Driving Map to the Southern Oregon and Northern California Coasts
Want to get to the coast? There are a limited number of ways because the coastal mountain range limits access. But these same mountain ranges keep the coast mostly wild and natural. But getting here is easier than it may seem as there are good roads leading to four major routes.
Be careful about using GPS maps as they may list scenic routes that are really Forest Service roads with limited maintenance and no winter driving. Taking one of those routes may not only be difficult, but dangerous and vehicles without high clearance may find passage impossible.
The Top Route #1 – Portland / Eugene to the Coast
55 miles and 1 hour from I-5 to Reedsport.
- From Portland / Eugene, take I-5 south towards Roseburg.
- Take exit 162 for OR-38/OR-99 toward Drain/Elkton.
- stay on OR-38 W (leave OR-99) towards Reedsport. The second half of OR-38 is beautiful as it follows the Umpqua River.
The Second Route – I-5 Near Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass to the Coast
111 Miles and 2 hours 15 minutes from I-5 .
- From Medford / Ashland, travel north towards Grants Pass and take exit 55 towards Grants Pass and US199.
- Follow US199 for 111 miles to Crescent City. The second half of US199 is beautiful with tight winding curves.
The Third Route – I-5 Near Redding to Eureka
147 miles and three hours from I-5 near Redding.
- Travel I-5 towards Redding. Take exit to CA-299 west.
- Follow CA-299 to US101 and Eureka. 147 amazingly scenic miles.
The Fourth Route – From Sacramento and I-5
This route will arrive at US101 well south of Eureka and the California Redwoods. But the drive on US101 is easy and there is lots to see.
77 miles and 1:30 to US101 from I-5.
133 miles and 2:10 additional to Fortuna south of Eureka.
- Two options at first:
– Take I-5 north and 578 exit to CA20 West.
– Take I-5 north and 541 exit to CA16 West, to CA20 West.
The first option is a little faster. The second might be more scenic.
- CA20 to US101 North – 77 miles and 1:30. The drive along Clear Lake is beautiful.