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  • Bike Camping: Tillamook Tour

Bike Camping: Tillamook Tour

  • 14 Jul 2019
  • 17 Jul 2019
  • North Oregon Coast Range
  • 1


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Wayne Johnson will lead a four-day mixed terrain bike camping tour through the Oregon coast range. Two of the days will have significant unpaved portions. We will carry all our own camping equipment and stay at Anderson Park in Vernonia, Nehalem Bay State Park in Manzanita, and Trask River Campground outside of Tillamook. The trip begins and ends at the end of the MAX line in Hillsboro for easy access from much of Portland. Due to the nature of this trip, participants need to be approved by the ride leader.

Route details are at RideWithGPS.

Sunday will be a short 33 miles of riding. We will head out of Hillsboro in early afternoon to low trafficked rural roads before we pick up the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. Camping will be at Anderson Park in Vernonia. The start location was picked for easy access via Portland’s light rail.

Monday will cover the most distance. We will ride nearly 80 miles following the Nehalem River to the Pacific Ocean. The morning has us on lightly trafficked rural highways until lunch. After stopping for hearty meal, we will continue descending to the coast. Foss Road, which we take most of the way, has a good deal of rough gravel. Our ride ends with dinner in Manzanita and camping at Nehalem Bay State Park. We will stay in the quiet Hiker/Biker section, hidden in the trees from the rest of the camp.

Tuesday will be a more modest day with 43 miles of riding. The hardest thing about the day may be deciding which excellent breakfast option to choose. Roads will consist of beautiful low trafficked rural roads mixed in with short sections of Highway 101. We’ll stop for lunch at a brewpub in Tillamook before we ride up the North Trask River Road to Trask River County Campground. All of today’s riding will be paved.

Wednesday will be our most difficult day. We ride 56 miles over the coast range to return to Hillsboro. It’s mostly gravel with steep climbs and descents. The route will also offer navigation challenges and will not have water or any services until near the end of the ride. We will ride through Weyerhaeuser land and will likely end up seeing logging trucks on the road. Additionally, we will be out of cell range for most of the ride.

What to bring:

  • Large tires for the gravel sections. 42’s are probably a minimum. The gravel is rough enough that the leader will ride with 60’s. Narrower tires will necessitate slower descending, more walking on steeper sections and increase the chance of flat tires.
  • Extra water bottles for the last day. It’ll be a lot of climbing with no options for refilling. A good solution is carrying a large collapsible bottle that’ll only be used that day.
  • Clothing for four days of riding and hanging out in camp. Clothes for rain and cold weather may be helpful.
  • Spare tubes, pump, tools and other biking gear to make you self-sufficient are also necessary. We will be out of cell coverage for a good portion of the ride.
  • Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stove/cookware, flashlight.
  • Some food for snacks and meals. There will be grocery stores in every day before we get to camp. They are marked on the maps.
  • Money for camping, groceries and restaurants.
  • If you haven’t done any bike camping before, a good advice on bike camping can be found here:

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

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