Biking the N. Coast Mountain Range - Seaside Oregon

Seaside Stories

Biking the N. Coast Mountain Range

March 24, 2013 | by Jon Rahl

We talk a lot about the fact that Seaside is more than just a day at the beach. For many, coming to the beach is the main priority when visiting this 150-year old coastal community. But poking around the outlying area reveals there truly is a myriad of things to see and do.

On this Saturday, two colleagues and I set out to demonstrate this fact by meeting up at the Seaside Visitors Bureau parking lot (7 N. Roosevelt, Seaside, OR), jumping on our bikes and hitting the road to explore the ride we’ll refer to as Clatsop Loop.

The route we set out on took us through nearly every terrain imaginable (paved road, rocky access roads, paved trails, dirt trails, sandy soil, gentle dunes and finally packed sand on the beach).

I would not recommend this entire trek to a beginner. We traveled a total of 29.3 miles and although I consider myself to be in good, physical shape, I was dead tired as we finished our ride – especially after wrapping the ride over a stretch of six plus miles on the beach. The exhausted feeling was met with a similar feeling of satisfaction but it was a ride I would classify as medium to expert on the skill-level meter. The great thing to keep in mind is that riding just a portion of this loop, or other trails and rides that found in our biking section, can expose you to a plethora of scenery, wildlife and sheer beauty.

Clatsop Loop Ride Detail

Starting out at the Visitors Bureau at an elevation of 23 feet, we climbed 410 feet between the 2.0 and 3.4-mile mark as we navigated the steep and slightly windy hills of Lewis and Clark Road. At the time I felt this would be the most taxing part of the ride. After spending the better portion of the next seven to eight miles on logging access roads (roads that are open for non-motorized recreational use), we entered Lewis & Clark National Park at about the 11-mile mark.

The point of entrance to the Park at this point is Netul Landing and the Fort to Sea Trail. And while a parking lot is provided for those driving in from this point, it should be noted that the $5 daily usage fee (it’s just $30 for an annual access pass) should be paid at the Fort Clatsop Visitor Center (just another 1.5-miles ahead on a beautiful trail that was highlighted on this day by a bald eagle snatching a fish from Lewis and Clark River for lunch).

Once you’ve made it to the Visitor Center (there is a great spot to take a seat and have a light snack at this part of the journey) the next three miles represent another 270-foot gain in elevation but one of the most exciting parts of the ride. The Kwis Kwis Trail (a portion of this stretch) is classified as single-track riding that was a blast to navigate. I loved the endless array of curves, climbs and descents and the setting is extremely peaceful.

Eventually, once connected with Perkins Road, you’ll end up at the eastern edge of Highway 101 (slightly north of Camp Rilea). Be careful crossing the road. Navigating HWY 101 south to Sunset Beach Lane (1.95 miles) is your best bet. From there you’ll access the beach (check tides ahead of time) and enjoy a comfortable cruise (though not as easy as it looks) of about five miles on hard-packed sand until you get to Gearhart.

The 10th Street access in Gearhart will mark the end of your beach ride. While I thoroughly enjoyed this stretch, I likened this portion to riding a stationary bike with the resistance cranked up to seven or eight. Unlike a resistance bike though the setting can’t be changed, and after 20+ miles already ridden my thighs were on extreme burn alert.

The end of the journey takes you through the streets of Gearhart and eventually back to Highway 101. If you’ve made it this far, you’re just 1.8 miles from the Seaside Visitors Bureau and Information Center where a friendly smile or nearby restaurant or pub are waiting for you to recap your four-hour ride.

More two-wheeled adventures

For more on this ride and others throughout the North Coast Mountain Range, we encourage you to check out our biking information or call or visit the Seaside Visitors Bureau for specific details and maps.

See you in Seaside!

Editor’s Note: As with any recreational journey, always carry a map, GPS device (if available) and give friends and relatives your travel intentions. It’s also important on this ride to check local tide charts and plan to enter the beach portion of the ride as the tide is on its way out. For information on biking through Camp Rilea and range activity times which could slightly alter beach riding, please visit the Camp’s website.

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

Lookout on Neahkahnie Mountain

Sometimes an Oregon Coast outdoor adventure doesn

Learn More
Dog Days of Summer in Seaside

Give your dog the time of his life on Seaside's beach.

Learn More
Seaside Lifeguards: A Fond Seasonal Farewell

Can you believe it’s almost Labor Day Weekend? Don’t fret!  We’re still probably in for some dynamic weather throughout Sep...

Learn More
Measuring Seaside’s Success

The barometer for marketing and advertising success of a destination can be tough to measure. There are several metrics we have ac...

Learn More
Awards Program for Excellence in Customer Service

New Customer Service Awards Program in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Ice cream time in Seaside, Oregon
An Adventure to Share

A winning family vacation in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Northwest Travel Magazine: Gilbert District

For more than 100 years, the Gilbert District has been a big piece of Seaside's core.

Learn More
On How to Spend the Holidays in Seaside

Let’s be honest, the holidays can get stressful. That means it’s the perfect time of year to slow down and head to the beach. ...

Learn More
Golfing at the Beach

I adore golfing! I love walking along the greens, the feel of a driver in my hand, and I love watching the ball fly through the air. Unfortunately for me, I’m not very good at golf. I can hit the ball straight but not far, and my putting is atrocious! Regardless of my lack of skills I still love it, and thankfully my boyfriend is also incredibly patient while I putt away. As a treat for his patience I’m planning to take him golfing in Seaside. Golfing on a green course with the Pacific Ocean nearby is an incredible experience. There is one golf course in Seaside, and a few close by in Gearhart (just two miles from downtown Seaside).

Learn More
The Sweet Side of Seaside

Above photo: A tray of sweets on display at A Sweet Affaire, held every February. In February, we invite you to bask in the sweet ...

Learn More
Supersize Me!

A brief look at Seaside's past sweets and treats

Learn More
Where to P.L.A.Y. in Seaside

The park is nestled next to Neawanna Creek where ducks float lazily by, a tree lined mountainside looming in the distance. Do a 180 and you get a great view of Tillamook Head to the south.

Learn More
The Whole Clam Family

Family clamming on Seaside's beach is a tradition that literaly goes back thousands of years.

Learn More
Guide to Spring Events in Seaside

If you think Seaside is simply a summertime destination, get ready to adjust your mindset! Seaside offers something for all visito...

Learn More
Tillamook Head Trail
Seaside’s Very Own Rainforest: Tillamook Head

Hiking the Tillamook Head trail offers pure bliss for this local hiker

Learn More
Seaside’s History is an Honored Guest in Its Present

There are many local landmarks that celebrate the rich history of Seaside, a town that has been enjoyed as a popular beach getaway...

Learn More
How to Start Cycling In Seaside

Few places in the Pacific Northwest are as primed for pedal-powered exploration as Seaside. I should know since I’ve ridden abou...

Learn More