Author Topic: Thoughts/ideas for March tours in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia?  (Read 4991 times)

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Offline planeguy5

Hello folks,

I go to school in eastern Washington, and am starting to brainstorm possible Spring break adventures (March 11-25). I'd be really interested in doing some touring in the PNW, and wanted to see if you all may have recommendations or thoughts on rides in Oregon, Washington, or BC (Vancouver Island would be awesome). Yes, I know the weather won't be ideal, but I don't mind camping in the rain and snow. I can also get transportation to/from Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver.

Thanks for any input you may have, and happy riding!

Offline jamawani

Cold. Wet.
But it would be a perfect time to tour Death Valley - -
And next March may be a bumper crop year for wildflowers.

Offline adventurepdx

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As jamawani says, expect cool/wet. But it's an El Nino year, which means drier/milder winters for the NW, so you just may luck out! I'd still steer clear of the higher elevations because of cold/snow. Eastern Oregon/Eastern Washington/BC Interior could be a workable option if you avoid the more mountainous areas, but services can be few and far between, and wind can be a factor.

If I had a week or so off in March to tour the NW, I'd aim for the areas around the Inland Sea (Puget Sound/Strait of Juan de Fuca/Georgia Strait.) You get all the sea you want, but it will be drier than being on the actual coast itself. There's lots of campgrounds, some with hiker/biker sites, and they should all be open in March. Lots of indoor lodging options as well. Plus there are many islands to explore and ferry trips to be had.

Offline erniegrillo

from Seattle  take the Mukilteo Clinton Ferry to Whdbey Island, ride the island north then take the San Juan ferry and tour the islands.
If you have time,  take the ferry to Victoria BC, another ferry takes you to Port Angeles from where you can return to Seattle.

You could also take the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria,( you can take you bike on the boat)  tour Victoria then the San Juan Islands, then Whidbey and return to Seattle.


Offline Nyimbo

I would agree with the previous suggestion, a brilliant suggestion.

Offline staehpj1

from Seattle  take the Mukilteo Clinton Ferry to Whdbey Island, ride the island north then take the San Juan ferry and tour the islands.
If you have time,  take the ferry to Victoria BC, another ferry takes you to Port Angeles from where you can return to Seattle.

You could also take the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria,( you can take you bike on the boat)  tour Victoria then the San Juan Islands, then Whidbey and return to Seattle.
Different strokes, but I'd head east of the mountains where it is likely to be drier that time of year.

Offline PeteJack

from Seattle  take the Mukilteo Clinton Ferry to Whdbey Island, ride the island north then take the San Juan ferry and tour the islands.
If you have time,  take the ferry to Victoria BC, another ferry takes you to Port Angeles from where you can return to Seattle.

You could also take the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria,( you can take you bike on the boat)  tour Victoria then the San Juan Islands, then Whidbey and return to Seattle.
+1

Beware of any route involving passes. I went over the N Cascades Hwy on the other shoulder, in October, and it was pretty rough. Coming down from Washington Pass I got hypothermia, serious stuff. Now that was partly due to defective weather gear but still it's best to avoid these conditions

Offline Iowagriz

If you have a free trip to Portland, look into how far south your finances will get you via Amtrak.  I pulled random March dates and PDX to Sacramento is $64 one-way.

Maybe get to the Cali border and ride back north to Portland.  The further south you get, the better the chances of warm(er) weather.  Could be a fun way to combo train and bike travel.

I didn't research, but I wonder if they have student ticket discounts on Amtrak?

Offline johnsondasw

I have taken wonderful tours in Eastern WA in the spring.  There are some good 3 day loops in SE WA, around Walla Walla, Pullman, Pomeroy, Tri-Cities, etc.  We always just look on map and go.  It gets very cold at night in the areas in March, but daytime riding is often possible w/o a coat.  I've even jumped in the water in mid-March near Central Ferry.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline driftlessregion

Most Washington mountain passes that allow bikes, i.e., not I-90, will be closed in March. Olympic Peninsula, San Juan Islands, SE Washington, anywhere west of the divide all great areas to ride, if as  you say, a bit damp.

Offline johnbowden54

Thoughts/ideas for March tours in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia?
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2015, 07:25:53 pm »
Willamette Valley Bikeway from near Portland south to Eugene.  Return on Amtrak. Maybe the Oregon Coast? Maybe wet but no snow. Victoria BC is a great idea. Death Valley is gorgeous but a 14 hour car ride south and is not the PNW. For rural check out Pendleton, Baker, Halfway, Joseph, OR country. Great chance of crappy weather but if you check the forecast who knows?


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Offline planeguy5

Thank you everyone for the responses. I've been scheduled to TA for a marine bio course at Friday Harbor for the second week of my break, so I may see about touring around the San Juans or Victoria for the first week. If that doesn't work, I'll probably do a trip in/around Walla Walla/Joseph/Pullman, just to start getting in some saddle time before the TranAm this summer.

Best,
Jeremy

Offline adventurepdx

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Thank you everyone for the responses. I've been scheduled to TA for a marine bio course at Friday Harbor for the second week of my break, so I may see about touring around the San Juans or Victoria for the first week.

You really can't go wrong with the San Juan/Gulf Islands plus a bit of Vancouver Island! And you might luck upon some decent weather, esp. since we're having an El Nino this year!