Author Topic: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??  (Read 7260 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Daveymac

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.

Offline jamawani

Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #1 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



Offline Daveymac

Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #2 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!!


Offline adventurepdx

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
  • Riding bikes in and around Portland, Oregon
Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #3 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.

Offline Daveymac

Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #4 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.

Offline adventurepdx

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
  • Riding bikes in and around Portland, Oregon
Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #5 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?

Offline Daveymac

Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #6 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!

Offline jamawani

Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #7 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

Offline adventurepdx

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
  • Riding bikes in and around Portland, Oregon
Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #8 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).

Offline Daveymac

Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #9 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.....!

Offline adventurepdx

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 546
  • Riding bikes in and around Portland, Oregon
Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #10 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.


Offline jamawani

Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #12 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




Offline Krampus Snail

Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2017, 10:47:10 pm »
Astoria Bridge is OK for cycling?

Offline jamawani

Re: Worth cycling around Olympic National Park on Pacific Route??
« Reply #14 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.