Author Topic: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated  (Read 6749 times)

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Offline Inge

Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« on: October 06, 2017, 06:23:10 am »
 :)I am busy slowly planning the route I would like to take from Vancouver to San Francisco this summer. And am making a mix of the ACA tracks and the Bicycling the Pacific Coast book.

I am getting a bit stuck between July Creek campground and Twin Harbors State Park. The ACA route goes quite a bit inland for a long time. It does not go back towartds the coast till Warrenton whereas the Bicycling the... goes towards Aberdeen and then follows the 105 till Warrenton where both routes follow the same track again.

I am wondering is there a specific reason that the ACA sticks to the 101 instead of following the 105 for a bit? For if there is no particular reason I am inclined to follow the 105 from Aberdeen.

Any thoughts would be really welcome and helpful.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 09:58:36 am by Inge »

Offline staehpj1

Re: Pacific Coast question - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 08:50:23 am »
I rode mostly on the AC route from Seattle using the Bremmerton Ferry.  I will say that I didn't really care for the Washington part of my ride and if doing it again I might either try a more coastal route or just start in Astoria.  I'd rather ride further in California than ride the Washington portion again, at least based on my limited experience there.  I think California is really nice down to Santa Barbara.

On the maps...  For Oregon, the free ODOT bike map of the coast was nicer than either the book or the AC maps IMO.  The AC maps do have more services listed, but the ODOT maps covered the state parks that I stayed in.  It also worked way better as a map to look at while riding.  You can see everything about where you are with no flipping of pages.  The mile markers are right there and it is easy to see how close you are to approaching services.  I carried both but only looked at the AC one once in a while when looking for some service not on the ODOT map.

For the rest of the trip I liked the AC maps a lot better than the book to the extent that I wouldn't even carry it.  The book was nice for reading at home and dreaming about the trip, but kind of awkward for day to day use.  It is also somewhat out of date unless there has been a more recent version than the fourth edition (Mar 2005).  As far as I know that is the newest version and being 12+ years out of date is significant IMO.

Offline Inge

Re: Pacific Coast question - advice hugely appreciated - WA area
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 09:30:55 am »
I did the same thing 25 years ago but ike it for this 25th anniversary for me of cycling  this route to be slightly different this time. Am using the book's route from Vancouver up North to cross Powell river to cycle south on Vancouver Island to Victoria. Hop on the ferry to Port Angeles to bike the peninsula and South wards towards SF. The reason I am cycling as far as SF has to do with my return flight back home.

I read about the free ODOT map will see if they have adigital copy of that for I do not think they will ship one oversees. Probably will get one when in Orgeon though I use my GPS to navigate my route from. Do not like to carry much paperwork when on the road. Have the book for that reason as an e-book on my tablet. And the app: apps.me on my tablet with the plotted route as well, am using my GPS ro ride the tracks from,  in case I need to diverge for whatever reason.

I like the book for its distance details between places even though services might have changed over the years SPs/ NPs and roads have not. Would be nice, though,  if the book would get updated

With the digital ACA tracks  I find it difficult to calaculate the mileage from and that is where the book comes in very helpful. Just to order the maps for that reason I find a bit very expensive since I will not use them afterwards. With all the digital  maps available there is not really a need for them anymore. Unless of course you use them to navigate from which I am not.

Anyway, am still looking for advice on which of the 2 tracks to follow - ACA's or the book's version. So, please those with local knowledge of the area share your thoughts with me.


Offline jamawani

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 01:06:32 pm »
Inge -

I have done the inland ACA route and the coastal Hwy 105 route and a lot in between.
Although the inland route is pleasant, Hwy 105 is stunning - esp. along Willapa Bay.
You should swing up to Westport and the old Coast Guard Station -
Then there is a 2-mile paved trail along the dunes to the lighthouse.
The stretch of Hwy 105 down to North Cove is slightly inland -
but you can do little back roads thru cranberry bogs.

From Raymond, US 101 heading south is also quite nice - but with more traffic.
If you have the time, take Hwy 4 east thru Skamokawa to Cathlamet -
Then take the ferry across to Oregon.
The county park at Skamokawa has spectacular views of the Lower Columbia -
And you can ride levee roads thru the White-Tailed Deer Refuge along the river.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 02:07:31 pm by jamawani »

Offline John Nelson

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2017, 01:12:23 pm »
I followed the ACA route. I have no knowledge of the book route. Although the ACA route does not follow the coast, you'll get plenty (enough in my opinion) of coastal riding once you get to Astoria. On the ACA route, I enjoyed the Hood Canal, Mandy Road, riding and camping along the Columbia River, and the ferry across it.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 04:44:26 pm »
When ACA first mapped the Pacific Coast Route in the mid 1980s U.S. Highway 101, especially along the WA coast, did not have adequate infrastructure for bicyclists. It didn't have shoulders and lots of logging trucks used the road. That's why we stayed inland.

When we published the Washington Parks Route in 2008 we used major portions of Highway 101 along the western coast, due to the fact that shoulders have been added. But we didn't look at highway 101 south of Aberdeen so I'm not sure of the road conditions.

Here is a link to the Washington DOT state bike map that might help you.
https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/statemap.htm

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 Inge

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2017, 03:42:12 am »
Thanks all for sharing your thoughts.

I am not sure I want to go down all the way to Westport since the ferry is out of commission. For now I am thinking of following the 101 into Aberdeen and then take the 105 down the coast.

Jamawani - I will take your tips when further planning my route. I do not know if I will have time to plan "If you have the time, take Hwy 4 east thru Skamokawa to Cathlamet" into the trip but if I do I will definitely include it. Am wondering though about the campsites possibilities  on this stretch. Could you give me any tips? Am covering roughly 45/50 miles a day. When not possible I plan to cross into Oregon at Astoria and pick the ACA route up from there. Else I will pick the ACA up from Cathlamet.

CMajernik - thanks for the link towards the WA map. Thanks for the explanation of choice as well. Of what I remember I never thought the 101 was busy or dangerous to cycle on. Though then I was late in season and this time I will be there in the main season (late June, July till mid August).

John - thanks for your input. Will keep that also in mind.Though I must admit that I would like to follow as much of the coast as possible. What was the camp possibility like along Hood Canal and Columbia River?

Offline jamawani

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2017, 10:45:29 am »
Inge -

What makes the Willapa Bay region fascinating is that it is an immense tidal lowland - rare on the Pacific Coast.
Public campgrounds from Westport south to Astoria:
1. Twin Harbors SP - hiker/biker sites, easy access to Westport
2. Grayland Beach SP - no h/b sites, reservation suggested
3. Bruceport County Park - 5 miles SW of South Bend
4. Bush Pioneer Park - Chinook tribal park, end-of-the-world location on Willapa Bay
5. Cape Disappointment SP - h/b sites, spectacular cliffs, tiny cove for swimming

http://parks.state.wa.us/843/Pacific-Coast-Region
http://willapaharbor.org/what-to-do/regional-attractions/parks/

There is a private campground in Raymond like an RV parking lot.
There are meh private campgrounds around Long Beach, but you are so near Cape Disappointment.
If you are willing to swim a small channel or hitch a ride, there are wildlife refuge camp sites on Long Island.

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/willapa/visitor_activities/camping.html

It's about 42 miles from Twin Harbors SP to Bruceport -
but just 50 easy miles to Bush Pioneer Park.
Then it's 44 miles from Bruceport or 36 from Bush to Cape Disappointment.

My suggestions would be Twin Harbors/Bush Pioneer/Cape Disappointment.
You could easily loop back into Westport and hit a grocery/cafe - then ride the dune paved trail.
Bay Center is a Chinook community, but the Chinook people are no recognized by the fed govt as a tribe.
(Even though they were the major people and their language was the lingua franca of the Pac NW for a century or more.)
Make sure to visit the Lewis & Clark Center at Cape Disappointment - then go for a swim in Deadman's Cove.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/25944871

Have a great trip! - J

<<<>>>

Pic - Willapa Bay at North Cove
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 10:47:43 am by jamawani »

Offline KKTice

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2017, 12:21:20 pm »
I have ridden 101 in Washington, as well as 105 south of Aberdeen. 
105 is some of my favorite scenery on the Washington segment, and well worth the ride.   Riding on 101 is fine.   Many people don't like the ride across the Astoria-Megler Bridge.   I think it's fine, and worth doing.  The notion of riding across a 4 1/2 mile bridge crossing a river is a cool one, in my mind.     To get to the coast, I've taken the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton, then through Shelton, and Montesano.  There's plenty of back road options there.  Then, either 107 from Montesano to 101, or a brief stint on Hwy 12 to Aberdeen, and then 105.  The 105 route is longer, but the scenery is better. 


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Offline John Nelson

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2017, 01:11:38 am »
What was the camp possibility like along Hood Canal and Columbia River?
Because the Hood Canal is a recreation area, there are lots of campgrounds, most with hiker/biker spaces: Kitsap Memorial State Park has hiker/biker spots, as does Illahee State Park and Bellfair State Park. Twanoh State Park has walk-in sites. That's all in the space of 40 miles, which is about the length of the Hood Canal. I camped at Bellfair State Park. At $12, Washington State Park hiker/biker spaces are generally more expensive than Oregon State Parks (usually $6) and California State Parks ($5 to $10). All of them have showers, most of which require tokens, which are available for 50 cents.

Offline Inge

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2017, 02:56:32 am »
Thanks again guys for the exctensive and very useful input.

Jamawani - thanks for the mileage indicators and the various links. Super! So far I have planned from July Creek Campsite (Quinalt Lake) to Twin Harbors - which for me makes it a very long stretch (100km). And am contemplating to go either via BIAS 26 or a bit further down Kilpatrick Road to State Route 109 via Copalis beach, Ocean City and camp at Ocean City State Park (about 60Km/ 38 miles). And then the next day Ocean City State Park - Twin Harbors State Park (40 miles). This way I could indeed as you suggested detour to Westport and do the dune trail. From Twin State I either will go to the KOA or Bush State Park + stay  for an extra day to do some birdwatching. From Bush State to cape dissapointment. Looks like my thoughts kinda followed yours even though I did not know that the other day when thinking about it  :D.
Quote
Make sure to visit the Lewis & Clark Center at Cape Disappointment - then go for a swim in Deadman's Cove.
will do so.

KKtice - thanks your thoughts on Astoria bridge. I think I must have ridden it 25 years ago as well but do not really remember. So I think I will keep Astoria bridge in my plans. One does not get to cross such a long bridge every day.

John N - Good to hear that might I deviate to the Hood Canal I will not have any camping problems. Can I safely assume that one can camp in all State parks?

Offline cgarch

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2017, 07:03:48 pm »
I think the July Creek campground is closed. It was in 2009 and checking the Olympic Park web page now, it does not list July Creek as a camp site - just a picnic spot. When faced with that we headed to Falls Creek FS camp on the other side of the lake. With a short ride into town, there were public showers available. It turned out to be a better solution. Continuing from Lake Quinalt we headed down 101 with no problems but I took a side road just to be off of 101, E. Hoquiam Rd into Hoquiam and back on the route. Worked for us.

If I do this in the future, I intend to go out to the coast on Moclips Hwy and spend some time at the coast south of there before heading into Hoquiam/Aberdeen

We also took 105 out to the coast at Westport. Highly recommended. Also, there's an excellent seafood store, Brady's, just across the bridge before you get into Westport. We drove the 101 from Abeerdeen to Raymond in 2015 and I would not recommend it.

Bush Pioneer park at Bay Center is pretty good with showers and shelter in case it's raining. Feel free to look at our journal on CGOAB for more on this.

Craig
Santa Rosa, CA
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/TWS

Offline John Nelson

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2017, 11:07:21 pm »
Can I safely assume that one can camp in all State parks?
No. Check first.

Offline Inge

Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2017, 12:59:25 am »
cgarch - thanks for the heads up on July Creek and all the other very useful info. Will follow your suggestion and head to Falls Creek FS. I haad a closer look at the area yesterday and decided that instead of following the 101 into Hoquiam I will take the BIAS 26 turnoff into Moclips and then follow State Route 109 into Ocean City State Park. And from there on to Twin harbors. This way it makes it a nice 2 day ride.

I will keep the Brady's tip in mind - always nice to know where they have decent food.

Will have another look at the track from Aberdeen to Raymond - any suggestions? Or just take a road parallel tot the 101?

Good to know that Bush Park has shelters and showers. The reason I was thinking about the KOA are the laundry facilities.

Offline Kitsap_Bill

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Re: Pacific Coast question - WA area - advice hugely appreciated
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2017, 03:20:00 pm »
Here is a thought. if you ride the Olympic peninsula section (counter clockwise) you can connect with the olympic discovery trail which is nearly completely paved. It is spectacular and includes a portion along the Spruce Railway line, the back side of lake Crescent. This route eliminates the 101 section from Discovery Bay to Sappho which is the cutoff to Clallam Bay. I have to disagree with a couple of contributors about eliminating Washington coastline, but it is much less habituated. Camping areas are plentiful and unique. You will not be able to ride 500 yards and order Dominos or Starbucks. (I am positive about Dominos, not so sure about Starbucks -this is Washington). Shoulders are wide  and traffic is bicycle cognizant. Having done the Pacific Coast, self contained, twice now I firmly believe the Only/Disc trail from Port Angeles to Sappho will become the jewel of this entire PC route. BTW, there is a short 100 yard trail from tunnel #1 at Lake crescent that descends to the greatest swimming lagoon in the history of the world. You change in the green room, and there is plenty for modesty requirements. Camping or cabins at either end of the lake. There is a small store and food at Joyce, a small store at Fairholm, next real store is Forks. There are mom and pops along the way but they come and go. If you are pretty self sufficient, perhaps a little independent, try this route. If not, by all means stay on the PCH route. Oh. About the Astoria-Megler Bridge. It can be intimidating, but it is not bad. Lots of us ride it. It is not as steep as it looks, traffic is pretty slow, just remember to give yourself a meter from the curb and let overtaking traffic pass you when THEY choose. It seems to always have some kind of maintenance so construction and painting crews stop traffic regularly which allows you lower speeds and traffic window.