Author Topic: Seattle to Northern Tier  (Read 7341 times)

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Offline MattRuscigno

Seattle to Northern Tier
« on: July 28, 2011, 05:20:34 pm »
Hello!
I'm looking to ride out of Seattle and connect to the Northern Tier, eastbound. I would prefer to ride Northeast than straight North as I am on a bit of a time constraint (I'm Minneapolis-bound).
I came across this: http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=7048.msg34747#msg34747 which is helpful, but I'm looking for other opinions.
I'm an experienced cyclist and prefer direct routes over numerous turns at the expense of lighter traveled roads.
Thanks in advance for any input!
cycling, nutrition and burritos -> www.truelovehealth.com

Offline indyfabz

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 03:09:33 pm »
See this recent discussion:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=9428.0

I took the ferry to Bremerton and then followed AC's Pacific Coast Route to the intersection of the Northern Tier twice. Not an inordinate amount of twists and turns, a couple of nice ferry rides and some nice places to stay along the way.

Offline MattRuscigno

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2011, 04:39:39 am »
Thank you! I'm studying up on that thread right now.
cycling, nutrition and burritos -> www.truelovehealth.com

Offline olsondp

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 07:51:56 pm »
I have friends who have crossed the country from Seattle and they rode US 2 to Sand point Idaho & then picked up the northern tier. You only have 1 mtn. pass instead of 5. The sections of US 2 I have ridden have nice wide shoulders and the traffic is not all that bad. Check Seattle metro's Web site and I think you may be able to take a city bus out to Monroe WA or at least Woodinville WA. This will get you out most of the Seattle sprawl. When you get to Spokane there is a bike trail through much of the city.  I think it is called the centennial trail. US 2 is faster & easier. It is also hotter and drier.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2011, 04:53:55 pm »
I have friends who have crossed the country from Seattle and they rode US 2 to Sand point Idaho & then picked up the northern tier. You only have 1 mtn. pass instead of 5. The sections of US 2 I have ridden have nice wide shoulders and the traffic is not all that bad.

And miss SR 20 across the Cascades? And Sherman Pass? *Gasp!*

For reasons that I won't go into, we strayed from the NT route and instead took U.S. 2 between Newtown and Sandpoint in '99. I ride in big city and suburban sprawl traffic all the time and I was pretty darn scared, as was everyone else in our group. Minimal shoulder in places and fast traffic, including trucks. When we got to our host's house in town and told her what we had done, she said we were nuts. When I passed that way the next year, I made sure to "stay on the path." Besides, the old U.S. 95 bridge across the lake is a cool ride. Saw a mother turkey with chicks in tow on the path leading to it.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2011, 05:10:02 pm »
And miss SR 20 across the Cascades? And Sherman Pass? *Gasp!*

Motion seconded. This, the most grand part of the Northern Tier, and of course Glacier National Park are the crown jewels of the route IMO.

Fred

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2011, 05:13:24 pm »
I thought Washington and Rainy Passes were more spectacular than Sherman, at least from the east.

And don't forget the huckleberries on the right just past the river from Kettle Falls!

Offline happyriding

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2011, 06:40:49 am »
I thought Washington and Rainy Passes were more spectacular than Sherman, at least from the east.

Me too.  But the entire Washington Pass, Loop Loop Pass, Sherman Pass series is awesome riding. I thought Loop Loop Pass was the hardest, but I recovered by eating ice cream cones at the outdoor shop in Winthrop (highly recommended!).  I ride to climb, so climbing those passes was something I looked forward to.  If you're out of shape or don't enjoy climbing, then by all means route around the big climbs.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 06:47:12 am by happyriding »

Offline MattRuscigno

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2011, 10:16:03 pm »
Thanks everyone for the insight! I definitely want to go through the Cascades, as I don't mind the climbing. Also re the bus, I want to ride out the door from Seattle, even if that's at the expensive of annoying sprawl.

It looks like there is a bike path that avoids the 530 for a bit out of Arlington, but then I have to catch it into Rockport. This section of road should not be feared? 
 
cycling, nutrition and burritos -> www.truelovehealth.com

Offline MattRuscigno

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 07:26:24 pm »
Hey all, I wanted update this thread with the route I ended up using: Google map bike route for Seattle, WA to Marblemount, WA / Northern Tier

The route was given to me by a member of the Seattle Randonneurs and is really great. Mostly low traffic and scenic. He included these enhanced directions to correspond with the numbers on the map:

7. Ignore the slight left, ride straight up Dearborn.

13. This left is at a pedestrian crossing.

14 thru 17. Ignore. Stay on the bike trail. Bear right (downhill) and cross the I-90 bridge.

19 thru 22. Follow the arterial; there no actual turns.

23. This left is onto the sidewalk, do not go through the intersection.

24. Go left on the sidewalk through a sort of a hole in the shrubbery. Then right/straight on 78th.

26. Mind the stop sign at the bottom of the hill in front of you. The Mercer Island cops are known to ticket cyclists.

32. Turn left to cross the street and resume the I-90 trail.

43 thru 45. After crossing NE 20 St (traffic light), go under the highway bridge ahead of you then take the first left into the parking lot. Ride all the way to the back of the lot, past Cash & Carry. Turn left and find the bike trail entrance. Go left on the trail.

48, 49. You are on the sidewalk here. Turn left then right and cross the bridge.

51. This is Wilmot Gateway park. It is pretty obvious. It has a big grassy area on the left, benches, trellises, and restrooms on the right.

55. There is a short bike trail to help you make the right turn. Sorry about the hill!

63. The turn onto Springhetti is on a downhill. Don't miss it!

65. Snohomish. There are public restrooms a block or two ahead on 1st St on the right. One block uphill on 2nd are gas stations and convenience stores. You can stay on 2nd & resume the route at Pine St. The next services are 20-some miles away in Arlington (204th St).

73-76. The trail goes onto the sidewalk along 67th. We usually stay on the road.

81. Darrington. Next services are 27 miles away in Marblemount.
cycling, nutrition and burritos -> www.truelovehealth.com

Offline MattRuscigno

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 07:27:42 pm »
And here is the post about my trip with photos and some stories: http://truelovehealth.com/2012/01/19/bike-packing-seattle-to-minneapolis-2064-miles-in-15-days/ if anyone is interested.
cycling, nutrition and burritos -> www.truelovehealth.com

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2012, 01:35:29 am »
Glad to hear that it all turned out well, Matt!
That route from Seattle to the NT looks interesting, esp. since it uses the east side of the Metro area. Have to try it out sometime.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2012, 05:46:13 pm »
Thanks everyone for the insight! I definitely want to go through the Cascades, as I don't mind the climbing. Also re the bus, I want to ride out the door from Seattle, even if that's at the expensive of annoying sprawl.

It looks like there is a bike path that avoids the 530 for a bit out of Arlington, but then I have to catch it into Rockport. This section of road should not be feared? 
 

I have done the area NE of Seattle several times.  I recommend the Centennial trail from Snohomish to Arlington and then 530 east to Darrington then north from there on 530 to Rockport which put you on HWY 20 then easwt on 20 over the North Cascades.  This is great all the way from Snohomish.  You really want good weather for all of this. It is very bucolic and scenic.  Once you get east of Arlington there are fantastic views of hills and mountains.     
May the wind be at your back!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2012, 08:25:38 pm »
What if you want to ride the NT from the beginning (i.e., start in Anacortes)? Is it reasonable to safely ride from Sea-Tac to Anacortes? If so, how? Can it be done in a day?

Offline Itinerant Harper

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 02:01:48 pm »
There is a mostly pretty great ride from Seatac to Anacortes. It's a bit over a hundred miles, so if you can do that in a day, then you can. Otherwise there are places to camp on Whidbey Island at roughly the half-way point (South Whidbey Island State Park).  This Google Maps route is pretty close to what I'd do though definitely with some tweaks: http://g.co/maps/59uyk

Here's the route with some of those tweaks that adds about 5 miles, but adds some very scenic, lower traffic riding on Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands: http://g.co/maps/nkh7q
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 02:10:11 pm by Itinerant Harper »