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USA West Coast Hiker/Biker Sites Open in Fall Winter?

Old 09-17-17, 09:45 AM
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USA West Coast Hiker/Biker Sites Open in Fall Winter?

Hey

I haven't ridden the West coast since 2009 and it was midsummer when I did it. Now I have loose plans to ride the Baja Peninsula and further South starting in December (starting with a companion in Southern California) so I'm contemplating riding from Southern British Columbia where I am now rather than flying down and risking more damage to my brand new bike. Trouble is, the all important "Hiker/Biker" campsites, I'm guessing, are probably not heavily used during fall/winter. Are they going to be open? I sure don't want to have to pay big bucks for a shower every night at a hotel or Airbnb place. My aim is to enjoy warm weather and not working for as long as possible. So camping is preferable.
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Old 09-17-17, 10:38 AM
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Hi, I don't know about seasonal biker/hiker sites, but I can tell you that from what I can tell is that most campgrounds have done away with hiker/ biker sites, or/ and maybe the language has changed, they call them tent sites. Do you speak Spanish? Are you planning to ride/ do you have any interest is touring with other tourists? Your timing may be good, in that they may have HWY 1 open again by the time that you ride south.
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Old 09-17-17, 10:42 AM
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(stating the obvious(?) Contact the State Parks on your route and ask, they have websites , now.

It's raining again soon , here..
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Old 09-17-17, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian25
Hi, I don't know about seasonal biker/hiker sites, but I can tell you that from what I can tell is that most campgrounds have done away with hiker/ biker sites, or/ and maybe the language has changed, they call them tent sites. Do you speak Spanish? Are you planning to ride/ do you have any interest is touring with other tourists? Your timing may be good, in that they may have HWY 1 open again by the time that you ride south.
Really? So state parks have gotten rid of tent sites? That's unfortunate In 2009 they were available most nights at just $4USD good deal for a hot shower.

Right now my Spanish is rudimentary and my Brasilian Portuguese even worse but with circumlocution I should be able to get by at least in Spanish. I will probably have done another (third) unit of Pimsleur's Latin American Spanish by the time I hit Mexico if not already on unit 4. So that's usually plenty good enough to get by without any English speakers' help.

I'm open to riding with others, sure. I'll be meeting with someone for the Baja Peninsula leg and a Mexican national in Guadalajara City but I'd love company for the leg from Canada to Mexico. If you wanted to continue further South I'm sure we could all meet up and see if we get along.

Re highway closures: I've heard the bridge will likely be open but that there's a mudslide further south that will take years to clear, have you heard different? I'd sure love to be able to stick to the coast the whole way.
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Old 09-17-17, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
(stating the obvious(?) Contact the State Parks on your route and ask, they have websites , now.

It's raining again soon , here..
That's a lot of parks. I was hoping someone here might have done the route in fall and winter and can save me the time and money it would take to call dozens of parks.
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Old 09-17-17, 11:14 AM
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Most of them are now $5 - $6, but they're still available. At least the ones along the coast in Oregon and California are open year round and I think the same is true in Washington. You're correct that the bridge in Big Sur is to reopen soon but the slide between Gorda and Ragged Pt. will take much longer (not even an estimated schedule). You could ride down to the Kirk Creek campground and then take Ferguson-Nacimiento rd. over the hills inland before rejoining the coastal route in Cambria.
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Old 09-17-17, 11:22 AM
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Why not support the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) and buy thier maps of the US west coast. You will find the answers to all your questions for at least the US part of your trip in one place. Or you could see about a used set of maps on E-bay. The ACA updates thier maps as information becomes available (i.e., they stand behind there product). That's more than I can say for any info you get from 3rd parties on the internet, even if they mean well. Good luck when what you are told is no longer correct.
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Old 09-17-17, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann
Most of them are now $5 - $6, but they're still available. At least the ones along the coast in Oregon and California are open year round and I think the same is true in Washington. You're correct that the bridge in Big Sur is to reopen soon but the slide between Gorda and Ragged Pt. will take much longer (not even an estimated schedule). You could ride down to the Kirk Creek campground and then take Ferguson-Nacimiento rd. over the hills inland before rejoining the coastal route in Cambria.
Hey, thanks! That's exactly what I needed to know. And yeah Ferg Nacim looks like the uge detour so I guess I'll get well acquainted soon.
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Old 09-17-17, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Eggman84
Why not support the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) and buy thier maps of the US west coast. You will find the answers to all your questions for at least the US part of your trip in one place. Or you could see about a used set of maps on E-bay. The ACA updates thier maps as information becomes available (i.e., they stand behind there product). That's more than I can say for any info you get from 3rd parties on the internet, even if they mean well. Good luck when what you are told is no longer correct.
Yeah I'm debating whether or not to get the electronic versions of the maps. Still need info for all of Washington as I'll be taking the coastal route and that's not part of the AC route.

Not the end of the world. I've done most of my touring without much more than a road map and handlebar compass This time around I'll have a smart phone and cell service.

I'm sure plenty of AC's info is out of date too, it's inevitable even with online updates. Livin' on the eeedge!
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Old 09-17-17, 11:40 AM
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Fort Stevens is the state park nearest me, there is a KOA out there too.. in town we have a Hostel, 'the Norblad'..
its running year around, because this is a seaport town , and the college has Navigation and Seamanship courses..

BTW we have holes in the Cell service out here and where you have to have the right company contract, to get a signal

because its a private network putting up the towers, for their customers.





...

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-17-17 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-17-17, 11:55 AM
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I rode SFO to SLO last winter right before Christmas, and aside from a campground closure in Big Sur from prior forest fires, everything was open. Best thing to do is to check online and call ahead to get specifics. This was before the bridge collapse and landslides, so things may be quite different now.
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Old 09-17-17, 12:24 PM
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Old 09-17-17, 01:25 PM
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Its pretty amazing the information you can get with just a simple road map and a smart phone that has access to the internet. Also amazing how many places you can find free wi-fi (though in places like Yellowstone both the internet and free wi-fi were limited to non-existent). Its sometimes nice not to plan to much, that way you can adjust as you like without feeling tied to a timetable. Of course not having everything planned out sometime leaves you in lurch at 6 pm.
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Old 09-17-17, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
(stating the obvious(?) Contact the State Parks on your route and ask, they have websites , now.

It's raining again soon , here..
But why should he take initiative and do a little research on his own when he can ask the internet and expect strangers to do the work for him?
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Old 09-17-17, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Timequake
But why should he take initiative and do a little research on his own when he can ask the internet and expect strangers to do the work for him?
Exactly! Saves a lot of hassle.👍
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Old 09-17-17, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Eggman84
Its pretty amazing the information you can get with just a simple road map and a smart phone that has access to the internet. Also amazing how many places you can find free wi-fi (though in places like Yellowstone both the internet and free wi-fi were limited to non-existent). Its sometimes nice not to plan to much, that way you can adjust as you like without feeling tied to a timetable. Of course not having everything planned out sometime leaves you in lurch at 6 pm.
True. But who can accurately plan anything? A broken rim in the middle of nowhere derails everything.
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Old 09-18-17, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann
Most of them are now $5 - $6, but they're still available. At least the ones along the coast in Oregon and California are open year round and I think the same is true in Washington. You're correct that the bridge in Big Sur is to reopen soon but the slide between Gorda and Ragged Pt. will take much longer (not even an estimated schedule). You could ride down to the Kirk Creek campground and then take Ferguson-Nacimiento rd. over the hills inland before rejoining the coastal route in Cambria.
Oregon keeps their hiker/biker sites on the coast open year 'round. However, I'd check on CA. Many times when I have ridden south in the Fall and Spring the state campgrounds around Leggett were closed. While this is inland, not on the coast proper, it is the route most cyclists take, especially during the wet season when the mud on Usul Rd can be a bit of a pain.
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Old 09-18-17, 12:37 PM
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List of WA State Parks hiker/biker sites:

Washington state lists parks with bike/hike campsites Biking Bis
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Old 09-18-17, 12:55 PM
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It just so happens I stopped at one of the California state parks near Santa Barbara last weekend and had a short chat with the ranger. Bikers get a $10/night rate. I thought that sounded a bit high until I found out the standard lodging allowance there is $164/night.
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Old 09-18-17, 09:38 PM
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Just a reminder: If you're going to be checking on campsites, don't forget the county-run campgrounds in NorCal. Humboldt County has a couple as does Sonoma County (critical locations just north and south of Sea Ranch, Gualala and Stillwater). The Sonoma County ones have showers (bring quarters), which not all of the state-run camps on the coast have. There's also a KOA with a pool and hot tub at Manchester Beach which will be open.
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Old 09-19-17, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree
Oregon keeps their hiker/biker sites on the coast open year 'round. However, I'd check on CA. Many times when I have ridden south in the Fall and Spring the state campgrounds around Leggett were closed. While this is inland, not on the coast proper, it is the route most cyclists take, especially during the wet season when the mud on Usul Rd can be a bit of a pain.
Yes, I have seen the same. The seasonal closings in California were kind of spotty and unpredictable my last trip there. At least one park they didn't even follow what they had advertised a few days before.

Personally I'd suggest just not planning stops ahead of the tour and do it on a day to day basis. Just call ahead a day or maybe two. I never know when I will feel like an extra long or extra short day so planning all the stops ahead of time doesn't work well. Also on the coast it is likely that you will fall in with an impromptu group of riders and it may be worth planning the daily mileage to stay with those new friends. I know that I rode alone, but camped with a group of really nice folks most nights. We had a great time together.

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Old 09-19-17, 02:11 PM
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Staying flexible is the key. I found the temperatures started dropping rapidly in the late afternoon. Would go from short sleeves to a jacket, pants and arm warmers in about 15 minutes. The days are much shorter and you may not have the inspiration to ride 2-3 more hours as it gets dark, especially with traffic whizzing by.
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Old 09-21-17, 08:20 PM
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You are likely to find most of those hiker-biker sites empty in the Pacific NW section that time of year. I wish you luck. I've read a few CGOAB journals from intrepid souls that attempted a winter PAC Coast tour, and things were very tough: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/..._id=11559&v=Oe https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/..._id=18577&v=tX

You might be able to camp in closed campgrounds if no one is there, but the water and showers could be off. Plus the wind is very often from the south in the winter, especially very strong during the frequent storms.
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