Author Topic: Arriving late in Portland and reaching Pacific coast  (Read 1609 times)

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Offline mathieud66

Arriving late in Portland and reaching Pacific coast
« on: June 28, 2011, 10:07:15 pm »
Hi !

We’re arriving in Portland july the 12th.  We’re going towards San Francisco by the west coast, using ACA maps   :).  So far, my research on this forum has shown a few options to get out of Portland and reach the west coast.  Coming from Montreal, and arriving around 2 PM, we’ll need to unpack the bikes so we won’t be cycling before 4 PM…  Considering our late start, I guess we’ll need two days to reach the coast, maybe more.  We like to camp but a motel will do.   50 miles  per day is usually more than enough for us, especially at the beginning of a trip…

1.   Highway #6 : Less cars than highway 26, but no services along the way.  A few campgrounds without showers and no grocery store, from what I see…
2.   Highway 26 : More services ?  Lots of cars, from what I’ve read in this forum…
3.   Highway 30 : According to “Bicycling the Pacific Coast”  guide, that would be our best choice, with no camping but lots of motels and services along the way.  But… since we’re headed south, it seems like the wrong way to go… 
4.   Highway 18 towards Lincoln city ?  Seems a good choice since we’re headed south ?

Are there other options ?  What would be our best choice ?

Thank you for your advice !

Mathieu and Jo 

Offline aggie

Re: Arriving late in Portland and reaching Pacific coast
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 10:19:10 pm »
You have one other option.  There is a shuttle that runs twice a day (10am & 3pm) from the Amtrak and bus stations to Tillamook (Tillamook County Transportation District).  They do have bike racks on the front of the shuttle and the cost is about $10 per person.  You may have to spend a night in Portland depending on when you get in. If I had to do it again I'd take the shuttle from Portland.  The ride from Astoria to Tillamook seemed to be non stop high speed traffic. 

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Arriving late in Portland and reaching Pacific coast
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 02:59:09 pm »
There was a post earlier this year with some good info:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=8704.0
and there's probably more from the past. Here's my response from this past thread with a little more info specifically catered to your questions/needs.

As aggie mentioned above, you can also take the Wave bus from Portland Union Station (Amtrak) to Tillamook. $10 one way, 2 round-trips weekdays/Saturday, one Sunday.
http://www.tillamookbus.com/route-schedules.htm#portland

As for riding to the Coast, I HIGHLY recommend the Hillsboro-Astoria route to the Coast.  Hillsboro is a western suburb or Portland that can be reached by MAX light rail.  It's a 100 mile ride, low traffic, beautiful scenery!
http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?&a=316549&c=36638
http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?&a=316550&c=36638

So, if you think you'll be getting into Portland at 2pm and won't have the bikes ready until 4pm, you can hop on the MAX (our regional light rail system) from either PDX (Airport) or Union Station (Amtrak and Greyhound across the street) to Hillsboro, the suburb 20 miles west of Portland where this route starts. You don't mention HOW you'll be getting in though. Amtrak or Greyhound is downtown, which means about an hour transit time to Hillsboro. PDX is on the outskirts east of downtown, which would mean more like 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours to Hillsboro.

The first camping option is Stub Stewart State Park, 20 miles in. You can make it there in time. Key thing to note about Stub Stewart is there is separated and different walk-in and hike-in campsites. I prefer the hike-in, as they are cheaper and divorced from the main camping loops. You will have to navigate a 1/3 mile of gravel road, and the hike-in sites only have pit toilets and water spigots. (Flush toilets and showers are located in the main loops.) If you have the time and energy, you could push on to Vernonia, another 12 miles down the route. It's not as great of a campground as Stewart, but it makes a shorter day for the next day to the coast. You can also push onto Big Eddy campground, 40 miles in if you want to make the second day even shorter.

After Stub Stewart, it would mean an 80 mile day to the coast which is doable if you start early. There isn't much camping on this route. After Big Eddy, the last "official" campground (40 miles in), there is a horse camping site near Jewell that I've heard cyclists can use, but I don't know for sure.

One thing to keep in mind is services are sparse, so be prepared. There's fast food in downtown Hillsboro and grocery stores in Banks and Vernonia. Smaller stores with limited hours and selection are found in Birkenfeld and Olney. Water can be found in the stores/towns plus at the campsites and at the Elk Wildlife preserve in Jewell.

If'n you wanted other options to the coast, check this page here:
http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=36638&a=301633