Author Topic: Pacific Coast Route  (Read 4082 times)

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Offline randyberlin

Re: Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2011, 10:24:39 pm »
I did the ACA coast route from Bellingham Wa. to Santa Rosa Ca.  in 3 weeks starting in late September and hit a lot more rain than is usual but I still loved it. And because you're from England you won't even notice it. Like the riders above I would also recomend the ACA Washington Parks route through Forks. The forests and wildlife are really something.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 10:26:49 pm by randyberlin »

Offline staehpj1

Re: Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2011, 07:51:49 am »
How much of this you get to see will depend on your time frame and willingness to explore. The coast at Kalaloch is a worthy stop.

I agree with cgargh. Going the "long way" around the Olympic Peninsula can be great, but the key thing is to plan on exploring off the route. My girlfriend and I did an Olympic Peninsula tour in July of 2010. It was awesome! We planned on exploring as much of the area as possible. There are not that many things in Olympic National Park easily accessible from US 101 (the main route). Lake Crescent, Lake Quinault, and the beaches around Kalaloch come to mind. Everything else is a 10 to 20 mile (15 to 30 km) one-way side trip off the route. If you don't take the time to take side trips to places like Olympic Hot Springs, Sol Duc Hot Springs, Ruby Beach, or the Hoh Rain Forest, you'll mostly see various stages of forest, a couple small towns, and not much else. (101 stays inland except for the section around Kalaloch.)

That makes me think that I personally would prefer to either start in Astoria or just take the shorter quicker route through Washington.  Personal preference entirely, but I hate having to go off route much for anything.  I don't necessarily mind an indirect route but out and back side trips I am almost always inclined to skip.  The exception might be side hikes, but when I am on the bike I want to be progressing along my route.  A longer detour I might take, but an out and back detour I only do if it is very short, unless there is something exceptional I really want to see or do there.   That almost never happens for me.

On the other hand I might feel differently if I did a trip that was planned to be a meander rather than a point to point tour.

Offline Norsman

Re: Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2011, 07:07:21 pm »
I did the route in Sept/Oct 2009 and loved it.  There were only three or four days of rain but foggy much more often.  I used three sources of information for route planning, a book, Bicycling the Pacific Coast by Kirkendall and Spring, a pamphlet, the Oregon Department of Transport map for cycling the coast, and the ACA maps.  I only purchased the ACA maps for California because I was not impressed with the route ACA chose through Washington and the ODOT map for the Oregon Coast gave me all the information I needed.  For California I found the ACA maps more detailed and more up to date than the book and would highly recommend them.

Kirkendall and Spring state in their book that they averaged 53 miles (85km) per day to do the trip from Vancouver to San Diego, which worked out to 35 days of cycling.  That should give you an idea of how long it should take you.  The route is not particularly difficult.  There are very few serious hills, most in Northern California, but there is a lot of short up and down hills that can be a bit of a challenge over a full day, mostly in Northern California and Oregon.

Below I have listed some useful links for planning purposes.

ACA Maps online: http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/

ODOT Maps: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/maps.shtml#ODOT_Maps

Washington State Parks by Region: http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/

Oregon State Parks by Region: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/searchpark.php

California Parks by Region:  http://www.parks.ca.gov/parkindex/

On the ODOT site there is a link to Greg Current to get a hard copy of the maps.  Try and see if you can get them sent to you.  They sent them to me in Canada so they will probably send them to the UK as well.  The coast map is very useful and I would recommend most of the alternate routes with the exception of the Seven Devils route that I took and was not impressed with and the Three Capes route which just looked too difficult. Maybe on another trip I will try it.

There shouldn't be too much problem getting into a park in Washington or Oregon but some of the California parks may be closed when you are planning to travel.  Some of the California parks also seem to be eliminating their hiker/biker sites so it may help to travel with others through some sections. There are also many county parks along the coast so if there is not a state park check county web sites.  I stayed in two county parks that were good.  Both had hiker/biker sections.

Offline twalls

Re: Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2012, 04:04:35 pm »
I rode the OR and WA parts of the PCR in Sept/Oct of 2011.  Here are some notable points:The scenery was spectacular.  Even the inland portion of WA was most enjoyable.  I would except from this the Bremerton portion  where we went through one section at rush hour: hills, almost no shoulder, not pleasant. Some people had suggested taking 101 south on the west side of Hood Canal, where the scenery is great, and there are lots of good camping sites.  I think the ACA route may not have gone this way, because of the narrow road in places, with blind corners and log trucks.  I have seen a few brave souls on bikes on it, though.The weather was not great for many of the days on this trip.  Southerly winds, lots of rain, many days holed up in motel rooms, which ran the expense up quite a bit.  So definitely not the wonderful fall days the west coast is supposed to have.  Tim