I'd be very happy if some of you could answer me the following questions:

1. Is it realistic to cycle the whole coast with camping only?

2. Are the hiker/biker sites hard to find? Or is gps a must-have?

3. As I plan to do it on my own: Are there some people around the biker sites or does this trip make you pretty lonely?

Thanks very much in advance.

Last edited by the_lost_son; 04-21-17 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 04-21-17, 04:58 AM
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Buy the appropriate map sections and print the addenda from the web site. The information is pretty current.

https://www.adventurecycling.org/cyc...c-coast-route/
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Old 04-21-17, 05:18 AM
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Camping is easy, we did it last summer. You want to aim to stay in the State Parks, they have the Hiker-Biker sites that aren't booked out. I'd recommend buying a copy of Bicycling The Pacific Coast if you don't already have it, it's old but still current. This is a good source of info for Oregon https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEP..._route_map.pdf You won't have any trouble finding the sites, they are well signposted. Generally you'll end up meeting up with some other cyclists, the distances between the State Parks mean you end up staying in the same places, we made some good friends along the way.
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Old 04-21-17, 05:42 AM
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Agree with the above that camping along the Pacific Coast Bike Route is very convenient. Almost all of the Hiker-Biker sites are in State Parks so they're very easy to find. The official rules at least in California indicate that these sites can be declared full and people turned away but my experience has been that the parks try very hard not to do that. Generally they will find some place for you such as a picnic area if the regular space is too crowded.
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Old 04-21-17, 06:41 AM
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Do not worry, you can camp the entire way easily, and there are lots of sources of info about the route and where campgrounds are so you can plan you days.
I did this trip in 1994 and even then there was the book "Biking the Pacific Coast" (or something like that) that had day by day info and made the trip easy to plan out.

I also was on my own and met a nice German guy on his own and we spent the whole trip traveling together and got along fine, and yes, there will be lots of fellow cycling travellers you will meet in the campgrounds.

Its a very popular trip and so socially, its pretty easy to meet other cyclists.

have fun, its a beautiful trip.
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Old 04-21-17, 07:01 AM
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I just remembered that on that trip I also met a young couple from the previous East Germany, and they were extremely excited to be bicycle traveling in the USA and in California, something that they never thought that they would be able to do only a few years before....
In my opinion, you do not need a specific gps unit, personally I feel you could easily do the trip with only paper maps, but of course you can use free applications on a smart phone or a small tablet that use the built in gps to pinpoint where you are in those few situations. I am just back from a long trip where for the first time I used this technology on a small tablet (app called Maps.me ) and it worked perfectly well.
I would spend the money not spent on a specific bike gps on other things for your trip, but whatever you do, again, enjoy the planning and practice your English as much as you can.

tchus
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Old 04-21-17, 07:06 AM
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Note that a bridge in Big Sur collapsed this winter and won't be replaced by the time you are going through, so plan your route accordingly. I'll be riding part of the Oregon coast around the same time.
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Old 04-21-17, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s
Note that a bridge in Big Sur collapsed this winter and won't be replaced by the time you are going through, so plan your route accordingly. I'll be riding part of the Oregon coast around the same time.
Yes- be aware this bridge closure is a major impact. I'm unsure of the specifics so hopefully someone else will chime in, but that bridge is the only road access to/through Big Sur. The detour is inland, and it's a major-mileage detour and likely not very bike-friendly.

There's always some way to work around it- I'm doing Oregon to San Francisco this year but if I were going further to LA I'd consider renting a car to get south of Big Sur.
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Old 04-21-17, 07:13 AM
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Can you tell us about camping in Germany, Or should that be a different thread?
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Old 04-21-17, 10:44 AM
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Note that a total solar eclipse will pass over the Oregon coast on August 21, 2017. Lodging/camping options will have no vacancy, and roads will be very busy. On the other hand, it could be an amazing opportunity.
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Old 04-22-17, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by the_lost_son
I'd be very happy if some of you could answer me the following questions:

1. Is it realistic to cycle the whole coast with camping only?
Very realistic! That's how I did it ten years ago. There are loads of camping on the coast, whether state parks, local parks, or private. There's a few stretches where the camping options are a bit spread out (around Eureka/Arcata CA, from what I remember), but for the most part, you don't have to worry.

Originally Posted by the_lost_son
2. Are the hiker/biker sites hard to find? Or is gps a must-have?
They are not. Most of the coastal state parks have them, and there's usually something every 50 km or so (at the longest possibly 100 km). If you get the Adventure Cycling Association map and/or Bicycling the Pacific Coast book, this will all be indicated. Oregon provides free state parks of the coast route (and also a statewide map), you can get that here: https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/Pages/maps.aspx


Originally Posted by the_lost_son
3. As I plan to do it on my own: Are there some people around the biker sites or does this trip make you pretty lonely?
If you hit in the summer, there usually is someone around. I don't think I ended up at an empty hiker-biker site on my tour, and I did that in late September and early October.
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Old 04-22-17, 06:06 PM
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It would be best to check the state park websites for current information on which state parks have hiker biker sites. If there have been any changes, the state park web sites should be current.

I rode part of that route in 2014. My comments and observations are at this post:
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/95...l#post16933424

But, that was almost three years ago so a few things may have changed. But the entire thread at that link has useful information.

I was there in May and June, fewer cyclists at that time, but we still saw other cyclists in the hiker biker sites most of the time.

If you plan on doing any laundry by hand in the sinks in the toilet facilities, a flat rubber type of drain stopper would come in very handy. The sinks do not have drain stoppers.
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Old 04-22-17, 06:49 PM
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One nice little feature that CalTrans put in on Hwy 1 a few years ago are little markers on the mile posts every so often that tell you how far to the next restaurant and campground. Unfortunately, they don't distinguish campgrounds with showers from those without. I don't remember if they also include the county campgrounds or if they only tell you about the state campgrounds. Sonoma County has a couple of nice campgrounds (Gualala and Stillwater Cove) that have showers, which are lacking at the nearby state campgrounds.

Particularly in California, there are times when private campgrounds can be nicer than the state ones. Some of them have hot-tubs and pools, which can be nice after a long day in the saddle. Of course they are more expensive.
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Old 04-22-17, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree
Particularly in California, there are times when private campgrounds can be nicer than the state ones. Some of them have hot-tubs and pools, which can be nice after a long day in the saddle. Of course they are more expensive.
Not if you form a team of people you've met and book as a group. 8 of us became "Team Bruce" to book a KOA site in the name Mr Bruce so we could hit the hot tub...
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Old 04-23-17, 05:35 AM
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FWIW, I didn't really find the Kirkendahl and Sprung book as useful as the ACA maps. I read it at home and elected to not take it on the trip. In Oregon the free map from ODOT is great.

In Washington state I wasn't crazy about the ACA route, so I'd probably wing it there or use the book, then in Oregon use the ODOT map, and in California use the ACA maps.
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Old 04-23-17, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
FWIW, I didn't really find the Kirkendahl and Sprung book as useful as the ACA maps. I read it at home and elected to not take it on the trip. In Oregon the free map from ODOT is great.

In Washington state I wasn't crazy about the ACA route, so I'd probably wing it there or use the book, then in Oregon use the ODOT map, and in California use the ACA maps.
I found the book to be rather handy, but I know it was in another era in 1994, and being Canadian, I don't think I knew about the ACA or what was available then.

No matter what, Herr Lost Son, you will easily be able to plan out your trip and have lots of good info on a smart phone, or tablet, or on paper.
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Old 04-23-17, 08:09 AM
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Most people do not realize that on Federal Land/Parks you can camp for free in what is called "Dispersed Camping".

But it might be rougher conditions than you would want after a long day of riding.

Sleeping for free, or cheaply, on federal lands

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/f...telprdb5121831
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