Author Topic: Deception Pass State Park, Washington  (Read 7693 times)

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Offline jwrushman

Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« on: January 10, 2017, 06:08:24 pm »
I'm looking at places to end my ride and found Deception Pass State Park and Cranberry Lake Campground.  It looks like a nice site except Google Maps shows a 23.7% grade when crossing the bridge southbound  onto Whidby Island.  Can this be true?  23.7?  We have some steep hills in NJ but I don't think I've ever ridden up anything that steep. 14.5% is the steepest I recall doing and I had to walk part of it one time.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 06:18:28 pm »
The bridge itself does not have much of a grade. But I'm guessing the road to reach Cranberry Lake Campground and the beach on the west side might be that steep, though it's been a long time since I was there. Hopefully someone else can comment on this.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline KKTice

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 06:22:16 pm »
I'm looking at places to end my ride and found Deception Pass State Park and Cranberry Lake Campground.  It looks like a nice site except Google Maps shows a 23.7% grade when crossing the bridge southbound  onto Whidby Island.  Can this be true?  23.7?  We have some steep hills in NJ but I don't think I've ever ridden up anything that steep. 14.5% is the steepest I recall doing and I had to walk part of it one time.
Google is wrong.  The bridge crossing is nearly level.  There are some short hills in and out of the campgrounds, but nothing that steep. 



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Offline jwrushman

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 06:34:33 pm »
Thanks for your input.  I feel much better about heading there. 

I was trying to find guess what some of the steepest roads are in the US.  According to Google Maps, the auto road up Mount Washington is 30 to 40% grade.  I ruined a car with manual transmission trying to do that many years ago, and ruined the brakes and transmission on the way down.  I know there's a bicycle "race" up the road.  Nothing I'm interested in trying.  Especially not on a heavy Surly Disk Trucker.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 08:17:49 am »
The bridge can also be very busy, and there is no shoulder.

And I have always wondered about this warning on the park's web site:

"Please note: U.S. Navy jets from nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island periodically fly over the campground while engaged in local training. Depending on the direction of the wind, their flight pattern may put them above the park, creating noisy conditions for campers. At various times during the day and night, the aviators may engage in Field Carrier Landing Practice for imminent operations aboard aircraft carriers. The park and naval station have been neighbors since 1942, and park staff stays in regular contact with officials at NAS Whidbey Island. We will do our best to notify campers of anticipated Field Carrier Landing Practice periods. Although State Parks cannot be responsible for the jet noise, we do share visitor concerns with our representatives of Naval Air Station Whidbey."

Anyone know if it's really a big concern?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 08:22:51 am by indyfabz »

Offline canalligators

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 10:20:22 am »
... According to Google Maps, the auto road up Mount Washington is 30 to 40% grade.  I ruined a car with manual transmission trying to do that many years ago, and ruined the brakes and transmission on the way down. ...

Best way up is the Cog Railway.  A true historic gem and a story in itself.
Next best is to hike it.  Not an easy climb.
Next best is to take their shuttle.
Worst way is to drive your car.

Offline Itinerant Harper

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 11:46:25 am »
The road down to Cranberry lake is certainly a good descent, but nothing too severe. I'd say no stretch of it greater than 9% grade and less most of the time.

You definitely can get airplane noise from NAS Whidbey at Deception Pass State Park.  They do 'touch and go's' with multiple planes in a tight pattern all day sometimes.  Most days this won't occur, but it's not a good time when it does.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 11:48:57 am »
The bridge can also be very busy, and there is no shoulder.

And I have always wondered about this warning on the park's web site:

"Please note: U.S. Navy jets from nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island periodically fly over the campground while engaged in local training. Depending on the direction of the wind, their flight pattern may put them above the park, creating noisy conditions for campers. At various times during the day and night, the aviators may engage in Field Carrier Landing Practice for imminent operations aboard aircraft carriers. The park and naval station have been neighbors since 1942, and park staff stays in regular contact with officials at NAS Whidbey Island. We will do our best to notify campers of anticipated Field Carrier Landing Practice periods. Although State Parks cannot be responsible for the jet noise, we do share visitor concerns with our representatives of Naval Air Station Whidbey."

Anyone know if it's really a big concern?

First, the bridge. Yes, the bridge can be very busy. The lanes are only 11-feet wide, narrower than your typical traffic lane. There are no shoulders. There is a narrow sidewalk, just wide enough for one person, separated by a cable from the traffic lane. Two people can pass if they turn sideways. I didn't see any signs restricting bicycles, so I decided to ride like hell.  I got about 50 yards before a pickup truck with a loudspeaker pulled up behind me and told me to get off the road. It took me several minutes to unload my bike so that I could lift it up over the cable onto the sidewalk. Honestly, I think it would have been better for all if they had just let me proceed. The sidewalk was so narrow that I had to be careful when trying to walk the bike across. When I encountered a person walking the other way, I had to lean my bike against the railing and move behind my bike so they could pass.

Now the jet noise. Yes, it's deafening! I was camped on the island and they came over about every three minutes. Conversation had to stop for a minute to let each jet pass because there's no way you could hear anything with them overhead. It's very controversial, even among the island's residents. The bottom line seems to be that this is the price we pay for keeping our country safe.

BTW, if you camp on the island, keep an eye out for stinging nettles. Those things are nasty. My hands stung for three days afterwards.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 02:11:05 pm »
I didn't see any signs restricting bicycles, so I decided to ride like hell.  I got about 50 yards before a pickup truck with a loudspeaker pulled up behind me and told me to get off the road.

Wow! Was it a police officer or some other official? I rode it back in '99 and '00. Probably less development back then, and both times were weekdays in late May, so the busy tourist season hadn't started, and outside of "rush hour."

Offline jwrushman

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 10:04:38 pm »
Thanks, everyone, for the input.  I guess I'll just have to check out the traffic conditions when I get to the bridge.  Maybe I'll just stay on the north side.  It looks like there are nice views from Rosario Beach too.

Offline dancingcyclist

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 12:09:46 am »
To find the actual grade log into the "Ride with GPS" website, you'll have to sign up but it's free. Use it to map your route through the area you're concerned about. I live in the area and no it is not that steep but it does have some pretty good hills heading south from Hwy20. The road has shoulders off and on and there is a lot of traffic from commuters and tourists. The bridge is used by cyclists and is legal but as mentioned by another posting it is barely wide enough for two trucks to go past each other which is why I have always avoided riding it, however since I'm planning to ride the PCH boarder to boarder I will have to. Maybe if you can time it early or late in the day.

As far as camping, yes, you will get bombarded by jets in that area, I gave up hiking the trails around there because of it. A better campground on the mainland is Bayview State Park next to Padilla Bay not sure of the mileage between the two, maybe 15-20 with only about 2 of them on Hwy20 which does have a good wide shoulder. Don't know if this helps with not knowing just what kind of tour you're doing.

If I can be of any more help, balkandancer@yahoo.com I ride this area all the time so I know the roads well.

Good luck & ride safe

Offline JHamelman

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 10:00:22 am »
I rode across the Deception Pass bridge in the autumn of 2015. Yes, it is narrow and the sidewalks are not really suited for walking or riding a bike on. I was with my husband and we rode side by side, taking full use of the lane to prevent automobile drivers from trying to pass us. I would suggest stopping short of the bridge and looking for a fellow cyclist to cross with you. Regardless, I believe taking the lane is the safest option in this situation. It's not *that* long and the views are gorgeous.

Jennifer
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer Hamelman
Assistant Director, Routes & Mapping
Cartographer

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline John Nelson

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 10:59:41 am »
I didn't see any signs restricting bicycles, so I decided to ride like hell.  I got about 50 yards before a pickup truck with a loudspeaker pulled up behind me and told me to get off the road.

Wow! Was it a police officer or some other official? I rode it back in '99 and '00. Probably less development back then, and both times were weekdays in late May, so the busy tourist season hadn't started, and outside of "rush hour."
I assume it was a bridge or highway official, perhaps an overzealous one.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 11:02:50 am by John Nelson »

Offline John Nelson

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 11:02:21 am »
To find the actual grade log into the "Ride with GPS" website, you'll have to sign up but it's free.
Mapping software often has problems with bridges. If you map a route across the Royal Gorge Bridge, the elevation profile assumes you rode 1250 feet down the canyon wall to the river and then back up the canyon wall on the other side.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 12:38:22 pm »
If you map a route across the Royal Gorge Bridge, the elevation profile assumes you rode 1250 feet down the canyon wall to the river and then back up the canyon wall on the other side.

Now that would be a climb to brag about!

:)