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Oregon/Tips for hitchhikers

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Oregon, a state of the US, is great for hitchhiking. No long waiting times, and it's legal to walk on the freeway! Don't hesitate to actually do it, if you can't find a ride on the on-ramp. Lots of people do stop on the freeway. Cops won't harass you. And even trucks will stop on the on-ramps. Often you will find yourself dropped off at the exact place where you wanted to be.

Note: The applicable law is ORS 814.070 and 814.080. The latter is frequently misread to mean hitchhiking is illegal. The wording is A person commits the offense of unlawful hitchhiking if the person is on a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride. The key word is "on". Don't stand in a lane of travel and you are perfectly legal. Other bits require that a hitchhiker has to be safely out of the way and face traffic.


Florence Oregon is on the coast West of Eugene it is easy to get rides North or South on HWY 101 and East to Eugene on HWY126 if you wait on the outskirts of town. Lane Community College is open to the public for internet access etc. it is located at 3149 Oak Street just one block from the HWY.


Albany, Oregon can be one of the hardest towns to try to hitchhike out of. Although there are many gas stations within walking distance to the on- and off-ramps for I-5, Albanites tend to be not trusting of hitchhikers probably in part due to the more conservative nature of the town. If you're headed west on highway 20, you may be able to get a ride in the back of the ubiquitous pickups that the locals drive. For a ride down I-5, it's best just to stay on the freeway, though if you're personable enough you can always try the gas stations just off of the freeway.


In Ashland, Oregon you just get to the I-5 and wait on the on-ramp and you will easily and quickly find a ride.


Eugene is a college town in Oregon.

When going North, try to opt for a ride that will bring you directly- or most of the way- to your destination. While there are many laws that protect hitchhikers in the state of Oregon, the practice of hitchhiking can be somewhat frowned upon in small towns, such as Albany (Oregon), as well as the capital city of Salem, which both have reputations for being fairly conservative places.

It is difficult to get out of the city going North. If you're downtown, walk north on High, cross 6th, turn east (right) on 6th sidewalk. It curves left on bridges over tracks and river. Now you're on Coburg rd. 1/2 mile farther is on-ramp.

You can take a city bus (#12) past Gateway Mall to the intersection of Gateway and Beltline. There is an on-ramp just west of there.

If someone can give you a ride, the first rest stop north of Eugene (about 5-10 miles) is a great place to go from. Your driver will have to continue North for about 5 miles after dropping you off before being able to turn around. But the "old man" here says kids are usually gone by the time he drives by on his way back to Eugene. He took me once; worked like a charm.

When going South, you can take the 30th Avenue and head east. You can probably hitch a ride at a bus stop, especially during rush hour. At the on-ramp there's quite a lot of traffic, but you might be better off waiting on the freeway itself (which is legal in Oregon).


Portland is one of the biggest cities in Oregon, and a popular destination for drivers.

Most of the freeway on-ramps from within Portland do not allow adequate space for drivers to stop and pull-over for hitchhikers. Therefore, it is recommended that the best way to get out of Portland is to take the public transit system well out of the city and try from an on-ramp that allows for more room to pull over.

Specific suggestions (see Tri-met's system map ):

For I-5 southbound, take WES (light rail) from the Beaverton Transit Center to the south end of the line in Wilsonville. From that station, walk east and then south less than one mile to I-5 and Wilsonville Road. Or take bus line 96 to Tualatin and get off at Nyberg Road and Martinazzi and walk east 400 m (1/4 mi). Both WES and line 96 have service geared toward 8 to 5 commuting; service is light to non-existent at other times.

I-5 northbound is tricky. It is probably best to catch a ride during traffic jam times, every day from 2 or 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. During non-congested times, vehicles will be unwilling to stop due to speed and scarce pullout space. Walking over to Washington is feasible in 40-50 minutes where pickup is easier but hitchhiking on the interstate is prohibited by state law (but on-ramps are legal). Take bus line 6 to Hayden Island where it will be obvious what to do. Or take Max yellow line to Expo Center, walk east and cross the 4 lane highway to be on the sidewalk/bicycle path. Follow that east under I-5 and around the outside of the onramp quasi-cloverleaf. You could try hitching a ride here if traffic is congested. Otherwise continue around and follow the bike path under the onramp (follow the Vancouver/Washington signs for bicycles) then go another 1 km (0.6 mi) to Hayden Island. Conceivably you could try attracting a ride along this stretch, a bicycle path beside I-5.

For I-84, there are several good choices. Choose whichever gets you there soonest. Take bus line 21 to Wood Village where you can walk to 238th and I-84. Or bus lines 77, 80, or 81 to Troutdale where there is a factory outlet mall on 257th beside I-84. 77 goes right past. For 80 and 81, get off at 257th and Historic Columbia River Highway then walk north past the mall. There is lots of room for pulling over and traffic rarely is too dense to delay getting a ride.

For US 26 east to Mount Hood or Central Oregon, take Max blue line to the east end of the line in Gresham. Exit the Cleveland station right (south, following a sidewalk) and continue on Liberty Ave. first east and then south 500 m (1/3 mi) through a residential neighborhood to Powell Blvd. which is technically US 26 but after it joins Burnside Street about a mile further east is where the best hitching is. Before that point, most cars will be local traffic.

For US 26 west to the northern Oregon Coast (Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Tillamook), take Max blue line west toward Hillsboro, but get off at the 185th Transit Center and transfer to bus line 52 north toward Rock Creek/PCC. Get off just after crossing US 26 (Bronson Road). This area is good hitching mornings, but frustrating afternoon and evening due to very heavy commuting traffic. US 26 is more northerly; Oregon Route 6 goes directly to Tillamook. The junction is 17 km (11 mi) from 185th.

For central Oregon Coast (Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport) the direct route is US 99W to McMinnville and Oregon 18 to Lincoln City. Lots of through traffic that direction is often good hitching, but it can be frustrating at random times. Take Tri-met bus line 93 or 94 south to Sherwood and get off at the first stop (Roy Rogers/Tualatin-Sherwood Road). Either backtrack out of town slightly north (where you just came from), or walk along the highway through town (2.3 km, 1.4 mi). Expect to be inspected by law enforcement if you advertise in this conservativish town.

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