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August 3-11, 2024

Entry fee: $600

$50 deposit due at registration, payable by credit card.

Balance of $550 due April 15, payable by check.

Registration opens at 7:00 PM, February 12, 2024

Tour led by Bill Oetinger & Peter Verbiscar-Brown

Click for tour booklet

A tour exploring the Coast Range of Oregon: the wooded hills, ridges, and meadows between the Willamette Valley and the ocean beaches. This fills in the gap in the coastal hills between the Northwest Oregon Tour out of Corvallis (2012, 2019) and the Southern Oregon Tour out of Ashland (2005, 2014).

Stages 1, 2, and 7 are in the foothills, woods, or farm fields of the Willamette Valley, on the inland flank of the mountains. A small part of Stage 3, all of Stage 4, and about half of Stage 5—adding up to 110 miles—head south along the coast. Only 43 of those miles are on the main (busy) coastal highway. The rest are on quiet side roads nearby. And while we are on “the coast” for 110 miles, fewer than 20 of those miles actually have the ocean in sight.

In between the Willamette Valley and the coast are the medium-sized mountains of the Coast Range, usually within the Siuslaw National Forest: fir and broadleaf forest, rumpled ridges, verdant meadows, and deep, creek-cut canyons. Small towns sometimes but also long stretches of nothing but wilderness.

Doing all the longer options would yield an average of 65 miles and 3400’ of gain each day: a fairly challenging tour but not a monster. There are longer and shorter options every day except for Stages 2 and 3. Doing the shorter routes—averaging a little less than 57 miles a day—should put the tour within reach of many moderate riders.

One night in a resort hotel at the beach (after Stage 3). Seven nights of camping: one primitive camp, five full-service campgrounds (with showers), and one night on a small-town high school campus.


Drive from Santa Rosa to Swartz Park on Dorena Lake, SE of town of Cottage Grove, Oregon (8-9 hrs).

First and last nights of tour in a group site at the beautiful park. Store car pool fleet for the week at the USDA Dorena Genetic Research Center next door to park. Cars will be parked behind a high fence and locked gate.


Stage 1: Dorena Lake to Marcola

58 miles, 2000’ up, 2200’ down (no long options)

60 miles, 2200’ up, 2400’ down (with only long option #2)

71 miles, 2500’ up, 2700’ down (with only long option #1)

73 miles, 2700’ up, 2900’ down (with both long options)

Although a fairly long stage, at least with the longer options, it should not be the hardest. Longer routes get most of their extra miles with a nearly level loop around Dorena Lake, much of it on a beautiful bike path. After leaving the lake and returning to the outskirts of Cottage Grove, we head north on flat or rolling roads near I-5. Then a mildly hilly meander over to Dexter Lake and a mostly level run along the Willamette River, into and through the small city of Springfield (three miles of urban riding). North of Springfield, over ten more miles of rolling countryside—woods and meadows—to the village of Marcola. Stay on the campus of the town high school. Showers.


Stage 2: Marcola to Alsea Falls

66 miles, 2900’ up, 2600’ down

First 30 miles are a mix of woods and farm fields and two small towns…rolling terrain. Next 20 miles cross the flat, fertile Willamette Valley—alfalfa fields, hazelnut groves and two more small towns. We finish off with the wonderful Alsea River National Back Country Byway, including one substantail climb-and-descent. Camp at Alsea Falls. No showers but potable water. Short hike to pretty Alsea Falls.


Stage 3: Alsea Falls to Yachats

62 miles, 3000’ up, 3800’ down

The rest—and maybe the best—of the Alsea River National Back Country Byway, plus Lobster Valley and the Alsea Highway along the Alsea River…all superb bike roads. Overnight at Adobe Resort on the beach, just north of the seaside village of Yachats. Restaurant at the resort or bike or hike into town for more dinner options. Full breakfast at resort.


Stage 4: Yachats to Honeyman State Park Group Site

53 miles, 3400’ up, 3400’ down

61 miles, 4100’ up, 4100’ down

South on Coast Hwy, with two out-&-backs on the longer route and one on the shorter route. (Out-&-back on short route is an essential part of stage, not optional.) Four other side-road detours off the highway for both routes. Camp at Honeyman State Park. Showers. Group sites off by themselves near Woahink Lake, away from the main camp.


Stage 5: Honeyman State Park Group Site to Smith River Campground

47 miles, 2500’ up, 2500’ down

62 miles, 3300’ up, 3300’ down

A 6-mile loop off the highway around Woahink Lake at the start, plus an optional out-&-back to pad the miles for the long route. Then south down the Coast Hwy to north of Reedsport. Turn inland on Lower Smith River Road—a lovely, quiet byway—and follow the river all the way to Smith River Campground. Showers. Plenty of space for a group. (Not the Smith River in NorCal…another river and a really nice one.)


Stage 6: Smith River Campground to Fern Ridge Lake

57 miles, 3600’ up, 3300’ down

66 miles, 4300’ up, 4000’ down

Probably the hardest day, with four summits, including two big ones: Oxbow and Wolf Creek. Short route does the big climbs but bypasses some miles late in the day. Early miles along the same sublime road as yesterday, through the middle of nowhere. More woods and farm fields and rural-residential later on as we head to Richardson Park on the shore of Fern Ridge Lake, just west of Eugene. Showers.


Stage 7: Fern Ridge Lake to Dorena Lake

50 miles, 2400’ up, 2000’ down

66 miles, 3700’ up, 3300’ down

Many mellow valley miles through woods and farm fields but some husky climbing too. Both routes do four climbs and the long route adds two more. Through the historic town of Cottage Grove, with a nice bike path out the far side of town and quiet roads to the finish. Overnight at Swartz Park on the shore of Dorena Lake, where the tour began. Showers. Group sites. Retrieve cars.


Drive back to Santa Rosa (8-9 hrs).

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