Still not a backrest Jayne on Emily's bike Jayne shall eat now in Alwinton, EnglandGlacier National Park 2010 Jayne is not quite ATGATT

Forest Grove to Wilamina and/or Tillamook 
along & around the Nestucca River

168 miles of foresty, twisty fun


International trips by motorcycle
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Northern England & Scotland, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden

Trips riding my own motorcycle
California ("Lost Coast" and gold country), Idaho, Montana (Glacier NP), Nevada, Oregon, Washington (state), Wyoming (Yellowstone), Canada (Alberta and British Columbia, Jasper, Banff & Kootenay).

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  There are two terrific ways to get to Tillamook from Forest Grove, and you can either combine them into one huge, all day trip, or you can make it a smaller loop that would still take a lot of the day. You could even combine it with a trip elsewhere and then camp at one of the 3 or 4 campsites along the Nestucca River in Siuslaw National Forest.

These routes are mostly forest, and have great twists and turns. It's my favorite day trip from Portland.

Here's what the entire big trip looks like (168 miles):

Here is a description of the route counter-clockwise:
  • From Forest Grove, take 47 / Tualitan Valley Highway South through Gaston and Yamhill to Carlton. Make a right on North Meadowlake Road, which will become wonderfully hilly and twisty and turn into Nestucca River Road. You will be in Siuslaw National Forest, and there are a few places along the way where you can camp - or just take a pee break.  There will be a mile of mud or dirt, but otherwise, the road is paved.
  • Note that the campgrounds on Nestucca River Road, like Adler Creek Recreation site and campground and Rocky Bend Campground, have vaulted (pit) toilets and no potable water.  

  • Continue on Nestucca River Road, which becomes Blaine Road. This takes you to 101. You can head all the way to Tillamook, or you can stop anywhere before then for lunch. 

50 miles of incredible twisties, and connects Carlton  to Beaver on Highway 101, about 15 miles south of Tillamook. Only thing is that there is 1 1/2 miles of gravel in the middle of it. It is possible to bypass it by taking Bald Mountain Access Road to Bible Creek Road, which is all paved, but very confusing.

Here's what the route looks like if you skip Tillamook and just do the loop, which is 110 miles (and note that there's no where to buy lunch on this loop, so you might want to bring something; Carlton is a delightful place to stop for a late lunch or coffee, FYI):

  • If you have to get back quickly, you can take 6 from Tillamook, which is oh-so-boring. But if you still have plenty of daylight, head back down 101 and return up Nestucca River Road and, before you get to the gravel, make a right onto Bible Creek Access Road - the access to the road is on your right, across from a big dirt parking lot on your left. Here's a satellite view of the turnoff:

My husband, Stefan Dietz, an experienced adventure motorcycle travelers, designs and sells aluminum top boxes and side panniers. They are tough, light-weight, and affordable. They are German-designed and made in the USA! All available in custom sizes.

Motorrad Aluminium Topcase

Motorrad Aluminium Topcase

Motorrad Aluminium Topcase

This small top box is 20 liter (5.3 gallon)

400 x 250 x 200 mm
(15 34" x 9 34" x 7 34")

1.6 mm (116") thick aluminum

Motorrad Aluminium Topcase

Motorrad Aluminium Topcase

Yes, that's my motorcycle as the model.

All top boxes and panniers:
  • are completely welded, not glued or riveted
  • have a lid with four loops to fasten more luggage, & lid is completely removable, making loading / unloading much easier
  • tie down hooks which can each be locked with a small padlock
  • gasket in the lid makes the boxes waterproof
  • all attachment parts (loops, tie down hooks, and screws) are made of stainless steel
  • all corners and bends are rounded
  • light weight - top box is only 2.3 kg (5 pounds)
  • spare parts available
All boxes and panniers are available in custom sizes.


The first part of the road is hardest - uphill gravel twisties for about a mile. It's worse if you are coming the other way, since these are downhill. This is a public road, and there may be cars and other motorcyclists out, so on blind curves, take extra care.

Keep following the road for 16 miles. It will become Dixie Rd/Dixie Mountain Rd, but you may never see a sign that says such.

As long as fresh gravel hasn't been laid down, this is a relatively easy gravel road.

There is a point after about 9 miles where you will see a paved road going left. You can take that if you've had enough gravel, and it will eventually bring you to North Plains.

If you continue on the gravel, you may see signs that the road has a different name, but it always becomes Dixie Mountain Road again (it may be called NW Kay Rd, NW Collins Rd, NW Northrup Rd, on and on). At one point, the road becomes paved, but don't be fooled - it becomes gravel again.

There are roads leading off leading off this route, but don't worry - just always stick with the obvious main road, and you will be fine. Eventually, the road will become paved "for good" - and will be called "Dixie Mountain Highway" again. Follow it to  the intersection of NW Dorland Rd and Shadybrook Road - right onto NW Shadybrook Rd, and that gets to to North Plains. And, from there, it's easy to get where you want to go - Portland, Forest Grove, whatever.  

If you try to do this gravel route from the opposite direction, it's confusing if you haven't already done it the way described above. That's because you will keep following Dixie Mountain road and you will eventually come to a sign that says the road is closed until further notice. And it is closed - it's not just a little barrier. But if you go on this North-South route, the way I've described it on this page, at least once, you will be able to figure the opposite way easily.

More Oregon and Washington suggested short motorcycle routes.

Any activity incurs risk. The author assumes no responsibility for the use of information contained within this document.


If you have read this blawg, PLEASE let me know.
Comments are welcomed, and motivate me to keep writing -- without comments, I start to think I'm talking to cyberair.

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