Author Topic: Pacific Coast - getting to the San Juans from Seattle  (Read 1817 times)

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Offline tdelhagen

Pacific Coast - getting to the San Juans from Seattle
« on: May 25, 2010, 03:10:46 pm »
Hi all -

I'm flying into Seattle at the end of July to start a 3 week trip down the coast - ending in San fran.  As of now I really want to hit the peninsula route of Washington, down Oregon's coast and through the redwoods in California.  Seattle seems to be cheaper than vancouver to fly to.  Any thoughts on how to get to the legendary San Juans before starting out to the Washington Peninsula?  I know there are boats that go up and down.  Is there a ferry from Seattle though?

Any adivice would be welcomed!! 

cheers,
Taylor

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Pacific Coast - getting to the San Juans from Seattle
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 03:26:30 pm »
If I remember correctly, the San Juan Islands are west of Ana Cortes, WA or thereabouts. There are regular transportation services for the islands from the mainland. In 1987 Ana Cortes was the western terminus of the Bikecentennial route. In 87 I flew to Seattle, cycled to Ans Cortes, spent one night or two in a camp ground there, and headed east the next day. Googling for transportation options should get you something. ACA probably has some info. on that too.

Offline vanvalks

Re: Pacific Coast - getting to the San Juans from Seattle
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 11:52:45 pm »
In the "connecting routes" section of the forums, I gave some pretty specific directions for getting to Seattle from the NT route east of the town of Sedro Woolley (which is on Highway 20, as is Anacortes, but about 25 miles east) but that is somewhat out of the way.  Basically, there is a light rail train to downtown Seattle from the airport.  Heading north from downtown brings you to the Burke Gilman Trail.  Head east on the Burke Gilman to the town of Woodinville, then go norht on 156th.  Stay off of Highway 9 (Google maps bicycling function will put you on it--they call it Snohomish Woodinville Road).  In the town of Snohomish, find the Centennial Trail (Off Maple St), and ride it to Arlington.  In Arlington, you can get on Highway 9 and continue north.  You will need to bear left at the roundabout to get to the town of Mt. Vernon.  Go north out of Mt Vernon to Burlington, where you will come to Highway 20.  Go west on Highway 20 to the town of Anacortes, which is actually on Hwy 20 Spur.  The ferry terminal for the San Juan islands is west of downtown.  When returning, Where the spur and the main hwy 20 join, go south to the Keystone-Port Townsend ferry.  Take the ferry across the Sound, and you are on the Olympic Peninsula.

I live in Snohomish about 4 miles from the trail.

Bob

Offline lisap

Re: Pacific Coast - getting to the San Juans from Seattle
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2010, 03:23:17 am »
If you can change your flight and fly into Vancouver it is much easier to get to San Juan. Take the BC Ferry from Tsawwassan to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. It is close to Vancouver airport and there are published cycles routes if you look online. Cycle the few miles to Sydney on the bike path and get the Washington State ferrry to Friday Harbour on San Juan Island. You have to clear US customs at the terminal which is a small cluster of huts and the ferry is in $US rather than Canadian. The main advantage is that it cuts out lots of busy roads around Seattle and you get to view the most beautiful inlets through the Islands.

I did the PCH last year but spent a week on Vancouver Island before heading south and spent two days on San Juan before heading to Anacortes from Friday Harbour. If you are staying at the county park there are no showers but there are some in Roche Harbour at the marina and watch out for the racoons, they are into everything.

Both ferry companies have websites with schedules and fares. It is simple to get the bike on and off and very cheap.

Offline tdelhagen

Re: Pacific Coast - getting to the San Juans from Seattle
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 08:32:18 am »
what about flying into Bellingham?  I hear great things about the small city.  Also, its right on a ferry line to San Juan.  Thoughts?

Offline vanvalks

Re: Pacific Coast - getting to the San Juans from Seattle
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2010, 10:24:30 am »
Bellingham is NOT on the ferry line to the San Juans--it is the southern terminus for the ferries to Alaska.  The only public ferries to the San Juans run out of Anacortes.  There are only a couple of ferries a day that go to Sydney BC, the rest go between the islands to the metropolis of Friday Harbor (pop about 3,000), so if you elect to fly into Vancouver, the number of sailings from the Canadian end is much lower (see wsdot.wa.gov for ferry schedules).  If you fly to Vancouver and want to ride to Anacortes, try to get a copy of the RSVP route from Cascade Bicycle Club (cascade.org)  This is a ride from Seattle to Vancouver, and mostly uses back roads between the two cities; you would leave the route somewhere around Bow-Edison and head south to pick up Highway 20 west.

Bob

Offline Max!

Re: Pacific Coast - getting to the San Juans from Seattle
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2010, 04:10:22 am »
Another option is that you take the Seattle bainbridge ferry from downtown, ride to port townsend and take the keystone ferry, which takes you to the San juans. . . You would probably loop back to catch the same ferry back. . .

Enjoy!