This page contains directions for driving to the University of Oregon (Eugene Oregon 97403) from various directions. This page is intended for the use of participants in conferences at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oregon.
Eugene is easily accessible by car from either the north or south on Interstate 5. From the east, one can take Interstate 84 to Portland and drive south, but from southern Idaho it is shorter and quicker to get off Interstate 84 at the Oregon-Idaho border and take US 20 to Bend and then state highways across the Cascades to Eugene. From the northeast, there is a reasonable route from Spokane WA (on Interstate 90) using US 395 to Pasco and then Interstate 84 to Portland. From the southeast, the best route from Reno (on Interstate 80) goes north on US 395, cuts over to Klamath Falls on US 97, and follows state highway 58 over the Willamette pass to Eugene. (Warning: SR 58 is closed at night Monday nights through Thursday nights 8:00 pm--6:00 am from "spring through mid October" 2012 and 2013.) The more detailed directions below also mention several scenic alternatives.
The instructions below direct you to the kiosk on the main road entrance to the University. If you are driving directly to one of the motels, see the instructions at the bottom of the page.
Here is a campus map. Franklin Blvd. is the diagonal street about a third of the way from the top of the map. The kiosk is on East 13th Ave., roughly between Oregon Hall and the University Health, Counseling, and Testing building. It is a little bit above and to the right of the center of the map. (The mathematics department itself is in Deady and Fenton Halls. The building approximately half way from the center to the top left corner of the map is the Miller Theater Complex, also labelled Villard in smaller type. Deady Hall is the next building to the south, and Fenton Hall is the next building to the south of that.)
Here is a copy of the campus map as an Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF file for printing. (It does not show as much, and the location of the Phoenix Inn is covered by an inset.) More campus maps, including one showing parking lots, can be found here. Note that permits are required for parking in most lots, although many do not require permits at night or on weekends.
In the instructions below, "I" refers to Interstate highways, "US" to US Federal highways, and "SR" to Oregon (or California) state highways.
Winter brings the possibility of snow anywhere in Oregon. It is rare in Eugene, on I 5 north of Eugene (all the way to Vancouver BC), on the part of I 84 along the Columbia River (but ice is apparently sometimes a problem), and on US 101 (both north and south). It is a real possibility on all other routes described here (including I 5 south of Eugene), so be prepared.
From the south, take I 5 to Exit 192, which puts you on Franklin Blvd. going west. (There is no choice here.) The university is about 5 blocks along Franklin Blvd., on the south (left) side. You will pass a Days Inn and then two Best Western motels on the right. On the left, you will pass a roughly five story high building, about as large as a city block, and with a somewhat rounded roof. To get to the main road entrance, turn south (left) on Agate St. (at the third stoplight, just past the second of the two Best Western motels on the right), go one block, and turn right on 13th Ave.
An alternative to I 5 is the scenic coast route US 101. (Note that you can get from San Francisco to Eugene in one day via I 5, but you can't reasonably do this via US 101.) If you take US 101, turn inland at Florence, and take SR 126 east to Eugene. You will come into Eugene on 11th Ave. going east. You will be forced to jog north (left) 4 blocks to 7th Ave. where 11th becomes a one way street going west. Just past downtown, keep right, and follow the main road as it jogs south (right). This puts you on Franklin Blvd. going east, at the same point where you get on it following the directions below for coming from the north.
If you come from the southeast, you will probably go through Reno on I 80 in western Nevada. (Warning: Part of this route is closed some nights, forcing major detours. See below.) From there, take US 395 north. It soon crosses into California. From there go to Klamath Falls, on US 97 in southern Oregon. There are two choices: either go to Susanville (just off US 395) and then take SR 139 to the Oregon line, where it turns into SR 39; or else follow US 395 as far as Alturas (using the cutoff near Susanville), and cut over to SR 139 by going west from Alturas on SR 299. Whichever choice you make, you will approach Klamath Falls from the southeast on SR 39. To avoid a long drive through the town, turn west on SR 140 (toward Medford) just outside it, and then turn north on US 97 when you reach it. You will be getting on a freeway as you make this last turn, but the freeway doesn't extend very far. Continue north on US 97 to the intersection with SR 58 (a few miles north of Chemult). Then take SR 58 over the Willamette Pass. (The pass is about 5000 feet. Snow tires or chains are sometimes required in winter.) You join I 5 about 5 miles south of Eugene. Get on I 5 going north, and take Exit 192 as in the directions for coming from the south.
Warning: SR 58 is closed at night Monday nights through Thursday nights 8:00 pm--6:00 am from "spring through mid October" 2012 and 2013, at the Salt Creek Tunnel; at other times during this period, expect delays of up to 20 minutes. The closed section is less than a mile long, but there is no nearby detour. The best alternative is to leave US 395 at Susanville in northeastern California, and take California SR 36, then SR 44, then SR 89 to Mt. Shasta on I-5 in north central California. Then follow the directions for coming from the south.
If you miss this, stay on US 97 past its intersection with SR 58 and drive another 60 miles north to Bend. Then follow the directions for coming from the east.
(It is possible to get around the construction site with less deviation from the main route, but this involves leaving SR 58 at Crescent Lake on the east side of the pass, about 20 miles of dirt road, and another about 40 miles of narrow paved road, some of which is very winding. You come out near Oakridge. I have gone this way, but it is slow.)
From the north, take I 5 south to Exit 194. (When coming from the north, it is not possible to leave the freeway at the exit in the instructions for coming from the south.) There, get on I 105 going west to Eugene. Take Exit 2 to downtown Eugene and the University of Oregon. This puts you on Coburg Road going south. (The ramp labelled Coburg Road sends you north instead.) Cross a bridge (over the Willamette River), and keep left, ignoring two ramps that go off to the right. You will curve left, and be on Franklin Blvd. going east. The university is a few blocks further on your right. If you see a car dealership, you have gone too far. To get to the entrance kiosk, turn south (right) on Agate St. (at the fifth stoplight after crossing the bridge), go one block, and turn right on 13th Ave.
As of now (2012), I recommend taking I 405 around Seattle if driving on a weekday afternoon. On I-5 north of downtown Seattle, there are reversible express lanes. They carry northbound traffic in the afternoon, and the main part of the freeway is not big enough for the southbound traffic at or near the afternoon rush hour. (There are no express lanes south of downtown Seattle.)
As of now (2012), under normal circumstances, I recommend taking I 5 straight through Portland. I 205 around Portland is at about 10 miles longer than I 5 through downtown, and outside of rush hours the traffic on I 5 is rarely so bad as to justify such a long detour. (I don't know what either of them is like in rush hour.)
As from the south, the scenic coast route US 101 is an alternative. If you take US 101, turn inland at Florence, and (just as if you came from the south) take SR 126 east to Eugene. You will come into Eugene on 11th Ave. going east. You will be forced to jog north (left) 4 blocks to 7th Ave. where 11th becomes a one way street going west. Just past downtown, keep right, and follow the main road as it jogs south (right). This puts you on Franklin Blvd. going east, at the same point where you get on it following the directions above for coming from the north on I 5.
From the northeast, you will probably go through Spokane on I 90 in Washington, just west of the Washington/Idaho line. From Spokane take I 90 west to Ritzville, then take US 395 through Pasco and Kennewick to Umatilla (using a short stretch of I 82 eastbound), and get on I 84 westbound. From there, follow the directions for I 84 in the next paragraph. A scenic alternative (several hours longer) is to turn south on US 97, then west on SR 126 at Redmond. This takes you to Sisters, and you can then take either the Santiam Pass or the McKenzie Pass, as described below.
From the east, one alternative is to take I 84 to Portland, turn south on I 205 shortly after entering the Portland urban area, join I 5 south of Portland, and proceed as in the directions for coming from the north. A shorter and faster alternative is to get off I 84 at Ontario (just on the Oregon side of the Idaho/Oregon line), and take US 20 west through Burns and Bend to Sisters. At Sisters take SR 126 west across the Cascades (using the Santiam Pass) and along the McKenzie River to Springfield. (US 20 and SR 126 join at Sisters, and separate again on the other side of the Santiam Pass. The pass is over 5000 feet, and snow tires or chains are sometimes required in winter.) Just after you get into Springfield, follow SR 126 along a turn to the right, where it becomes a freeway. The number changes to I 105 as you cross I 5; take Exit 2 etc. as in the directions for coming from the north.
This route allows a scenic cutoff over the McKenzie Pass, from which one can see the Three Sisters (volcanoes just over 10,000 feet) and large lava flows. Just west of the town of Sisters, turn left onto SR 242. This route saves about 10 miles, but is very narrow and winding (trailers not recommended), and takes longer than SR 126. You rejoin SR 126 at the bottom of the pass. (This road is closed in winter, usually from sometime in November through sometime in June. Opening and closing dates vary depending on weather and snow amounts, so enquire before planning to use this road any time from October through July.)
An alternative to US 20 is US 26. It is slower and longer than US 20 but higher elevation and cooler. (Eastern Oregon is quite hot in the summer, and US 20 is mostly in the desert.) US 26 is still faster than going to Portland on the freeway. This route splits from US 20 a few miles east of Ontario. Follow it through John Day to Prineville, from Prineville take SR 126 through Redmond to Sisters, and proceed as for US 20.
For those driving directly to one of the motels next to the campus (see the WWW page on Motels near the University of Oregon): On this campus map, Franklin Blvd. is the diagonal street about a third of the way from the top of the map. The two Best Western motels are roughly across Franklin Blvd. from the Jacqua Academic Center, near the right side. The Phoenix Inn is in a triangular area near the top right, bounded on the south by a blue line on the north by Franklin Blvd., and on the west by Alder St. The Excelsior Inn is on the middle far left of the map, on East 13th Ave. The Secret Garden is on the southwest corner of University St. and East 19th Ave. University St. is the north-south street just to the right of the white section where the scale is, and East 19th Ave. is at the very bottom of the map.
Entering Eugene on Franklin Blvd. from the east, the Best Western motels are on the right just before Agate St., where you turn to get to the University of Oregon kiosk. The Phoenix Inn is on the left just before Alder St.: keep going past Agate St., and turn left on Alder St., at the second stoplight past Agate St. (not counting a stoplight which only applies to traffic turning left). Then turn left from Alder St. into the motel parking lot. For the Secret Garden, turn left on Agate St. as if going to the kiosk, but continue through three stop signs to a stoplight at East 19th Ave. Turn right there. University St. is three blocks west, and the Secret Garden is at the southwest corner of the intersection. Parking is off an alley off East 19th Ave. past University St. For the Excelsior Inn, go through the intersection with Agate St., through a stoplight at Onyx St., and turn left at East 11th Ave. (There is a stoplight for left turns but not for through traffic.) You will find yourself still going roughly the same direction. Go through a stoplight at a bus station in the middle of the road, then turn left at the fourth stoplight after that, on Patterson St. (one block after East 11th Ave. has become a one way street). Turn left at the next stoplight (two blocks), onto East 13th Ave., and drive a block and a half. The Excelsior Inn is on the right.
Entering Eugene on Broadway/Franklin Blvd. from the west, for the Best Western motels continue past Agate St. without turning, and make a U turn at the first opportunity (the second stoplight). This puts you on Franklin Blvd. going west, and the motels are on the right near the end of a long block. The Phoenix Inn is on the right some distance before Agate St., just after a stoplight at Alder St. For the Excelsior Inn, turn right on Patterson St. (no stoplight; if you see the Phoenix Inn, you have gone two blocks too far), turn left at the second stoplight (three blocks), onto East 13th Ave., and drive a block and a half. The Excelsior Inn is on the right. For the Secret Garden, turn right on Patterson St. (no stoplight; if you see the Phoenix Inn, you have gone two blocks too far), turn left at the fourth stoplight (nine blocks), onto East 19th Ave., and drive six blocks (I think) to University St. The Secret Garden is on the right; to get to its parking lot, turn right into an alley a half block before University St.
Last significant change: 2 Aug. 2012.