Author Topic: Suggestions for four day loop leaving from Bellingham, WA (Sept. 21-25)  (Read 3397 times)

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Offline planeguy5

Hello all,

It has been over a year since I've been able to do any type of bike touring, and I've got the itch real bad because of it. That being said, I'll be relocating to Bellingham, Washington for grad school in September, and just realized that I'll have four days before school starts where I might be able to squeeze in a little trip. My limited window of opportunity (September 21-25) means that I'd like to leave from my house and make a loop, biking 65-90 miles/day and camping along the way.

Looking at Google Maps and the ACA website, it looks like I've got a plethora of opportunities. I could: bike around the Olympic Peninsula; ferry over to the San Juans (but I'd rather avoid any added ferry fees if possible given my limited budget); head north into British Columbia; or head east into the Cascades. I've been to the region several times, but I'm still not familiar enough to know which direction would be best to go. What are your thoughts? Have you done any routes in this area that you would highly recommend?

Thanks for your time, input, and suggestions!


Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Suggestions for four day loop leaving from Bellingham, WA (Sept. 21-25)
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 12:27:23 pm »
There's a lot of good biking options that you can do around Bellingham. I think the hard part is going to make it a "loop" within four days. Going east, you'll have to dip south to 20/North Cascades Hwy to get over the Cascades, and that's a long ride as it is. It'd be pretty tough to loop back to Bellingham in four days unless you are a rider who really likes long days.

Otherwise, you can head west through the islands (San Juan, Gulf, Vancouver) or north and do some riding in the Fraser Valley. There's lots of great riding and camping opportunities in the islands. As for the cost of the ferry, taking a bike is scads cheaper than a car, and return trips from the San Juans (and interisland trips) for bikes are free!

You could also head south and do a loop (with a bit of out and back nearest Bellingham) and head over to Fidalgo and Whidbey Island and ferry back to the mainland and ride back.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Suggestions for four day loop leaving from Bellingham, WA (Sept. 21-25)
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 04:46:42 pm »
One idea might be to go up into Canada and over to Vancouver Island on the Tsawwassen Ferry. You can't do a loop but you could ride out and back to the north end of the island on the east side.
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

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Suggestions for four day loop leaving from Bellingham, WA (Sept. 21-25)
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2017, 10:48:00 pm »
Chuckanut Drive south of B'ham to the Mt Vernon area, then Hwy 20 east to Rockport (check out the great Howard Miller
Steelhead Park there--it's a Skagit Co park) then east into the N Cascades on Hwy 20 to Colonial Ck Campground.  From there, you can leave your stuff at camp and day ride up to or towards Rainy and Washington Pass.  Then back to Rockport, now south to Darrington then west to Arlington and then back roads back to B'ham.  Most of this is on great country roads.  Get a good map and check it out. Check the forecast; lots of chance for rain then, and cold weather in the passes on Hwy 20.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline dancingcyclist

Re: Suggestions for four day loop leaving from Bellingham, WA (Sept. 21-25)
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 10:52:22 pm »
Ride down Chukanut to Burlington, Take Hwy20 to Hwy9 at Sedro-Whoolley, cross the Skagit River to the south and connect with the Skagit River Rd. That takes to to just outside Concrete where you can pick up the Sauk Valley Rd. and go south to Derrington. Follow the Mountain Loop Highway around to Barlow Pass and on toward Granite Falls. At Granite Falls pickup Jordan Rd. and ride to Arlington. There you can pickup the Snohomish Centennial Trail to the north end. Jump onto Hwy9 then on to Hwy534 to Conway. From Conway parallel I5 to Mount Vernon and get back onto Chukanut to return to B'Ham.

If you use "Ride with GPS" you can connect all what I've listed and avoid a lot of highway riding, there are more roads involved then what I've listed. There is one section on the "Mountain Loop Highway" that is not paved but is ridable with skinny tires. There is also camping all along the route until you leave Verlot on the mountain Loop Hwy. until you get to Bayview State Park west of Burlington.

If you're a member of Warm Showers you might be able to connect with someone with them.