Author Topic: Kelso/Longview to Astoria  (Read 2411 times)

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Offline Max!

Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« on: June 03, 2013, 02:46:02 am »
I'm planning on riding from the Amtrak station at Kelso/Longview to Astoria (and then down the coast) and I'm hoping for some advice, from what I can see there are three potential ways to make the trip from Kelso/Longview,WA to Astoria.

#1) Cross into Oregon right away across the Lewis and Clark Bridge - this looks like about 53 miles
http://goo.gl/maps/tJ054

#2) Use the ferry - 59 miles
http://goo.gl/maps/Sa4yw

#3) Staying in WA until the Astoria bridge which looks like it is 75 miles and well, this looks like the worst option. . .

My IT band is acting up, so minimizing hills on the first day of riding would be nice. . . the second concern is of course traffic and shoulder width.

Thanks!

Online adventurepdx

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Re: Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 03:11:39 am »
Max! My question for you is: Do you need to get to Astoria in a day? And are you set on de-training at Kelso? (Okay, I asked two questions, so sue me.)

If you were coming down from the north, you could get off at Centralia, WA and then ride out using SR 6 to the coast and pick up 101 at Raymond. SR 6 has some rolling hills but is a relatively easy and pretty quiet way to get out to the coast. This routing would of course be longer at about 110 miles, so it would be a two day ride. Here is the rough route:
https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Centralia+Amtrak,+Centralia,+WA+98531+(Centralia+Amtrak)&daddr=Astoria,+OR&hl=en&sll=46.71747,-122.953062&sspn=0.006341,0.013797&geocode=FR7ayAIdmuKr-Cnxe4bAKl6RVDEI8cTGuFEV1A%3BFWzFwAIdK3ye-CmL-5UJRHuTVDG_ihuh8XLd9w&oq=astor&dirflg=b&mra=ls&t=m&z=9&lci=bike
(Note: Google Maps routes you on the "Willapa Hills Trail". Much of this trail is not improved and there are lots of washed-out or unrideable bridges and rough surfaces. Best to stick to SR 6.)
You could camp at Bruceport County Park outside of South Bend, which would be about 70 miles from Centralia.

If coming from the south, you can get off at Portland and take "Route One" from this link out to Astoria:
http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/301633
Also about 100 miles, but can be broken into two days.

If you do want to get out to Astoria in a day, and want to de-train at Kelso, I'd probably go with option one that you listed as it's the fastest. All of those options use high-traffic roads that sometimes lack shoulders, and you will be hitting a few good hills that you really can't avoid.  I despise the Lewis and Clark Bridge, but others find it less odious. Option two might be the least hilly, though.

Offline Max!

Re: Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 03:34:44 am »
Thanks AdventurePDX. . . Train tickets to Longview/Kelso have been bought and whle we could just get off the train early we do need to get to Astoria that same day as we have paid for hotel reservations too! We plan on camping the whole rest of the trip, but well, we figured we would treat ourselves on the first day and allow ourselves an opportunity to explore Astoria a little on day 2.

I've never been across the Lewis and Clark bridge (at least via bike) so I don't hold any specific grudges against it. . . what is so bad about it?

Online adventurepdx

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Re: Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 12:37:06 pm »
I've never been across the Lewis and Clark bridge (at least via bike) so I don't hold any specific grudges against it. . . what is so bad about it?

For me, it's not just the fact that it's narrow, busy, and has a good climb on each side. It's the woodchips and other logging debris that litters the narrow shoulder. I got a flat on that bridge years ago because of the unavoidable debris. (Well, you could avoid it if you wanted to get into that busy lane...) I don't hear this complaint from STP riders, but I'm guessing that they get around to sweeping it right before the event.

Another thing to note: The Westport Ferry is a pretty cool experience. If you choose to go that route, make sure you check the schedule, as it only runs hourly.
http://www.cathlametchamber.com/ferry_schedule.php

Offline Max!

Re: Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 01:15:14 pm »
Well I did the STP, so I must have gone over that bridge! I think that was the one where they stages everyone had had the goldwings bring people across in groups. Well I'll talk it over with the other rider and we'll figure it out.

Offline jamawani

Re: Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 12:52:39 am »
I have ridden both sides of the river - plus used the Longview Bridge and Puget Island Ferry.
Generally, US 30 has wide shoulders but lots of traffic.  Hwy 4 is narrower, but far less traffic and scenic.
The Longview Bridge sucks - I've heard that they have tried to inmprove it - but how?
It's old, pretty narrow, way high above the river and lots of industrial traffic - super scary.
The Puget Island Ferry is a delight - and Cathlamet town, esp. the riverfront, is charming.
The really nice riding is Hwy 4 thru Skamokawa and Grays River - but it is much longer.
Plus, Astoria bridge is not for the uninitiated - its length and the high span require confidence.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 10:54:02 am by jamawani »

Offline Pat

Re: Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 12:11:58 pm »
Hi Max,

I am happy Kelso / Longview has baggage service.  We had wanted to get off at Kelso / Longview, but the train did not allow anything out of the baggage car.  The only stuff you could take off the train was carry-on, and they did not allow bikes in the passenger cars.

Happy Trails,

Pat

Offline Max!

Re: Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2013, 06:21:20 pm »
Yep Pat, I can confirm that bikes are allowed to be removed in kel so since we had tickets. We plan on ending in Albany, Or which also has that option.

Offline jamawani

Re: Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2013, 08:43:24 pm »
I know you are not planning on more time but - - Steamboat Slough Rd is da best.

The back road thru the Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge from Cathlamet to Skamokawa -
Is almost never taken - even by those who ride Hwy 4 thru Grays Valley.
It has almost no traffic - and some of the finest expansive views of the Lower Columbia.
Plus there's the fabulous Vista Park with camping at Skamokawa.

It would take massive rain and killer headwinds to make this stretch anything less than great.

Offline Max!

Re: Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2013, 08:57:45 pm »
I will give that some serious consideration!  Follow up question for anyone who has done the Oregon coast: what is the likelihood for camp fires at the bike in sites?

Offline Max!

Re: Kelso/Longview to Astoria
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2013, 01:39:35 am »
@ Pat, I might of misinterpreted your earlier email. To be clear I have tickets for our bikes, we are not boxing them.