Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Routes => Topic started by: Daveymac on April 26, 2017, 04:13:06 pm

 
Title: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: Daveymac on April 26, 2017, 04:13:06 pm
Hi there!
I am planning my Pacific Coast tour...
The route starts in a Vancouver & heads south to Bellingham--Bremerton--Astoria.

Would it be worthwhile to detour around Olympic National Park via Port Angeles--Fork -- Aberdeen and rejoin the mapped route?

I am thinking in terms of scenery, wildlife and quieter roads?

I appreciate all advice and feedback!

Daveymac.
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: jamawani on April 26, 2017, 05:26:53 pm
I have biked both sides and various spurs.
The short answer - "No."

US 101 on the north side and west side is usually far from the coast and deeply forested.
(Lake Crescent is nice - also heading into Olympic N.P. to hike - hiking, not biking is the game.)
Traffic is moderate, some logging trucks - fewer than 25 years ago, shoulders variable.
The sublime scenery is on Hwy 112 out to Neah Bay, but that doesn't take you south.

I do like US 101 on the east side along the Hood Canal.
Pleasant coastal views - nothing spectacular. Moderate traffic and variable shoulders.
Cut west earlier on Cloquallam-Satsop Road to Montesano -
Then Blue Slough Road to South Aberdeen.

I've also done both US 101 and Hwy 105 south of Aberdeen.
Yes, Hwy 105 is much longer, but well worth it.
Westport is charming with a bike trail along the dunes.
And the ride along Willapa Bay is primo - da best.
(Esp. on the much quieter Hwy 105)

Cape Disappointment is way more stunning than Fort Stevens.

I love Skamokawa, the Hanson Refuge Road, and the Cathlamet Ferry -
But they would be well out of your way if you hug the coast.

Pic - Willapa Bay

(http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j270/JohnnyGunn/Bike%20West/WA/IMG_7000_zpsqumkuuqy.jpg)
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: Daveymac on April 26, 2017, 05:33:45 pm
Thanks so much for the reply... I will look all the places you mention up, tomorrow morning!
Is the standard Pacific Coast route map 1 a nice route?
and would there be any worthwhile detours off this in a generally southern direction?!

Dublin Dave.


Lovely picture by the way!!

Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: adventurepdx on April 27, 2017, 11:35:08 pm
I've (probably) said this before, and (probably) will say this again  8) but my two cents about the "long way" (west side) of the Olympic Peninsula: It's worth it if you make the side trips.

If you are just going to stay along 101 without detouring, it'll be an okay ride, pretty quiet, you'll see a few Olympic National Park sights, but it will be fairly boring otherwise. 101 stays pretty far inland, so don't count on looking over your right shoulder and seeing the big blue Pacific the whole way down. And many of the forests it passes through have been freshly logged or replanted, so it won't be the towering Redwoods you'll see further down the way.

It would be rewarding if you set aside the time for the side trips, like Neah Bay, Rialto Beach, Sul Duc, Hoh Rain Forest, and Lake Quinault. Any of these side trips can add an extra day (in the case of Neah Bay, maybe two) to the trip, as these destinos can be 30 miles or so off of 101 (one way). If you stick just to 101, you'll only pass through the National Park at two points: Crescent Lake (while beautiful, the worst 10 miles of 101 you will bike on) and the 10 mile or so coastal section from Ruby Beach to past Kalaloch. (And you'll skirt Lake Quinault without really seeing it.)

If you are more about getting this section of the ride done, I'd stick to the "inland" side. There will be some nice sights, and more signs of civilization. However, 101 will definitely be busier.
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: Daveymac on April 28, 2017, 08:19:26 am
Good afternoon!

Thanks so much for such fab information.... I really appreciate it!
Since my overall goal is to get to the Mexican border.. Those detours would take too much time so i think i will just follow Map 1!

Taking the standard route down the Pacific Coast, are there any historical/scenic/natural/wildlife sights that would be worth detouring to go & see between Vancouver & the border...
I dont mind detouring, provided i am generally heading south?!

Dave Mac.
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: adventurepdx on April 28, 2017, 07:52:19 pm
Since my overall goal is to get to the Mexican border.. Those detours would take too much time so i think i will just follow Map 1!

How much time do you have? Do you plan on any major stops along the way?
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: Daveymac on May 01, 2017, 05:09:22 am
Morning! I plan on cycling down in about a month...
The plan is to rest for a few days at the end of the trip and only stop for the odd day on the cycle south...

Thank you!
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: jamawani on May 01, 2017, 09:11:28 am
Should be a perfect time -
Maybe a shower or two up north.
Still green in California after all the winter rain.
Who knows? There may be some cycling options around Big Sur by then.
Have a great trip! - J
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: adventurepdx on May 01, 2017, 11:36:21 am
Morning! I plan on cycling down in about a month...
The plan is to rest for a few days at the end of the trip and only stop for the odd day on the cycle south...

Are you saying that it's going to take you a month to get from Vancouver to San Diego? If so, it is possible, but it would mean long days and no big stops. A more generous time allowance would be six weeks. Averaging about 60 miles (100 km) a day, it takes most people two weeks from the Washington/Oregon line to San Francisco, and to get to Astoria, Oregon from Vancouver, it's up to a week (depending on route).
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: Daveymac on May 01, 2017, 02:46:49 pm
Hey! Thank you for the replies!
I have toured up to 3,500kms down through Europe & covered on average, 100-120km per day... On 2 days I covered up to 220kms so I can cover good distance if I need to!
Saying that, I am happy to have an adventure & just see how it goes.....!
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: adventurepdx on May 01, 2017, 03:09:07 pm
100 km a day is a respectable speed for the coast. Sure, you can go faster, but there's lots of things worth stopping for.
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: Krampus Snail on May 02, 2017, 06:40:58 pm
Hey Jamawami, I'm looking at your proposed route. It's something like this? https://www.google.com/maps/dir/47.1816891,-123.1195072/Montesano,+Washington/Blue+Slough+Rd,+Montesano,+WA+98563/Westport,+WA/46.7270387,-123.9323873/46.4524083,-123.8719625/@47.4465515,-123.5828847,9z/data=!4m23!4m22!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x54922162b92bda33:0x7d3ec398381ee092!2m2!1d-123.6026629!2d46.9812062!1m5!1m1!1s0x54923106ac92cbdf:0xce87fd6fe9dc3905!2m2!1d-123.7168148!2d46.9394847!1m5!1m1!1s0x54924505ccae2a2f:0x51a1814a0ee953a6!2m2!1d-124.1040613!2d46.8900903!1m0!1m0!3e1

But then how do you get to Astoria?
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: jamawani on May 02, 2017, 10:20:34 pm
Here's my route -

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20815429

A few things might have changed - esp. back roads with chip seal rather than pavement.
(Counties save money that way - but it sucks for cyclists.)

I think we camped at Schafer State Park - same distance, maybe less traffic E. Satsop Rd.
We stayed on Old 410 all the way to Montesano - no problem - basic old highway.
Don't take bike trail in S. Aberdeen - goes right past scenic sewer plant.

Have to go all the way up to the tip of Westport for Coast Guard Station, dunes trail, and lighthouse.
Number of back roads thru the cranberry bogs - whatever works.

Google maps is not your friend south of South Bend - private, Weyerhauser road, I think.
Stay on US 101 - moderate traffic, shoulders, some nice bay views around Bone River.

You can take Hwy 401 via Naselle to the Astoria Bridge, but I prefer hitting Cape Disappointment.
To do that, you need to stay on US 101 via Ilwaco - then to the cape.

There's a tiny inlet between the rocks that has shallow swimming water in mid-summer.

J



Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: Krampus Snail on May 02, 2017, 10:47:10 pm
Astoria Bridge is OK for cycling?
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: jamawani on May 02, 2017, 11:03:13 pm
Much debate here and at Bike Forums - - google it.

Some people say it's fine, others hate it.
There's a bus with bike racks 4 times a day. Weekdays.
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: johnsondasw on May 03, 2017, 11:45:18 am
I would do the Olympic loop for sure.  It is one of the best tours I have done, and I took few detours.  I thought it was beautiful, the traffic light, the drivers courteous. The logging trucks actually would slow down and wait for an opportunity and then go way out into the other lane to give us room.
We did the Astoria bridge at dusk in the rain, and had no problem.  It's the only place I've ever seen a roadkill starfish. A mirror is nice!
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: Daveymac on May 05, 2017, 03:17:33 pm
Hi! Thank you for the reply!
That is great that you enjoyed the Olympic tour...
I will have to work out if the loop & back onto the standard Pacific Route will add much more mileage?!

Dublin Dave.
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: adventurepdx on May 05, 2017, 10:31:38 pm
I will have to work out if the loop & back onto the standard Pacific Route will add much more mileage?!

Yes, it does. Google Maps (and yes, I know it isn't always the best, but it gives you a guideline) shows the distance from Port Townsend to Aberdeen via the inland route as 120 miles, and going around the long way is about 220 miles. It's 100 miles longer and that's before adding on any side trips.

The big questions is: How long do you have? You indicated earlier in this thread that you want to get from Vancouver to San Diego in about a month. Is that how much time you have allotted for doing it, or can you spend more time? A couple more weeks means more time to do things like this.
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: Daveymac on May 07, 2017, 06:28:11 am
Hi! Yea, the plan is to do the trip in approx 1 month... but I could extend it to 5 weeks if needed...
I plan on getting down to Mission Beach & then relax somewhere near San Diego for a few days, before packing up & flying home!

I suppose if I take lots of detours, the time & miles will add up very quickly.....
Dublin Dave.
Title: Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
Post by: staehpj1 on May 07, 2017, 07:19:35 am
Hi! Yea, the plan is to do the trip in approx 1 month... but I could extend it to 5 weeks if needed...
I plan on getting down to Mission Beach & then relax somewhere near San Diego for a few days, before packing up & flying home!

I suppose if I take lots of detours, the time & miles will add up very quickly.....
Dublin Dave.
One thing to consider is that if you want to use the state park hiker biker sites (which I recommend) it will to some degree dictate your choices of how long your days are.  So you may need to do longer or shorter days than you prefer to hit a state park at the end of the day.  That said averaging 60 miles per day works out well in my experience there.

FWIW, if I was going to do the PCH again I might skip Washington state.  I took the ferry from Seattle and rode the ACA route in Washington from Bremerton and while the ferry ride was nice Washington was far and away my least favorite part of the tour.  So, especially if you are limited on time, maybe consider starting in Astoria.  Oregon and Northern California were awesome in my opinion.  On the PCH you really don't need to have a super firm end point.  If you get close to running out of time you can typically hop on a regional bus to get to the town you want to end up at.  Also, that works to either lengthen or shorten your tour.

I found the route interesting enough that I didn't feel much need to do many detours.