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Touring Northern Cali and Southern Oregon. Looking for route advice

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Touring Northern Cali and Southern Oregon. Looking for route advice

Old 05-18-12, 01:27 PM
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Touring Northern Cali and Southern Oregon. Looking for route advice

Hi. I'm planning on biking from Mendocino to Santa Cruz then back up to the 199 in Southern Oregon. I'm planning on just taking the 1 all the way south, but was trying to think of the route back. I don't really know the area and would love some advice if anyone has done something similar or knows the area. I would like to take happy camp road over the Siskiyous, but am not sure the best way to get there. Thanks in advance.

~Lyra
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Old 05-18-12, 02:09 PM
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Given the prevailing wind is only a following wind southbound, So

You have to return via the interior..
Question:
would you prefer to visit the Sierra foot hills
go a bit further east, 1849 gold rush tourism a popular theme,
or stay in the Sacramento River valley .. ?

Long ways between Santa Cruz, and the Oregon Border.
So the distance to Redding, has to be considered for route choice.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-19-12 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 05-18-12, 03:18 PM
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First acquire the Kreb's Bike map for Northern California
California North Coast Bicycle Touring Map (Map # C-1)

The very best bicycling guide to the Northern California coast. Covers from the Oregon border to San Francisco in excellent detail. Shows quiet back roads that aren't included in other coastal bike guides. Includes paved and dirt alternate routes, a precise elevation profile of the main route, bike trails, stores, cafes, camping, lodging, points of interest, and much more. Legend in English and German.
Paper $12.00


or the AAA map of NW California. Both will show the route below.

If you do not mind some headwinds and an initial gravel/dirt road section you can reach Happy Camp by heading North on 1 from Mendocino to two miles beyond Rockport after the road turns away from the ocean and starts to climb to the Usal Road turnoff on the left. ( Muddy during the rainy season)

It borders on the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park all the way to Four Corners passing Bear Harbor along the way (nice camping among the elk herd). Continue North on the Chemise Mtn. Road passing the turn off to Shelter Cove on the coast. The road turns into the King's Peak Road through the King Range Nat'l Conservation Area. Follow to the junction with Mattole River Road just West of Honeydew. This is the Lost Coast Route. Go left for some climbing to reach Ferndale five mile from Hwy 101 that leads to Eureka.
From Eureka head North to Arcata on 101 to 299 head East over Lord Ellis Summit (2262 feet); Just beyond the summit take the Bair Road (gravel) through the Hoopa Indian Reservation for 18 miles to junction with Hwy 96 and continue North to Happy Camp then Indian Creek Road over the Siskyous to join 199.
One negative was passing through the Hoopa Reservation on a weekend evening-some hostility from people obviously drinking and driving. The other was heavy log truck traffic on 96 depending on the economy.

Lots of terrain variety and avoids lots of main road traffic. I have enjoyed this route in both directions. The Kreb's map will give give you lots of alternatives that I have not mentioned. I hope this helps you make your choice of route.
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Old 05-19-12, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by arctos
First acquire the Kreb's Bike map for Northern California
California North Coast Bicycle Touring Map (Map # C-1)

The very best bicycling guide to the Northern California coast. Covers from the Oregon border to San Francisco in excellent detail. Shows quiet back roads that aren't included in other coastal bike guides. Includes paved and dirt alternate routes, a precise elevation profile of the main route, bike trails, stores, cafes, camping, lodging, points of interest, and much more. Legend in English and German.
Paper $12.00


or the AAA map of NW California. Both will show the route below.

If you do not mind some headwinds and an initial gravel/dirt road section you can reach Happy Camp by heading North on 1 from Mendocino to two miles beyond Rockport after the road turns away from the ocean and starts to climb to the Usal Road turnoff on the left. ( Muddy during the rainy season)

It borders on the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park all the way to Four Corners passing Bear Harbor along the way (nice camping among the elk herd). Continue North on the Chemise Mtn. Road passing the turn off to Shelter Cove on the coast. The road turns into the King's Peak Road through the King Range Nat'l Conservation Area. Follow to the junction with Mattole River Road just West of Honeydew. This is the Lost Coast Route. Go left for some climbing to reach Ferndale five mile from Hwy 101 that leads to Eureka.
From Eureka head North to Arcata on 101 to 299 head East over Lord Ellis Summit (2262 feet); Just beyond the summit take the Bair Road (gravel) through the Hoopa Indian Reservation for 18 miles to junction with Hwy 96 and continue North to Happy Camp then Indian Creek Road over the Siskyous to join 199.
One negative was passing through the Hoopa Reservation on a weekend evening-some hostility from people obviously drinking and driving. The other was heavy log truck traffic on 96 depending on the economy.

Lots of terrain variety and avoids lots of main road traffic. I have enjoyed this route in both directions. The Kreb's map will give give you lots of alternatives that I have not mentioned. I hope this helps you make your choice of route.
Couple of other options/info: 1.)The Usul turn-off is right around MP 90 on Hwy1.
2.) At Bear Harbor you can take a right on Briceland-Thorn Rd. Take a right on Shelter Cove Rd and then a left on Wilder Ridge Rd. Wilder Ridge takes you to Honeydew. 9 miles west of Honeydew is camp A.W. Way. The advantage of this option is that everything after Usul Rd. is paved.

From the time you get on Usul until you drop into Ferndale, you will be on some very steep climbs. Back when Wilder Ridge wasn't paved we used to regularly crash going uphill due to loss of traction. You'll definitely want some sub 1:1 gearing there. You will also be totally on your own. I rarely see anyone on Usul and you can go for a few hours without seeing anyone on Wilder Ridge. I have often gone from Ferndale to Petrolia and only seen one or two cars. Enjoy the Lost Coast. It's the best.

I'm not a big fan of hwy 299. A couple of decades ago my wife was nearly killed when she was pinned against a rock face by a truck on that road. We eventually ended up on hwy 36 towards the coast and enjoyed it, but only because it was a Sunday and the army of logging trucks were missing.
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