City Escape: Portland, Oregon

Text: Joseph Marek • Photography: Joseph Marek

Fuel up at See See Motor Coffee in northeast Portland and head west through the Coast Range to explore Oregon’s logging heritage and see where Lewis and Clark spent a soggy winter in 1805-06. The city of Astoria thrives as a port and tourist destination, and winding roads along the Columbia River feed endless smiles on your way back to Portland.

Length

Approximately 240 miles

Meet-up Spot

See See Motor Coffee Co, 1642 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 

Lunch Stop

An iconic fixture in Astoria is the Pig ’N Pancake, a terrific family restaurant serving homestyle meals and specializing in breakfast. Find it at 146 W Bond St, Astoria, OR, (503) 325-3144. 

Scenery (4 out of 5)

River valleys, twisty mountain roads, and big Douglas firs treat the senses to the best of northwest Oregon. 

Traffic (4 out of 5)

Traffic levels are light on the minor roads but can be busy on some of the main routes to the coastal communities, including Seaside and Astoria, especially on weekends. 

Difficulty (3 out of 5)

Roads are winding and some are narrow with no centerline. A good, relaxed pace makes for a wonderful day’s trip. 

Road Conditions (4 out of 5)

Pavement conditions are generally good. Some roads may have blind corners. Ride to the right and slow for the corners. 

Points of Interest

  1. Camp 18 Restaurant: Camp 18 is located along Highway 26 at Milepost 18 west of the crest of the Coast Range. This excellent restaurant, with its historical logging artifacts display, highlights the strong logging history of western Oregon. www.camp18restaurant.com
  2. Fort Clatsop: Fort Clatsop National Park is where Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery spent the winter of 1805-06 after their westward journey. Visit the interpretive center, trails, and a replica of the original fort. www.nps.gov/lewi/planyourvisit/fortclatsop.htm
  3. Columbia River Maritime Museum: A necessary stop is the Oregon Maritime Museum, containing over 44,000 square feet dedicated to the shipping history of the Columbia River and Astoria. www.crmm.org
  4. Westport Ferry and Cathlamet: Enjoy a nice little moving stop on the Wahkiakum County Ferry, which traverses the 1.5-mile route across the Columbia River from Westport, OR, to Puget Island in Washington. The ferry runs every hour at a cost of per motorcycle. A short drive across Puget Island will get you to Cathlamet. cathlametchamber.com/visitor-info/ferry-schedule
  5. St. Helens: Take a short trip off Highway 30 to the historic St. Helens waterfront where you can relax at the town square and watch ships on the Columbia River. www.ci.st-helens.or.us