Skip to content

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!

Seeing Seaside on a Surrey

Cruising around Seaside on a Surrey can be great exercise and a scenic journey

Seaside Nightlife

Above photo: A group enjoys some live music in a photo by Don Frank. Some visitors come to Seaside for the beach, some for the att...

How to Take an Extended Stay This Winter

It’s Sunday afternoon and you’ve been sightseeing, sipping and shopping in Seaside all weekend. It’s about time you start he...

Episode Two: the Lewis & Clark Salt Works

Join us on an audio walking tour of the Lewis & Clark Salt Works in Seaside, Oregon.

A group of women prepare to learn surfing in Oswald West State Park. Photo by Justin Bailie.
New Year, New Adventures

Instead of starting the new year by committing to breaking bad habits — and then forgetting that you even made the resolution ...

View from the Tower

View from the old Seaside Hotel tower.

Driving the Oregon Coast Highway

Unique views are plentiful along all 363 miles

Epic Mountain Biking Trails at Klootchy Creek

Updated 2022 Seaside’s natural landscapes are settings for all kinds of two-wheeled adventures, including challenging rides on l...

Dog Days of Summer in Seaside

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

Digging for the Bounty!

Razor clamming on Oregon

Grab a Great Cup of Coffee or Roast Your Own Beans

Want your favorite coffee drink for free? Easy! Help us keep the beach clean and your coffee is on us. Foggy days on the beach, ev...

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...

Pokémon Go: All You Need To Know in Seaside

Pokémon is a cultural phenomenon around the world. With adorable creatures, battle mechanics, an opportunity for healthy explorat...

Ice Cream for Dinner

More than a dozen frozen treat shops, the thought of brain freeze is likely.

Eat Your Way along the North Coast

Seaside is now the starting point for the self-guided North Coast Food Trail that travels south to Neskowin and includes more than...

Unique Seaside Spots to Stay

(photo courtesy of the SaltLine Hotel)   From oceanfront studios and restful retreats to in-house spas and pet-friendly suite...

Seaside Golf Club

A look at the history of the Seaside Golf Club.

The Art of the Stroll: Celebrate Seaside’s Prom Centennial

When’s the last time you strolled the Prom? It’s a tradition synonymous with Seaside, thanks to the 1.5- mile paved, accessibl...