Port Orford Bike Ride

Riding the Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Byway

Road to Cape Blanco lighthouse

During the “plague year” of 2020 I didn’t get many chances to travel. By the time summer arrived, I felt pretty stir-crazy.

My 36th birthday was approaching, and after months of isolation and lockdown I wanted to do something memorable. Since getting on a plane wasn’t an option, I decided to do the next best thing I could think of: take a long bike ride on the Oregon coast. Specifically, the Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway, one of a series of special routes that the state has designated.

You can see a route map of my ride here.

Port Orford is a little out of the way from, well, everything (it’s about 5 hours from Portland). But that’s part of what made it so nice to ride out here; there was very little traffic, even on Highway 101. Oregon’s Southern coast seems like a very remote and special area.

Local llama

Starting from Port Orford, I headed north on the 101 and then went inland along the Elk River Road for about 15 miles. This road went through a beautiful stretch of forest along the Elk River.

After that, I turned back and returned to the 101. From there I continued north into Cape Blanco State Park, riding past some spectacular coastal bluffs until I reached the lighthouse. Finally, I turned back and headed back into town along the 101.

The ride took all day but it sure was memorable, and it was great not having to deal with much in the way of car traffic.

View of the beach at Cape Blanco State Park