The current roadbed of U.S. 101 was laid in southern Oregon in 1961. The previous coastal route still exists along Carpenterville Road, which can be picked up near Harris Beach (inquire at the state Welcome Center located nearby). It comes out near the Pistol River, where it descends in a series of switchbacks.
Its highest point is 1,700 feet above sea level at Burnt Hill. Views of the Siskiyous to the east and the Pacific panoramas to the west make the sometimes-rough road worth the effort. In very clear weather, it’s possible to look back toward the southeast at Mount Shasta between the ridgelines.
This route is best appreciated going south, and it makes a great 20-mile bike ride, with a long climb to 1,700 feet above sea level.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel