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Oregon Coast 101 to I5

central California
Level Contributor
27 posts
1 review
Oregon Coast 101 to I5

I will be staying in Cannon Beach for a couple of nights in the middle of Oct. then heading home to central California. I want to see more of the coast and will drive down 101 for a while before heading to I5. I plan 2 more nights after Cannon Beach and thought perhaps I would go to Coos Bay for a night then east to I5 from there. Is there a better alternative?

9 replies to this topic
Renton, Washington
Level Contributor
5,269 posts
1. Re: Oregon Coast 101 to I5

Not Coos Bay, please. There are many more attractive alternatives. Bandon is the jewel of the coast and is only a short distance farther. If you have the time, stay on US-101 through the redwoods all the way to Calpella (milepost 555) then east on CA-20 to the freeway and wherever. The mos scenic portions of the Oregon coast lie between Port Orford and Brookings.

If time is squeezy, just before you get to Crescent City and take US-199 to Grants Pass and the freeway (backtracking, I know, I know); this cheats you out of the redwoods and makes you drive over Siskiyou Pass (4300 feet).

Level Contributor
39,556 posts
1,021 reviews
2. Re: Oregon Coast 101 to I5

I agree, try to stay in Bandon, not Coos Bay. 🏖

central California
Level Contributor
27 posts
1 review
3. Re: Oregon Coast 101 to I5

So where do you go east to I5 from Bandon? I live east of the San Joaquin Valley in the Sierra foothills. I have been to the Redwoods several times and would prefer to leave them for another trip. Crescent City is 7 hours, just driving time, from Cannon Beach. That's more than I'd care to do on that day. Then Crescent City is over 9 hours driving time to my home.

Portland, Oregon
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1,598 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Oregon Coast 101 to I5

I agree with bobmrg that Bandon is (one of the Oregon coast’s jewels, with what IMO are some of the state’s most spectacularly scenic beaches. From there you’d take hwy 42S to Coquille, where you’d pick up hwy 42, the same road I suspect you were planning from Coos Bay. Whatever you decide detour far enough off 101 to visit Shore Acres State Park, on the Coast west of Coos Bay.

central California
Level Contributor
27 posts
1 review
5. Re: Oregon Coast 101 to I5

Reading bobmrg's post about the coast between Port Orford and Brookings, I am trying to figure out a route that includes these but doesn't take me through the Bay area or add a day to my trip. I see 199 back up to Grant's Pass ,but what about 299 from Eureka to Redding or is it really long and horrid?

Newberg, Oregon
Level Contributor
6,223 posts
389 reviews
6. Re: Oregon Coast 101 to I5

Our preferred route is 101 down to Hwy 20, then over to I-5 at Williams. Most of 101 in California is "almost" freeway.

Renton, Washington
Level Contributor
5,269 posts
7. Re: Oregon Coast 101 to I5

The route over the Trinity Alps on 299 is breathtaking....didn't realize that you would go as far south as Arcata, which is where 299 terninates.

OregonJohn, the CA-20 route you describe is in post #1.

central California
Level Contributor
27 posts
1 review
8. Re: Oregon Coast 101 to I5

I hadn't planned to go that far south but perhaps I shouldn't miss the southern Oregon coast. At 76. I don't know how many more times I could manage this trip. Thanks for your help

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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44,648 posts
1,112 reviews
9. Re: Oregon Coast 101 to I5

>>what about 299 from Eureka to Redding or is it really long and horrid?<<

No, not at all. It takes around 3 hours to get from Arcata on 101 to Redding. The road has been under construction with steady improvement for a number of years, and when I drove it last spring, it's overall pretty decent now :-)

The southern Oregon coast is beautiful. Traffic is light, and it is more 'open' and less forested than the central/northern sections.

After Cannon Beach, I'd suggest a night in either Newport or Yachats. The former is larger, busier, with far more to do; the latter is tiny, super-picturesque, quiet. Then Bandon is a nice drive and a pleasant stop.

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