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Road Bike Routes :

Road Bike Touring:
Ashland Oregon to Davis California

This tour offers the touring cyclist one of the widest varieties of terrain and environments of any I've ever taken. Orchards and berry patches, The Oregon Caves, redwood rain forests, coastal vistas and the vineyards of Mendocino, Sonoma & Napa counties, large rivers and lakes, finishing up with a short flat run across the flats of the Sacramento Valley.

Day 1 : Ashland to Wonder, Oregon
Our tour begins at the KOA east of Ashland on Highway 66. Upon exiting the KOA turn left and head for downtown Ashland . Turn right when you get to Southern Oregon College, & head through downtown (a visit to the many sites around town is worth the time and effort). On the north side of town this street becomes Highway 99. There is a bicycle trail called the Ashland-Talent Bicycle Trail, but due to 4 of my fellow riders and myself getting 11 flats along its length, because of blackberry vines all over the trail , I don't recommend that the loaded touring bicycle take this route. Highway 99 although busy has a very wide shoulder and I found the Oregon drivers and visitors very accommodating. Just south of Medford you'll see a road sign directing you to the left for the town of Jacksonville, take this right.

If you're relying on a map, this is Highway 238. Highway 238 is lightly traveled with little or no shoulder , but still is a comfortable road to ride on. There are some minor rolly-pollies just before arriving in Jackson, as we wind our way through orchards and farm fields. On arriving in Jackson take some time to explore it, as the whole town is a National Historic Site. From Jackson we continue west on route 238, beginning with a climb up and over a small but steep ridge west of town then drop into the Applegate Valley and ride along Applegate Creek. At the town of Murphy our route makes a left hand turn on a road just before you enter town . This road will take you along the south side of Applegate Creek (and cut off a few miles) before joining up with Highway 199 where upon you will turn to the west (that's your left at this intersection) and begin a continuous gentle climb to the Wonder KOA with its campstore and hot showers it makes a fine finishing point for our first day.

Cycling time: 7 to 8 hours | Miles: 69 | Cum. Miles: 69

Day 2: Wonder to Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park

Exiting the KOA turn to the right and continue west on Highway 199, up and over a short but steep hill, then drop into the Illinois River Valley. The cycling becomes easier as we traverse the miles into Cave Junction. If you're going to visit the Oregon Caves you turn left for the 40 mile round trip. If you're not going to the caves, then Cave Junction is a great place to grab brunch.

From Cave Junction to O'Brien the route is a gradual climb among the pine and fir trees of southwestern Oregon. After O'Brien, you can settle in for a long arduous climb up out of the Illinois Valley, through the Collier Tunnel (at the summit) then down into the Smith River Valley on the west slope of the coast range, in a grand and glorious glide into the Redwoods of northwestern California .

Our route down and off the summit , through the town of Gasquet & on to Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park is down hill and flat except for a few climbs up and around rock outcroppings that jut out into the Smith River. The state park has hot showers and the adjacent town has stores and motels, thus making this a good place stop & settle in for the evening. A walk along the Smith River at sunset is well worth the effort.

Cycling time: 5 to 7 hours | Miles: 60.7 | Cum. Miles: 129.7

Day 3: Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park to Patricks Point State Park

When we leave Jedediah Smith Redwood State Parkmake a left on to Highway 199 and continue west. STAY ON 199 EVEN THOUGH IT LOOKS LIKE YOU SHOULD GO TO THE RIGHT ABOUT 1/2 MILE FROM THE PARK, TAKE THE FORK TO THE LEFT. This road continues west to the junction of with Highway 101/1. At this point we continue west up and over the freeway and beyond to Lake Earl Road where we turn to the left and head south, through the town of Crescent City. We join up with Highway 101/1 and continue to head south on flat terrain. South of Crescent City we begin the climb of the infamous, Crescent City Hill. This series of 3 summits is on a very narrow shoulder of a 4 lane undivided highway. Despite rumors and legend, with a little riding common sense and a low enough gear these summits will pass behind you into your own memory and legend. On the south side of the last summit is a chance to let loose and enjoy the descent into the False Lagoon area & the town of Klamath, along the banks of the Klamath River.

The town of Klamath affords you a good opportunity for lunch and a photo op with the bright shinny bears at the south end of the Klamath River Bridge. South of the Klamath River the highway and our route climbs up into the Redwoods again and then down through them to Prairie Creek Redwood State Park. Keep a sharp eye out for the Roosevelt Elk, grazing in the meadow on either side of the road.

The route is now into the coastal area where the climbs are not as long or arduous with a mixture of Redwoods, salt marshes, wind blown pines & Junipers. After the town of Orick the road begins to widen and a bike lane appears, our cycling arena becomes much more comfortable. Our day ends at Patricks Point State Park, a little further ahead is the town of Trinidad, where motel accommodations are available.

Cycling time: 6 to 8 hours | mile: 66.3 | Cum. Miles: 196

Day 4: Patricks Point State Park to Redway : "Avenue of the Giants"

The ride today is varied in terrain, environment and weather. The mornings at the coast in June, July and August are ones of fog early & late in the day, with moderate temperatures at the coast and warm temperatures just a few miles inland. From the coastal plain to the Eel River delta then deep into the Redwoods at Avenue of the Giants, keep an extra layer handy for these cool climes.

Leaving Patricks Point we turn right and head south , rejoining Highway 101/1 soon thereafter. Parallel the freeway through town of Arcata and 11 miles later arrive in Eureka. The road through Eureka is a long busy urban street with vacationers paying more attention to where the next McDonalds is than where you are. Be very careful in town. Follow Highway 101/1 through town, then south and southeast into the Eel River Delta. There are a few hills to be gained in this section but nothing serious after what you've been through so far. Exit the freeway (which is what the highway has become) to the towns of Rio Del & Scotia. The town of Scotia offers a look at what a real company town is like and a tour through the mill in town is educational. Reenter the freeway just south of Scotia, then keep an eye out for the "Avenue of the Giants" exit to the right . The rest of the day will be spent in the Avenue of the Giants, deep in the shade and cool air. The main traffic is now up on the freeway so riding is a little more relaxed as you wind along the banks of the Eel River amongst Redwood, Madrone & Ferns growing to the edge of the pavement.

Our day ends at Humbolt Redwoods State Park, on the banks of the Eel River in a magnificent grove of redwoods. Those seeking motel accommodations may have to press on ahead a few miles to the town of Redway.

Cycling time: 8+ hours | Mile: 73.1 | Cum. Miles 269.1

Day 5: Redway to Standish-Hickey State Park

On leaving the Redway area, our route ascends a short steep hill to the town of Garberville with restaurants, stores and a cycle shop. Its a good stopping point for resupply, breakfast or cycling repairs and needs. When we leave garberville our route descends back down to and across the Eel River which we keep in sight for the rest of the day, as we climb steadily up to Standish- Hickey State Park, near the town of Leggett.

This is a short day & one that offers many distractions with roadside souvenir stand & groves of redwood trees to be wandered through and enjoyed. At the end of the day, the South fork of the Eel River is good to wade and relax in, as it meanders through the state park.

Cycling time : 6 hours | Miles: 47.3 | Cum. Miles 316.4

Day 6: Standish-Hickey State Park to Mendocino (Russian Gulch State Park)

Todays ride will overheat you, then cool you right down. It offers vistas of fishing ports and a grand view across ridge tops covered with Redwoods.

Exiting the state park, turn right on the highway and just up the road your next turn to the right is the town of Leggett and Highway 1 which separates from Highway 101. There's a little coffee shop in Leggett that serves a pretty good breakfast, including biscuits, that will be needed for the climbing that you'll be doing very shortly. The first order of the day is climbing. If you have been talking to other touring cyclist along the way I'm sure that they may have painted a dreary picture of this much touted climb. This is where fact and legend separate.... the climb up and over the Leggett Hill is just that, a climb. It is no more severe than any other you've already done on this tour, but the road is very narrow and twists & turns its way up and over the coast range out of the Eel River drainage. My advice is to take it easy and use the occasional turn outs for rest stops.

The descent on the west side is really a beautiful ride through redwood groves and along the banks of Cottaneva Creek, there's even a Demonstration Forest set up by a local logging operation. Now, just so you won't say that you weren't warned , here comes your second climb of the day, The Rockport Hill. It's not as long, but just as steep as your earlier climb ,and it is somewhat easier psychologically in that you can see the top for most of the climb. The descent the ocean is one full of twists and turns, with lots of braking to keep things under control, and the further you drop so does the temperature as you come closer and closer to the ocean. On the day that I did this ride, my arrival at the Ocean was a cold and chilly one with fog and a light breeze, so be prepared to cover up.

You're now on the coastal plain, above the breakers and the beach, and the riding is much easier with short moderate climbs, mixed with quick descent-ascent into and out of the occasional arroyo that descend to the sea along the coastal plain. Bed & Breakfasts, curio and antique shops begin to dot the landscape, as you approach the town of Ft. Bragg. Just about 10 miles down the road from Ft. Bragg you arrive at Russian Gulch State Park. If you're seeking motel accommodations the town of Mendocino is just 1.5 miles further on.

Cycling time: 6 to 7 hours | Miles: 55 | Cum. Miles: 371.4

Day 7: Mendocino to Hendy Woods State Park

Todays basically a layover day and with the miles you've covered you really deserve it.

I would suggest a leisurely breakfast at one of Mendocinos' fine restaurants, then the morning spent browsing through this quaint sea side village.

With your morning having been spent in leisurely pursuits, our return to cycling leads south from Russian Gulch State Park through Mendocino and on through the villages of Little River and Albion on Highway 1. Beyond Albion, there's a short steep climb followed by a descent to the Navarro River where we continue straight at the bridge that takes Highway 1 to the south. DO NOT CROSS THE BRIDGE. At this point we're joining up with Highway 128. We will either be on or near Highway 128 for the rest of this tour.

The remainder of this shortened day is a wonderful ride along the banks of the Navarro
River through redwood grooves, up and over a small rise just before the town of Navarro, and into the Anderson Valley. About 6 miles east of Navarro we make a turn to the right and follow the signs to Hendy Woods State Park.

*** There is an Alternative route up Comptche-Ukiah Road to the town of Comptche, then south on Flynn Creek Road, which takes one to Highway 128, 2 1/2 miles before the town of Navarro. I've never ridden this leg but it comes very highly recommended for those who like to pick berries, which reportedly grow to the edge of the pavement.

Cycling time: 4 hours | Miles: 27.1 | Cum. Miles: 398.5

Day 8: Hendy Woods State Park to Bothe-Napa State Park

I suggest an early start this morning and a hearty breakfast in either Philo or Booneville. Our route begins in the Anderson Valley, the cycling is a relatively easy cruise until we get to the very small burg of Yorkville at which we begin some very serious climbing. The route is narrow, steep and windy as it climbs up and over the Coast Range in a mix of grasslands, oak and buckeye, with an occasional madrone. Be thankful for the shade as this can be a very hot and dry climb, as the temperature climbs with the sun.

After the summit is reached there are few rolly-pollies followed by a rapid descent towards Cloverdale. Before reaching town we come to the junction of Highway 101, where we turn right and make a short steeps climb up and over a hummock and down into the City of Cloverdale, a good place to plan a lunch stop.

Shortly after leaving Cloverdale, Highway 101 becomes a freeway, take the frontage road on the right side(west) of the freeway and turn right on Dutcher Creek Road. After a short climb we descend along the banks of Dutcher Creek to the junction of Dry Creek Road. A short time later make another left on Canyon Road, which we follow into the town of Geyserville. Fill up with your own needs for there is no service for the next 22 miles.

We have now entered the Alexander Valley and we follow Highway 128 east out of Geyserville, paralleling the Russian River. The road through this section does many twist and turns through the vineyards until it T's at a junction, at a wide spot in the road known as Jimtown. TURN LEFT AT THIS INTERSECTION. If you turn right you will end up in Healdsburg and be completely off route. After a couple of miles through even more vineyards the road begins to climb (moderately) out of the Alexander Valley into Knights Valley the quickly up and out of it and over the hills then dropping into the Napa Valley & the resort town of Calistoga . I suggest that you have dinner in town and if your moteling it, make this the end of your day. If you're going on to Bothe-Napa State Park, then eat or pickup food in Calistoga, get back on Highway 128/29 and head south for about 4.5 miles to the state park. Bothe-Napa State Park offers hot showers and good camping in a rather agricultural area.

Cycling time: 8 hours | Miles: 68.9 | Cum. Miles 467.4

Day 8: Bothe-Napa State Park to Davis California

Our last day begins with a leisurely cruise through the world famous Napa Valley. The cool overnight and morning temperatures that lend to the greatness of this grape growing region, also makes for very enjoyable cycling.

After exiting Bothe-Napa State Park turn right (south), and head for the town of St. Helena. After passing through St. Helena keep a sharp eye out for the small town of Rutherford at which point you'll be turning left and following Highway 128 across the Napa Valley. When you come to the junction of Silverado Trail go left then immediately right, and begin climbing up and out of the valley, past Lake Hennesey and on to Moskowite Corner, a good place to plan a lunch stop.

Several hills remain before Lake Berryessa appears on the left, soon thereafter Monticello Dam comes into view. After the dam we immediately descend to Putah Creek, then on past Lake Solano, out on to the floor of the Sacramento Valley. Within a couple miles you're in the town of Winters, where you can get some refreshments for the final leg of your journey to Davis, now just 13 short miles away. Turn right on Railroad Avenue and proceed through town. Just after passing over an old concrete bridge turn left on Putah Creek Road. 7 mile later turn left on Stevenson Bridge Road, then 1.4 miles later turn right onto the bike path that parallels Road 32. Farm houses, fields of various produce and ponds dot the landscape until, as we approach Davis the scenery changes to subdivisions of this rapidly growing valley community. Congratulations, you made it!!!!!!!!

Cycling time: 8 hours | Miles: 63.9 | Cum. Miles: 531.3

Post Script: If you're planning bus or rail transportation from the town of Davis, there is a bus and a train station in the southeast corner of downtown, ask a local or consult a Davis street map. If you're flying, the nearest airport is Sacramento Metro, which can be reached by bicycle , but you'll probably have to find a box, so you should make other arrangements to get to the airport.

I hope you've enjoyed your tour. Good luck & See you on the road. Van

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