Pacific Coast Central
Join us for this bike touring adventure along a gorgeous segment of the West Coast and experience some of the most beautiful and remote sections of Adventure Cycling’s Pacific Coast Bicycle Route, our most popular.
As we ride from the spectacular Oregon coastline to the great redwood forests of Northern California, we’ll enjoy magnificent ocean views, explore long stretches of sandy beaches, investigate tidal pools, zip past rustic farmsteads, and cruise in the cool, quiet shadows of the world’s tallest trees. Imagine misty mornings, warm, sunny afternoons, and beachside bonfires. Our group will also ride through towns like Crescent City, Trinidad, and Eureka, reminders of the logging and Gold Rush eras. We’ll have everything we need with us, so all we need to do is pedal our bicycles and soak up the scenery.
"Our leaders had their 'stuff' together; great organization!"
Day 1. Eugene, Oregon, 0 miles
We'll meet in Eugene and get to know our fellow riding companions, checking over our gear and getting everything in line before we take off in the morning. If you get to Eugene early enough, you can explore its vibrant downtown and an extensive network of bike routes.
Day 2. Eugene to Florence, 75 miles
We start the trip off with a big day as we ride from Eugene to the coast. Our route today will take us by Fern Ridge Lake and Richardson Park and up and over Low Pass before we pass Triangle Lake and make our way down to the Pacific Coast. We'll spend the night on the Siuslaw River and rest up as we prepare to head south.
Day 3. Florence to Charleston, 57 miles
After breakfast, we'll start our long ride down the Pacific Coast. Today is your day as the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area borders the route to our west. To the east, you'll see Woahink Lake, Tahkenitch Lake, Clear Lake, and the Umpqua River. You'll cross the Haynes Inlet as you enter North Bend, which sits on beautiful Coos Bay. Coos Bay is the largest community on the Oregon coast and is known for its great fishing and kite flying. We'll press on to Charleston for our overnight.
Day 4. Charleston to Port Orford, 58 miles
We'll ride a few miles inland for most of the day today, starting by passing close to Bullards Beach State Park, which makes for a nice detour. The lowland forest and grassy hills of the park surround the historic Coquille River Lighthouse, built in the mid-1890s. Continuing south, we'll ride through Bandon, known as both the "Cranberry Capital of the World" and the "Storm Watching Capital of the World." Then it's on to Port Orford and Humbug Mountain State Park, where the park's namesake mountain rises 1,756 feet above the sea.
Day 5. Port Orford to Brookings, 49 miles
We'll hug the coast today, heading past the mouth of the Rogue River and Gold Beach, a popular salmon and steelhead fishing spot. We'll pedal past Cape Sebastian, Pistol River, and Samuel Boardman state parks, enjoying stupendous ocean views. Some say that this is the most scenic stretch of the entire Highway 101 corridor, so we'll take our time before reaching our beach destination overnight.
Day 6. Brookings to Orick, California, 68 miles
California, here we come! We'll leave Oregon today and cross into the Golden State. On our left, the impressive Coast Range rises to heights of more than 3,000 feet. We may be tempted to brave a chilly Pacific plunge at one of the beaches to our right, providing the morning autumn fog has burned off. We'll pedal through Crescent City, situated in the heart of redwood country. At nearby Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, you can explore stands of coastal redwoods at your leisure. Just past Crescent City, we'll have a good climb to Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, then finish our day's journey in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
Day 7. Orick to Eureka, 47 miles
We'll continue riding in the land of the giant trees, continuing to pass through the area's state and national parks that are cooperatively managed and contain almost half of all the old-growth redwood forests remaining in California. In addition to redwoods, the region's forests hold an evergreen in the beech family called tanoak, as well as madrone, red alder, and bigleaf maple. We'll return to the coast and Humboldt Lagoon State Park, then ride through picturesque Arcata, home to Humboldt State University, before arriving in Eureka, our basecamp for two nights.
Day 8. Eureka, 0 miles
Layover day. Today we can opt to sleep in or rise early to the heady scent of saltwater and begin our explorations of Eureka and Arcata, named by Outside magazine as a top place to live. We can explore quiet roads on our bicycles or go kayaking, fishing, visit art galleries, or tour the wetlands, which are home to egrets, herons, and other waterfowl. We can also meet up in the late afternoon to sample some of the excellent craft brews here.
Day 9. Eureka to Burlington, 62 miles
We'll jump back on the bikes today with rested legs, ready for the ups and downs of the road in front of us. We'll pass through Ferndale, one of the best-preserved Victorian villages in all of California; this magnificent hamlet's main street is on the National Register of Historic Places. The truly adventurous may also opt to check out a brief section of the remote Lost Coast here. We'll continue our way to our camp, passing by Founders Tree before setting up our tents near Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
Day 10. Burlington to Leggett, 48 miles
Today we'll pedal through the world-famous Avenue of the Giants. Beyond the sound of your tires purring along the pavement, there is little else to break the silence as you ride amid the hushed natural chapel of giant trees. Among the attractions are the "Immortal Tree" (nearly 1,000 years old and 250 feet high), the Founders Grove, and the Drive-Through Tree, as well as the shimmering Eel River. After this day of breathtaking bicycling, we'll overnight in the Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area.
Day 11. Leggett to Fort Bragg, 49 miles
We'll follow steep, winding roads through pleasantly forested terrain and top out on Leggett Hill, the highest elevation of our entire tour. After a thrilling 10-mile descent, we'll head southwesterly back to the coast, where we'll skirt Mendocino County's famous Cape Vizcaino and the tiny town of Westport. From this point on, we'll stay along the coast for nearly the remainder of the trip. We'll overnight in the vicinity of Fort Bragg, site of the world's largest salmon BBQ.
Day 12. Fort Bragg to Manchester, 36 miles
The wild and gorgeous coastline of Mendocino and Sonoma counties will keep us transfixed from one bend to the next. Be sure to keep an eye on the water for an occasional whale, too. If we get on the road early enough, we should be able to look around a bit in the charming town of Mendocino. We'll camp at Manchester State Park and have the opportunity to visit the nearby Point Arena, one of the smallest incorporated towns in the U.S. and home to the West Coast's tallest lighthouse at 115 feet. One other bit of trivia: Point Arena is the closest town in the contiguous 48 states to Honolulu, Hawaii, which lies a mere 2,045 nautical miles away.
Day 13. Manchester to Walsh Landing, 43 miles
Today we'll have many more miles of spectacular oceanfront to negotiate. Fortunately, Labor Day has come and gone, which should translate to less vehicle traffic along this popular Sonoma County coastline. As we hug the coast, we'll hopefully enjoy a late-summer tailwind that will whisk us through our ride.
Day 14. Walsh Landing to Olema, 61 miles
We'll start our ride passing through Jenner at the mouth of the Russian River, named for the Russian trappers who explored the area in the early 19th century. We'll also pedal through Bodega Bay, a fishing hub where Alfred Hitchcock filmed The Birds. As we pedal through Sonoma County into Marin County, we'll visit a series of small towns with restaurants that feature lots of local seafood, including the famous Hog Island oysters. We'll proceed inland through rolling dairy country before regaining the saltwater at Tomales Bay, where a slim band of water lies between us and the Point Reyes Peninsula. Next we'll ride through Point Reyes Station, which boasts an outstanding bakery and a barn-like emporium of fresh local foods. Olema is only a few miles away, where our gear awaits us for our final night on the road.
Day 15. Olema to San Francisco, 34 miles
We'll savor the last day of our tour with a spin through lovely rural countryside, much of it protected by local conservation efforts. We'll follow a series of bike paths and roads over roller coaster hills and tight turns until we end our tour near the Golden Gate Bridge. As you look back on your adventure, you'll realize for yourself why this tour's slogan is "Big Trees, Big Waves, Beautiful Beaches."