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Washington/Orgeon 101 campsites

Old 10-23-11, 02:42 AM
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Washington/Orgeon 101 campsites

Hi everyone. I will be riding down the 101 as far as possible to get to Medford in the next week or so. I am wanting to stay in campgrounds as much as possible, as opposed to stealth camping, for safety reasons. I was wondering if there was a website or map that would show what campsites are open year round. Anyone able to point me in the correct direction? Thank you for any help.
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Old 10-23-11, 07:42 AM
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The Oregon Department of Transportation has a great map of the route with all the info you need. If you don't have one before then pick one up at the bike shop in Astoria when you get there.

I'd stick with the ODOT map for Oregon, but Adventure Cycling also sells nice pacific coast maps and the book Bicycling The Pacific Coast by Kirkendall and Spring is good as well. They will be helpful for the rest of the trip.

FWIW I didn't care much for the Washington section of the AC route and if doing it again would either stay closer to the coast or just skip Washington.

Not sure what the weather is typically like at the time you are going, but you might be getting into the wet season. Maybe someone who knows better will pipe up on that.
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Old 10-23-11, 11:11 AM
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Oregon Coast Bike Route Map including campgrounds.

For seasonal closings of Oregon State Parks see here.

Other Oregon State Park advisories are here.

For the county and private campgrounds you will probably have to search around on the web or call.

Sorry, can't help with Washington.

Last edited by simplygib; 10-23-11 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 10-23-11, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
FWIW I didn't care much for the Washington section of the AC route and if doing it again would either stay closer to the coast or just skip Washington.
that was exactly the opinion of the fellow I ended up riding with down Oregon and Cali. I started in Oregon and he had come thru Wash. and pretty much said the same as you. If I were to do that trip again, I would certainly not hit Wash. going from a few opinions on it such as yours.
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Old 10-23-11, 06:08 PM
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If you go down the coast of the Olympic Peninsula (which is really nice but could be REALLY rainy this time of year), some things to keep in mind are La Push, where they will let you camp for free on the beach, and the Rainforest Hostel, which is located around 30 miles south of Forks.
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Old 10-24-11, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
that was exactly the opinion of the fellow I ended up riding with down Oregon and Cali. I started in Oregon and he had come thru Wash. and pretty much said the same as you. If I were to do that trip again, I would certainly not hit Wash. going from a few opinions on it such as yours.
To be fair, my opinion was based on riding the AC route from Bremerton down. I think it goes more inland than some alternate routes.

I have heard others say they liked the route they rode. One of the other posters here (Raybo) did a more coastal route and spoke highly of it. I have no first hand experience there.

I did meet some guys from the Seattle area who said that they live in Washington and still prefer to start in Astoria Oregon.
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Old 10-24-11, 07:41 AM
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I rode the "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" (Kirkendall/Spring) route through Washington in 1992, starting in Seattle. I took the ferry to Bremerton, then rode along Hood Canal to join the route around Shelton. Much of the Washington section was through trees (and tree farms). I like trees, but when that's all you can see it gets boring, especially in a tree farm where they're all uniform and uniformly spaced. Parts of the coast were nice - Willapa Bay and the section just north of the Columbia. However, then I had to ride across the bridge into Astoria, which was frightening. I continued all the way to Santa Cruz, CA.

When I had the chance to revisit the area I skipped the Washington section and just did the Oregon coast from Astoria down to Crescent City, California. That was the best part of the first ride.
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Old 10-24-11, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
One of the other posters here (Raybo) did a more coastal route and spoke highly of it.
I rode from Bellingham, WA down to Newberg, OR in August, 2011. I followed the ACA route to Port Townsend (through Fidalgo and Whidby Islands) and spent the night in Quilcene. I stayed in a motel but there was a county campground right across the street.

I then headed down the Hood Canal on 101 and stayed in Shelton (Warm Showers). At Shelton, I sorta followed the ACA route toward Elma, but continued west toward the coast instead of south like the ACA runs. I took 107, 101, and 105 to the coast. I stayed on 105 to Raymond where I switched to 101 all the way down to 4. I followed 4 all the way to the Columbia at Cathlamet. You can read my journal with hundreds of photos, if you want more details. Here is the route I rode from Track My Tour.

I had great weather (it only rained on the first day) and while there are lots of trees, the time I spent on the coast provided a great deal of terrain and vista variety. Yes, there were lots of trees, but also coastal wetlands, streams, hills, and distant mountain views.

Frankly, the ride from Westport (Oregon side of Cathlamet ferry) to Astoria and then down to Tillamook wasn't as nice as the rides I did in Washington as there was more traffic and fewer coastal views.

Ray

Last edited by raybo; 10-24-11 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Add Track my Tour route
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Old 10-24-11, 08:40 PM
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Slightly off-topic here, but how are you getting to Medford from the coast? If by bike, it would be great if you would share your route as well as your assessment of it. Thanks.
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Old 10-25-11, 02:58 AM
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Thanks for all the help, I will be riding down from Vancouver B.C., along the coast as much as possible. Not completely sure which highway from 101 to Medford. Once done, I will let you know the route.
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Old 10-25-11, 03:56 AM
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Gold beach, rogue river valley, up to grants pass then to medford would be my suggestion.
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Old 10-27-11, 02:54 AM
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Thanks, fietsbob, I never saw that on the map. That is the way I will take. Much more of a direct route. Have you travelled it before? I am wondering about hills.
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Old 10-27-11, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Gold beach, rogue river valley, up to grants pass then to medford would be my suggestion.

If you are talking about the route between Gold beach and Grants Pass (it is called Bear Camp road -Agness to Galice), be aware that it is one of the toughest climbs in the state. It climbs up to 4500 feet, single lane most of the way. With that said, it is a great route. Virtually traffic free! I climbed it fully loaded about a month ago and it was one of my favorite sections.

Just be prepared for a significant, major climb. First gear for hours.
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Old 10-27-11, 12:17 PM
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I don't know of any maps online, but most decent state highway maps will include all the state campgrounds. As far as Washington campgrounds on 101 go: It sounds like you'll be going at a nice clip. I'm not so sure what's available between Port Townsend and Crescent Lake, but there's a nice campground (Fairholme) at the west side of Crescent Lake. Bogachiel, 3 miles outside of Forks, is a small underused campground with a couple hiker/biker spots. Depending on your speed you can stop at Kalaloch, 30 miles past, or take a short (3 miles) detour to a beautiful campground on Lake Quinault about 60 miles from Bogachiel. I didn't stay here, but about 80 miles after Quinault is Bruceport in South Bend, which some randoms I met on the road said is a nice place. Then you're in Oregon for the next night, and I'm clueless there.

It's worth mentioning: If you're taking 101 all the way, the section along Willapa Bay is stunningly beautiful. It is also a winding, windy 55mph highway with absolutely no shoulder and trees to create stacks of blind corners. If you've got lights, use them. It really is a lovely stretch but can be harrowing. If you don't want to deal with the risk, take 4 to 401 and come at the Astoria Bridge from the other side.

The Astoria Bridge is also fast with no shoulder, can buffet you with sidewinds, and finishes with a nice climb. Fun times!
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Old 10-27-11, 12:31 PM
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101 to Medford

I've never have done Bear Camp road - I really want to do it some day. I think that would be a great choice.

Another option, is the Tour De Fronds route that Cycle Oregon used this year, but head to Canyonville then Tiller to White City.


Or maybe something like this. This is what Goggle Maps recomended, but I don't trust Goggle to use only paved roads. you'd have to check to see if this route is paved.

(I just slapped these together using Google Maps - they might not be exact)

Last edited by mtnbud; 10-27-11 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 10-27-11, 12:37 PM
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4500 feet, good chance of snow at this time of year I assume. How long did it take you to ride over? I understand we are different riders, just want a reference.
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Old 10-27-11, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by busted knuckles
4500 feet, good chance of snow at this time of year I assume. How long did it take you to ride over? I understand we are different riders, just want a reference.
I rode from Indian Mary Campground (near Galice) to Gold Beach. It was approx. 72 miles, 6:48 riding/moving time, with 5730 feet ascent, 6540 feet descent. I consider myself a strong climber and I took probably 3 hours to climb from the east.

The road is not maintained in winter, so snow may be an issue. No snow right now, but it will be coming. Not to be morbid or disrespectful, but google Bear Camp Road and Kim family to get an idea of the road and the seriousness of winter.
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Old 10-27-11, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tominbend
If you are talking about the route between Gold beach and Grants Pass (it is called Bear Camp road -Agness to Galice), be aware that it is one of the toughest climbs in the state. It climbs up to 4500 feet, single lane most of the way. With that said, it is a great route. Virtually traffic free! I climbed it fully loaded about a month ago and it was one of my favorite sections.

Just be prepared for a significant, major climb. First gear for hours.
Keep your eye on the weather and check with ODOT for closures if you take this route. That road is not maintained in winter and closes every year. No snow yet, but it could come soon. Lows are hitting freezing now at Grants Pass which is at about 900 feet elevation. That route is the one where James Kim died in early Dec. 2006 when he and his family were stranded in snow there.

EDIT: Oops, I see TominBend posted essentially the same thing while I was typing. Sorry!


Last edited by simplygib; 10-27-11 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 10-27-11, 05:47 PM
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Are you going to take the ferry down from BC? and if so are you planning on coming into Port Angeles or Seattle?

If you're taking recommendations, I'd come in by ferry to Seattle, roll down the waterfront to the Bainbridge Island ferry, and then cross the Kitsap peninsula to the floating bridge to connect with highway 101 on the Hood Canal side of the Olympic peninsula. There is a camping spot on the beach Oly Peninsula side of the bridge on the far side of the bridge if you only want a short run that day, or you can back on another 30ish and stay at fort warden near Port Townsend. Pretty upscale campground, but is is absolutely gorgeous. Probably one of my favorite I've ever been. And Port Townsend is a great town and incredibly bike friendly place to ride into. Also, I recommend planning a lunch stop at Fat Smitty's about half way between Townsend and Angeles. its a landmark. I'm not too good past Port Angeles as far as camping goes, but the elwha is just past Port Angeles and farther out toawrds/around the horn there is also hoh, North fork and Ozette. I'm pretty sure they've all got running water.
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Old 11-27-11, 01:50 AM
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Thanks for all your help. I made it to California, I left Bellingham Wa on the first of the month, rode into california on the 21. I had a surprise companion, my mom decided to come with me. Had no problems with finding campsites. We used the adventure cycling map through washington, and then just rode down 101 from Astoria. My mom had to go back to canada from astoria, so I was solo through oregon. We both loved it, we will probably start out in astoria again this spring and continue down 101.

I did not go east to medford, I will hit it on the way north when I ride the bus back. We averaged about 40 miles per day. Usually starting around 9am and riding to 3pm. It was a really fun trip, as heavy as the bike was, it went quite effortlessly. My mom did really well. She does not ride very much, I am very proud of her. We are looking forward to touring again.
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Old 11-27-11, 12:28 PM
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very cool that your mother went with you for part of it, neat experience that I hope to share more with my kids as they get older (we've done some little stuff)
I hope the weather wasnt too bad and that winds werent too much in Oregon. Where did you get down to?

again, good on your mom for doing that. Will be a great memory down the road.
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Old 11-27-11, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by busted knuckles
Thanks for all your help. I made it to California, I left Bellingham Wa on the first of the month, rode into california on the 21. I had a surprise companion, my mom decided to come with me. Had no problems with finding campsites. We used the adventure cycling map through washington, and then just rode down 101 from Astoria. My mom had to go back to canada from astoria, so I was solo through oregon. We both loved it, we will probably start out in astoria again this spring and continue down 101.

I did not go east to medford, I will hit it on the way north when I ride the bus back. We averaged about 40 miles per day. Usually starting around 9am and riding to 3pm. It was a really fun trip, as heavy as the bike was, it went quite effortlessly. My mom did really well. She does not ride very much, I am very proud of her. We are looking forward to touring again.
Hi Knuckles! Great trip! What was your route through Washington...I'm considering a side trip to Seattle off of the TransAm this summer. I may go pretty much straight through Vashon Island into Tacoma and south through Centrailia, and back onto the ACA route.
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Old 11-27-11, 01:29 PM
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from 10-27 "I am wondering about hills".
Yea, like the road down the coast doesn't have any..
glad you had a good time.
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