Author Topic: Seattle to Northern Tier  (Read 7550 times)

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Offline John Nelson

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2012, 02:38:11 pm »
Thank you very much Harper. That's great! I appreciate you taking the time.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2012, 02:54:13 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

I've ridden much of that same route, and can attest to its pretty greatness. The section of the Interurban Trail north of Shoreline can be a little grating, though.

On Whidbey Island you can detour off of SR 520 a little bit north of Freeland and use Bush Point/Smugglers Cove Road. Gets you away from the traffic for a bit, and it's not too hilly. South Whidbey Island State Park is on this detour, so it's a good camping option.

Regarding the two options on north Whidbey, I've done both. I would take the "detour Oak Harbor" option the next time. While it is much hillier and a tad longer, the traffic is minimal and the views great. The through Oak Harbor route is shorter and flatter, but Oak Harbor drivers...eh. This was the only place where I got honked/yelled at from my last tour between Portland and Vancouver BC.

Offline Itinerant Harper

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2012, 03:37:59 pm »
Quote
On Whidbey Island you can detour off of SR 520 a little bit north of Freeland and use Bush Point/Smugglers Cove Road. Gets you away from the traffic for a bit, and it's not too hilly. South Whidbey Island State Park is on this detour, so it's a good camping option.

Yeah I definitely agree with this as well, I ran out of time updating that map and missed that section. Might add a couple more miles but time off of 520 is worth it.  I grew up on Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands and love riding there. Lots of scenic areas and nice rides with some pretty good hills for sure.

Quote
Regarding the two options on north Whidbey, I've done both. I would take the "detour Oak Harbor" option the next time. While it is much hillier and a tad longer, the traffic is minimal and the views great. The through Oak Harbor route is shorter and flatter, but Oak Harbor drivers...eh. This was the only place where I got honked/yelled at from my last tour between Portland and Vancouver BC.

Yeah I always go out to West Beach Road - there are a couple of tough hills (worse going North to South, but still worth it) but the scenery is fantastic and Oak Harbor is a sh*t hole (and I say that as a former resident!). Considering the hills and a fully loaded bicycle I think the 100-110 miles from SeaTac to Anacortes is pretty tough. Stopping at South Whidbey State Park is a great option but if one wanted a few more miles camping at Deception Pass State Park is another great place. That puts you right on the edge of Fidalgo Island and you could easily start the Northern Tier from that point (it'd only add maybe 15 miles).   

So here's an updated map with my absolute preferred route on the islands, which is about 110 miles:  http://g.co/maps/hw2up
If you stop at Deception Pass it's right about 100 http://g.co/maps/uaj5a
Stopping at South Whidbey State Park it is 62: http://g.co/maps/pq7xk

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2012, 02:59:36 pm »
Stopping at South Whidbey State Park is a great option but if one wanted a few more miles camping at Deception Pass State Park is another great place. That puts you right on the edge of Fidalgo Island and you could easily start the Northern Tier from that point (it'd only add maybe 15 miles).

Agreed that Deception Pass is a good place to camp! They have hiker/biker spots in the main Cranberry Lake campground south of the pass. (The park straddles both sides of the pass.) It's okay, but there's the constant drone from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and aggressive raccoons. I prefer the Bowman Bay campground on the north side of the pass. While there is no dedicated hiker/biker sites, it's a smaller campground and you get great views of Bowman Bay. This was the photo from our campsite:


And info on Deception Pass here:http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=deception%20pass&subject=all

And Itinerant Harper, that revised route you posted looks really good!

Offline PeteJack

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2012, 04:14:02 pm »
This route looks pretty good if you know your way around. When you get to Mercer Island I'd urge you to stick to the signed Greenway, it's bike path with less chance of getting lost. This route avoids one hill then adds another that the Greenway misses. (I rode this yesterday.) Be aware that the Mercer Island police are into giving tickets to cyclists who don't stop at stop signs. Another reason for staying on the Greenway. If you give me a PM when you are about to set off I'd be happy to ride with you out of Greater Seattle.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2012, 10:21:45 pm »
If you give me a PM when you are about to set off I'd be happy to ride with you out of Greater Seattle.
That's a great offer. I'd appreciate a guide to get me out of the city. My plan is to fly to Seattle sometime in mid-June. I'll contact you when I have more details.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2012, 11:39:40 am »
My plans have changed. I've decided to fly into Bellingham instead of Seattle. But I still appreciate the offer of support.