Just noticed this thread. I posted the following on the "Summer Trip Planned" thread at Summer Trip Planned
. Thought I might as well stick it in here also.
The wife and I drove the OBCDR last summer. We travelled the section from the Washington border to Highway 20. This is roughly the northern 2/3 of Route 5.
We spent a total of 10 days on the trail, including the time to and from home in Beaverton. Total mileage from home and back was 1250. Check the maps from OOHVA. You will see a multitude of historic points and manned fire lookouts, etc., along the route. We made it a point to hit all of these. We also tried to set up camp well before dark, do a little fishing and relaxing and not push it. If you just stick to the main route and drive hard you could make it much faster but would miss the real reason for driving these roads.
This trail is not a 4X4 challenge. You might use four wheel drive for 1% of the trip. It was originally laid out to follow existing USFS and BLM roads but an effort was made to follow the more remote and lesser used roads and avoid the major all-weather gravel roads. Some of the roads have been decommissioned and you will need to make a few minor detours. There are NO OBCDR sign posts for the trail. They were removed as the result of a law suit by some environmental groups.
Besides the OOHVA maps you can buy a CD with track logs from Oregon Back Country Discovery Route
. Be prepared for some route finding with good maps, a GPS and any other resources you can get your hands on.
Depending on the time of year (we went during late August) be prepared for snow, high water at the fords, and the chance of trees down across the road. Some of these roads receive little or no maintenance. Each year there are some trees that come down. Depending on how many users have travelled the road before you, you may be forced to do some clearing work. We made heavy us of the chain saw on some of the side trips we took.
Plan for fuel. We left the trail frequently to get fuel at small towns or wayside stations.
You can watch an OPB program about the trail at Oregon Field Guide — Back Country Discovery Route · Oregon Public Broadcasting
. It might give you some idea why you would want to run the trail.
Feel free to check with me if you have any questions. I will do my best to answer them.