Great! Now the image of that cheeseburger will be etched in my mind the whole way up there.
It is more than Okay to bypass Redding, takeing 36 from Redbluff. Just be sure to prepare yourself for the heat. Late June and early July can easily be anywhere from mid-80's to well over 110F. Not as humid as Texas, but it is a long ride and anytime you are below about 2500 ft elevation, you will be feeling it. And then when you cross the ridge to the coast, the temps can drop as much as 40 degrees in a mile or so. Have fun!
Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS >137,000 miles -- Black, 01/10/2000 to present
Gone: White '09 K1300S sold @ 22k mi, Black '93 K1100RS traded @ 78k mi, Red '85 K100RS sold @ 44k mi, '06 Kaw 650R chrome yellow track bike sold http://www.seagullbb.com/
Good to know and somewhat surprising for northern California. My first day leaving Dallas and especially the last day coming home here in July is a bear. At least I can get out of here around dawn and make it west of Amarillo before the hottest time of day, however coming home it's all heat for a good 8 hours.
I travel with a Camelbak filled with ice water and use a Polar Wrap around my neck to help stay hydrated and cool. The Beadrider on my saddle keeps me dry and comfortable along with my vented Olympia jacket so hopefully I'm ready. Thanks for the heads up.
See also "Seattle Area Suggestions" string, which is gradually widening to include much of Washington and Oregon.
Hey Dave, Great information as always coming from you.
I've marked some of your favorites in my GPS map with a special note to try and make that turn off into Mt St Helens if the weather is good. That road is NF99 which comes off of NF25. My GPS will have me continuing down to Carson and not getting fooled to get on to NF90 which runs along the Swift Reservoir. Actually looks interesting along the water heading over to Cougar and Yale lake.
Also noted is that straight road 221 from Lake Umatilla in Paterson to Prosser. It's always amazing to arrive at these roads or places after only looking at just a line on a map. Not sure what I'll see, but planning to ride it.
Route 2 looks interesting if I can make it up that far. I've ridden Route 12 (Lolo Pass) to Missoula a couple of times, but never west of Lewiston. I just need to somehow connect these routes together.
The more I learn about this area other than all the rain, I wouldn't mind living there.
Hwy 20 at the northern part of Washington is a fantastic scenic ride. Also central Oregon anywhere in the cascades.
Now that was a quality decision wasn't it!
If you're heading westbound into SE Washington (say Lewiston-Dayton-Walla
Walla) you end up on the Oregon side of the Columbia. You can cross north at Umatilla, and continue west on WA 14. That "straight" road isn't as straight as it looks on the map, and it dumps you into the Yakima Valley. (wine country)
Yes, you could head Northwest to Yakima, then 12 west (White Pass) and on to Randle and FS 25 South. But if you haven't seen Mt. Rainier, I would suggest turning to the north on 123 for a couple of miles, and riding through Rainier National Park, then turning south at Elbe on 7 to Morton, east on 12 to Randle, and south on FS 25.
Note that the Washington (north) side of the Columbia is more scenic, while I-84 is the superslab. However, in the Columbia Gorge between Hood River and Gresham, there is the old scenic highway up on the side of the cliff above the superslab. Narrow and twisty (as in Model T) but a dozen or so waterfalls, including the famous Multnomah Falls.
Highway 2 is a good alternative to I-90, between Spokane and Ellensburg. Getting through W Spokane is a bit of a PITA, but once your through you're in wheatfields and lava rock. If you take this route, don't miss Grand Coulee Dam, not only an impressive block of concrete, but beautiful lava cliffs on the way.
From Coulee Dam, you can either head west on 174 via Bridgeport, Brewster, Pateros, and 153 to Twisp, picking up 20 to Winthrop, and west over the spectacular North Cascades highway. (be sure to gas up before heading uphill)
Or, from Coulee Dam, you can head southwest on 155 to Coulee City, and west on 2 to Wenatchee. At the west end of the Dryfalls Dam, be sure to take the side trip just a couple of miles south on 17 to Dry Falls.
From Wenatchee, you can go west on 2 via Leavenworth (pseudo-Bavarian mountain town) and over Stevens Pass to the Everett area, or hang a left onto 97, south to Ellensburg, and the Yakima Canyon (Avoid the superslab I-82) to Yakima. And, from Yakima ("yak-im-ah") you can head west over White Pass (remember?) or south on 97 to Goldendale and Maryhill, and south over the bridge to Oregon.
It is being implied, but not said that Hwy 101 itself through Oregon is not the greatest route, especially the northern half. During the summer it is often a motorhome/sightseeing parade on the highway and several of the towns are bumper to bumper for miles. I would get off of 101 and head inland at Reedsport, then just past Drain head north via Lorane to Veneta to Cheshire to Philomath to Dallas and then take your choice of roads through wine country and the NE corner towards Astoria to cross into WA. 101 in WA seems to be a much more pleasant experience IMHO.
Something like this.
Hey LonniJ, Welcome to the forum and thanks for the great info. That was actually going to be my next question. 101 looks like a great road running along the coast, but if it has tons of traffic, it's probably not worth the effort. Right now it's looking like coming in from the Reno area and taking Hwy 36 due west to Ferndale on the coast. It's the portion going north in question.
I just took a stab on the map and chose 101 all the way north from Ferndale,CA taking me past Coos Bay and then heading inland at Florence on Hwy 126.
I'm wondering if it's the same issue in northern California. Would I be better off cutting up into Oregon on 199 through the Redwood forest into Grants pass?
I don't mind riding along the ocean in traffic averaging 25mph. The issue is I've got limited days on this vacation trip and riding a hundred miles in four hours can kill a day.
Great info! I've marked all the routes and thanks to you I'm planning to get a picture of Monmouth Falls, Dry Falls, and the Grand Coulee Dam. I'm also going to try not to miss out on a ride through Mt Rainier since I'll be so close. These are all places I would have missed without the help of the forum community. I plan to post a view of my final route on a map when finished with the planning.
Great stuff. Thanks !!
If you are flexible on where you enter CA and are running north from Vegas area, I suggest NV 266 off 95,. It becomes CA 168 and will take you into CA just north of Death Valley and into Big Pine. 395 N will take you along the east side of the Sierras. I rode this (Lido Pass) last summer on my way home from Monument Valley as it is supposed to be a good place to see wild mustangs. I didn't see any but the riding was fabulous. There's nothing out there, no towns, no factories, no traffic, no service and no gas
If you do come through Reno, make sure you include Virginia City on your route. This is the town made famous during the beginning of Bonanza when the map started burning. A great town, last time I was there two cowboys were getting their horses re-shoed on Main Street .
It's not so much that 101 (and 1) up the coast isn't worth the visit, it's that the trip along the coast is so spectacular that it draws lots of tourists in the summer.
But, you can pick and choose some sections, and take some in, and not fight the motorhomes all the way. I'll offer my opinions, and let the locals disagree.
California: Between Morro Bay and Monterey: 1 twists and turns along the coast, very scenic and unforgettable. 101 between San Luis Obispo and Salinas is forgettable.
Between Monterrey and San Francisco: 1 is scenic, but more industrial. 101 is heavy traffic and sluburbia. My advice: find 9 from from just east of Santa Cruz (1) north into the skyline , then 35 north, 92 west to 1, and 1 north all the way to the Golden Gate bridge. 1 north of SF is pretty, but the south end is a bit busy. I'd suggest 101 to Greenbrae, then turn off toward San Anselmo, and toward the coast and Pt. Reys Station. These are the roads the Sunday bikers have their fun with the cops. Or, make a transit to Asti, then get your twisty kicks on 128, cutting back to 101 at Leggett.
IMHO, 101 north from SF all the way to Willits is like any other urban/suburban superslab. Multi lanes, heavy traffic, not much to look at. From Leggett north, you get into the Redwood forests, and traffic thins out.
If you're coming from the east, 20 around Clear Lake is not bad. Just lots of slow villages.
Eureka is worth a visit, especially the old town and it's mansions. If you happen to be in Eureka at dinner time, take the ride out onto the spit and have dinner at the Samoa Cookhouse (call and make sure they are still in business and open)
If you've had your fill of twisty coastal roads by the time you approach the Oregon border, you can head northeast towards Grants Pass, and take the I-5 superslab north. Lots of hills make this more interesting, and you'll make good time.
But if you still have a hankering for more coast, the central Oregon coast is very scenic. If you stop at only every third spectacular beach or overlook, you could easily spend two days riding 101 to Astoria. My favorite section is between Florence and Lincoln City. There are maybe 50 beaches and viewpoints, and not a bad one in the bunch. Much better than the southern section past Coose Bay/North Bend--unless you like logging trucks and lumber mills.
When I'm heading from Lincoln City north, I usually take 18 via McMinnville. Remember, that's the location of Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose. But the ride between Lincoln City and Astoria is not bad--some great sections of cliffs high over the Pacific Ocean. And of course, you MUST stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. (well, OK, and ice creamery)
The Washington Coast calls, too, but if you need to beat your feet, you can hang a right at Tillamook or Mohler, and follow the back roads (say 103, 202, 47) and cross the Columbia River to Longview--and I-5.
If it's boiling hot, note that you can cool down by heading either to the coast, or uphill. For instance, if it's hot in Reno, just head over the passes on 89/70 up in them gold-laced hills. From Chico you can take either 70 or 32, and go through Lassen Park, then 44 and 89 back toward I-5. And if it's hot in Medford, head uphill toward Crater Lake.
I haven't touched on the high Sierra passes, national parks, etc. It's hard to go wrong in that country. The most interesting motorcycle ride is the old Gold Rush road, now highway 49. You'll swear there's a bike ahead you can't catch--until you realize it's your own tail light.
As always, Mr Hough gives VERY good route advice...the only thing I might add is that the Evergreen Air & Space Museum in McMinnville has much more than just the Spruce Goose for aircraft aficianados. One of the best air museums in the country IMHO and well worth a few hours of appreciation if you're in the neighborhood.
And the California routing is perfecto mundo, when we lived in Nevada I spent a lot of time on Hwy 1 and environs with riders in my family. Also, I MUCH prefer that route into Oregon from Crescent City to Grant's Pass. Not nearly as much traffic as the Coast Highway...
I'm starting to turn green with envy over your trip plans!
Cheers, Bill J
Okay. I'm trying to use all this great advice so now rethinking my entrance into California thanks to you Californians. Let's back up a ways so you can see the route logic and hopefully I can fine tune what I have so far.
The point of this is to ride up 395 which I've never ridden. Let's start at Torrey, UT which is along the way. From Torrey going to hit Ceder City on 36 to 375 to Tonopah.
I'm choosing this since riding further south to Las Vegas and taking 168 north of Death Valley looks like taking too much time away.
So here's the question: Route 6 from Tonopah hits 120 at Benton, NV. Shortly after there is a road called Benton Crossing going past a Lake Crowley south of Mommoth Lake or you can continue on 120 which comes into 395 just south of Lee Vining.
Any one way better than the other ?
Oh and one other question: When I get up near Lake Tahoe should I cut over on 207 to the south part to ride up the east side , or continue up to Carson and cut over on Hwy 50? I'm sure it's slow going along the lake, but looks good on the map.
And PM Dave, thanks for the suggestions in Eureka. Looks like I'll spending the night there as well.