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Old 09-13-2009, 08:26 AM
Location: Denver
1,084 posts, read 3,063,471 times
Reputation: 470


I see the unique feature of the North Bend/Coos Bay area is that there are no direct routes to I-5. I am assuming this is due to geographic features. I have driven 38 all the way across but don't remember 42. Is 42 worse, better or about the same, especially in winter? Any bus or public transit?

Also how big is Winston? It doesn't even show up on the city-data list when I searched for it.

Have i missed a better route from I-5 to Coos Bay? Are there any plans to improve any of those roads? I know there was a rail route to the Eugene area that was discontinued in the last few years and I know there is a bus systm locally and that they had cut back on the flights to/from the airport except SF and Portland.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:57 AM
Location: Southern Oregon
1,966 posts, read 2,329,354 times
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The only direct route into Coos Bay/North Bend from I-5 is Hwy 42. Hwy 38 dumps you out at Reedsports about 30 miles north of Coos Bay. Hwy 42 can be a rough drive in the winter months but they have done allot of improvement on this hwy in the last 10 years. Winston is a town of about 6,000 information on Winston: http://www.city-data.com/city/Winston-Oregon.html

There is a bus service from Winston to Roseburg, but none to the coast that I know of.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:07 AM
Location: WA
4,201 posts, read 14,375,946 times
Reputation: 3249
Hwy 38 is such a nice drive through the beautiful Umpqua valley I go out of my way to take that route. There is repaving in progress on the west end.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:47 PM
7 posts, read 16,302 times
Reputation: 16
One thing that is key to answering your question is from what direction are you traveling? Traveling north on I-5 it is obvious that you will want to take Hwy 42 because you would have to drive another 35 miles north on I-5 or old Hwy 99 through Elkton to connect with Hwy 38, then drive south another 30 miles from Reedsport to North Bend/Coos Bay, (as the other poster mentioned). So...traveling from the south, use Hwy 42 to get to Coos Bay. HOWEVER, DO NOT TAKE SIDE ROADS FOR SHORT CUTS THAT ARE ON YOUR MAP OR GPS IF YOU HAVE NEVER DRIVEN THEM BEFORE. People have died from exposure getting caught on forest service roads without a clue, and based on some route they gleaned from a road map or GPS. Stick to the main road HWY 42 and you will have clear access almost all the time, with the exception of black ice and fog in the late fall to early spring.

The main difference between HWY 42 and HWY 38 is that 42 is much more curvy, a little more bumpy, (generally less maintained). Winston is the last main pit stop, so stock up there.

Of course, Hwy 38 is a little better ride, but they are just finishing up road work, which may cause delays. Other than that, it is a easier route to drive. It is the obvious choice especially if driving south on I-5 from PDX etc. Fog and black ice are also a major factor in the late fall and winter, but Hwy 42 is a little more creepy to drive and more difficult to navigate
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:14 PM
Location: Oregon Coast
1,229 posts, read 2,479,718 times
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I find Hwy 38 as a good Winter Route as it follows the Umpqua River and the warmer air follows the river (?) but just be on constant watch for unexpected rock slides. Disadvantage of Hwy 38 is during weekends it has the heavy traffic because it's a direct shot from Coast to I-5 so be on guard for other drivers crossing the centerline towards you. Hwy 42 is well maintained good highway and a pretty drive thru a pass with awesome views of forests but very curvey with lots of log truck traffic. Hwy 42 has more pullovers to look-see.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:46 AM
Location: the Beaver State
6,473 posts, read 7,064,611 times
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Both roads have been so heavily modified in the past ten years that the drives are not that bad, it just depends on where your eventual destination is. I tend to take 38 to the coast and 42 back to I-5, but that is purely from habit of doing it for 20+ years.
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