Southern Oregon Coast Tour
Oregon’s official Coast Bike Route is a monumental journey from Astoria at the north terminus to the California border at the southern end. But at 368 miles, it requires a substantial time commitment to do the whole stretch at once. For a three-day journey that encompasses the best of coastal riding, try this segment of easily managed days between 50 and 55 miles.
Start in Florence, a bustling beach town with plenty of good places to stay, eat and play. Head south with the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area to your right and a series of coastal lakes: Woahink, Siltcoos and Tahkenitch on your left, before a substantial climb of about 400 feet before reaching Reedsport, situated alongside Winchester Bay. After Reedsport you’ll pass the Umpqua Lighthouse and more monstrous dunes before rolling into the North Bend/Coos Bay area, where you’ll be directed off Highway 101 onto the Cape Arago Highway. When you reach the ruggedly beautiful cape, choose between Bastendorf County Park and Sunset Bay State Park, which both offer designated bike campsites. Mileage: approx. 55.
On day two, you’ll start with some hard work. As you head south on Seven Devils and Beaver Hill roads, you’ll ascend more than 500 feet for a series of sharp rollers before dropping back down to Highway 101 just north of the bucolic seaside village of Bandon. Near Bandon you’ll be routed off 101 again for a stretch of spectacularly rocky coastline near Face Rock. After reconnecting with 101 for some peaceful pastureland stretches, choose either camping at Cape Blanco State Park or lodging in charming Port Orford. Mileage: approx. 50.
On the final day, get ready for some stunning scenery. After a series of rollers between Port Orford and Gold Beach, you’ll scale mighty Cape Sebastian, the highest point on the Oregon Coast. It’s hard work, but the descent down the other side to the Pistol River is positively scintillating, as you can see long stretches of rocky headlands punctuated by golden beaches. There’s more up-and-down before dropping down onto Harris Beach, a jewel of the southern coast and a great camping spot, or roll on into Brookings, which offers plenty of lodging (good suggestion: South Coast Inn B&B) and other amenities. Mileage: approx. 55.
Getting There: Florence is at the intersection of Highway 101 and Highway 126, west of Eugene and roughly halfway down the coast.