Author Topic: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route  (Read 1408 times)

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Offline RogerinNYC

Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« on: April 27, 2012, 02:42:01 pm »
Starting my cross-country adventure in mid-June, mainly on the Northern Tier, but starting in Oregon on Lewis & Clark first and then connecting up in Glacier. I've done a bunch of searches here, as well as looked at the Portland bike maps available from Oregon Dept. of State, and I'm being tempted to skip ACA's recommended Route 30 to Portland and go with Route 202 down into Veronia and Banks. Yes, I know the latter has way less facilities, but, from anyone who knows both, is it better biking? It sounds more rural, with way less traffic (although missing Rte 30's ginormous shoulders).

Also, can anyone share their preferences for starting in Seaside (other than ability to do the Pacific wheel dip) vs. Astoria, or vice versa?

Thanks.

Offline aggie

Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 02:56:57 pm »
If you haven't already, check out this website http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=34809.

Online jamawani

Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 05:56:42 pm »
Have done a range of routes from Astoria east - -
(Did my grad research on thed Lower Columbia)

1st x-USA trip was on US 30 - - bleah!

OR 202 is way nicer - there are sufficient facilities -
Been a while - but the traffic was almost nonexistent after you get out of the Astoria area.
Vernonia is about 60 miles from Astoria and has great camping and bike-oriented facilities.

For my money, WA 4 across the river is the ticket.
It means riding across the Astoria bridge - woo-hoo!
(Or getting a shuttle if you aren't ready for that.)

I like Cape Disappointment way more than Fort Stevens.
The coastline at CD is rugged - at FS it's a sand spit.

Then the ride along the Columbia River is spectacular in places.
I would suggest riding down to Chinook (a bit busy)
Then up to Naselle - then east to Skamokawa and Cathlamet.
There's a back road thru Columbia Wildlife Refuge right on the river.

Skamokawa and Cathlamet are both wonderful Lower Columbia fishing communities -
Beautiful campground on the river at Skamokawa -
Marina at Cathlamet which permits camping on riverbank.

If you are heading east on the L & C - you can stay on the north side -
And skirt the northern suburbs of Vancouver, WA.
WA 4 does get a little busy at 8 and 4 with little shoulder heading into Longview.

Or you can take the Cathlamet ferry - a nice feeling -
And either do US 30 - or climb up OR 47 to Vernonia.

You really can't beat Skamokawa and Cathlamet -
To give the start of your trip a nice feeling.

Offline RogerinNYC

Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 06:08:34 pm »
Great info! Thanks so much -- will definitely use!

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 10:14:20 pm »
Here's a pertinent link to an old forum post that contains other pertinent links to other older forum posts:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=9240.msg46341#msg46341

I do recommend taking the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia trail into Portland. It is very rural and very quiet in terms of traffic and people. Links to maps:
http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?&a=316549&c=36638
http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?&a=316550&c=36638

I've never taken 30 the full way from Astoria to Portland, just the portion from Portland-Rainier and Clatskanie-Wesport, so I've missed the worst parts of US 30. But even that little bit makes me prefer the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia routing.

There aren't many services, but there's just enough. Make sure you're stocked when leaving Astoria, as there isn't another full service grocery until Vernonia, about 70 miles down the road. Only a couple of country markets with short hours in between.

The route from Astoria to Hillsboro (Portland westside suburb) is 100 miles. You can break it into two days by camping at Big Eddy County Park which is about 60 miles in. Few, if any, lodging options are found on this route so if you are doing a credit card tour you should be prepared to do the 100 miles in a straight shot. Possible, but there are two small passes to contend with on the route.

I agree with Jamawani that Cape Disappointment on the WA side of the Columbia is a good place to  camp. The four-mile Astoria-Megler Bridge is feared by some, but I didn't find the bridge to be that horrible. (However, the Lewis and Clark Bridge at Longview, while shorter, I find worse.) If you don't want to ride across you can always take the city bus:
http://www.pacifictransit.org/routes/rt24-50.html

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 10:21:12 pm »
And somewhat tangentally:
I wish that ACA either used the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia option (or some variation of it) in their Lewis and Clark routing, or offered it as an alternate. I'm guessing that they wanted to stick to 30 since it hugs the Columbia River, which is the route Lewis and Clark used to get to the coast. But 30 through here is less-than-pleasant, and 202/47/Banks-Vernonia is such a better routing, in my opinion.

I also would love it if Spring and Kirkendall would include the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia Route if/when they update their great Bicycling the Pacific Coast book. They also have given 30 or US 26 (meh) as the options for getting out to the Coast from Portland. Feels more like an afterthought than anything else.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 10:40:56 pm »
Okay, one more time and I'll shut up (for now ;) )

If you didn't want to go into Hillsboro and the westside Portland suburbs from the 47/202 option, simply take a left onto Scappoose-Vernonia Highway after Big Eddy Park. This road will bring you to US 30 just north of the town of Scappoose which is north of Portland. There's quite a climb on Scappoose-Vernonia Hwy but not much traffic, and 30 between Scappoose and Portland, while not thrilling, has ample shoulders. The turn is before the town of Vernonia with its grocery store but there is a big Fred Meyer market in Scappoose.

Offline RogerinNYC

Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 07:25:22 am »
Thanks, Adventurepdx. It was your earlier posts on this forum that triggered my thinking about taking something other than Rte 30. This additional info is very helpful and inspiring!