Author Topic: Oregon coast to Missouli routes  (Read 2626 times)

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Offline JourneyingJodi

Oregon coast to Missouli routes
« on: November 16, 2023, 02:25:59 pm »
My husband and I are planning to ride from the Oregon coast to Missoula. How are the Transamerica and the Lewis and Clark trails different? Is either one better in May? We’ll ride 40-60 miles a day, with a combination of camping/hotels and cooking/restaurants. Thanks!

Offline eorogers

Re: Oregon coast to Missouli routes
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2023, 11:44:47 am »
The Louis and Clark route was chosen to follow the historical route as close as possible.  While the ride through the Columbia River Gorge looks incredible, before that you have to get from Astoria to through Portland and after that you have the dry rolling farm lands of the Palouse country until you get to the mountains. 

The TransAm was chosen to be more scenic, spending more time in the Coast range and Cascades. 

Last year I chose to take Amtrak to Albany OR, ride to Waldport on the coast, down to Florence and pick up the TransAm there on the Florence Alternate and joining the Northern Tier in Great Falls.

It was a great ride and while I missed the gorge, I absolutely loved the Oregon Coast, the Coast Range, Oregon Cascades, Blue Mountains, Hells Canyon, and Hwy 12 up to Lolo Pass (shared on both routes) is to die for.

I highly recommend the TransAm to Missoula. 

Use the satellite background on the ACA page and see what you think.


Offline Nyimbo

Re: Oregon coast to Missouli routes
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2023, 02:40:36 pm »
Re routes: I have been on both routes, although I rode from Florence to Missoula on my bicycle and the L&C route by car so it’s not a completely fair comparison, but from what I observed, the TransAm route over the Cascades is the route I would suggest of the two if I had to choose.

I have cycled parts of the Columbia River Gorge. It is a nice ride.

Re the month of May: Please check for recommendations about the timing. I started my ride on Memorial Day and had a good bit of snow going over the pass. Depending on the weather this next winter and spring you may not be able to go over the McKenzie pass earlier in May.

Offline jamawani

Re: Oregon coast to Missouli routes
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2023, 09:20:50 pm »
They are quite different with different rewards and challenges.
The L&C is shorter, more direct; the TransAm is quieter with less traffic.

1. I suggest the Washington side of the Columbia from Astoria.
A but longer, but beautiful and way less traffic.

The highlight of the L&C is the Columbia River Gorge - stunningly beautiful.
Plus, the Mitchell Tunnel should be complete next year.

The drawback is that there are busy sections of US 30 and some riding on I-84 shoulders.
The long, empty stretch east of The Dalles can be monotonous.
If you do the L&C, do NOT ride the US 12 stretch in Idaho, take the Winchester option.

2. The TransAm western section has changed a bit over the years.
It used to go all the way from Astoria to Florence on the coast before heading inland.
US 101 can be pretty busy in summer - and a good deal of the time you are away from the ocean.
The one-way stretch of Old Hwy 101 is magical - but is in the bypassed section.
Depending on when you do this, McKenzie Pass may not be open and you need to use Santiam Pass.
There is a small window in the late spring when McKenzie is open to cyclists/hikers only.

Eastern Oregon is gorgeous with adequate services for cyclists.
The Snake River Canyon is HOT in late summer. Whitebird Summit is a killer.

Photos -
Biker/Hiker only stretch of the Historic Columbia Highway
Ocean view, One-lane stretch of Old Hwy 101
« Last Edit: November 20, 2023, 02:27:06 am by jamawani »

Offline JourneyingJodi

Re: Oregon coast to Missouli routes
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2023, 10:11:08 pm »
Thank you all, that’s very helpful info!