Author Topic: Neah Bay to Port Angeles  (Read 3001 times)

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Offline Hilltopper

Neah Bay to Port Angeles
« on: November 28, 2021, 06:55:51 pm »
Hello. I have the thought of (sort of) riding cross country -- but in bits and pieces, with a few 300-500 mile segments a year. Fun, zero pressure. I won't necessarily pick up where I last left off. Just looking for interesting and sensible routes that generally span the US. A big plan, but I am sort of stuck on the very first part. I'd like to start out in Neah Bay, WA.  Google maps shows WA Route 112 as a bike route from there into Port Angeles, but I can't tell if it's a safe highway to bike on and, if not, whether there are better alternatives. Are any of you familiar with that area enough to comment? Thanks!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Neah Bay to Port Angeles
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2021, 07:48:31 pm »
I'll let some local give you first-hand knowledge, but here's what I see (from someone who has never been on this road).

Good news: Google street view shows the road to be beautiful. I can see why you'd want to ride it. The Washington DOT shows the traffic volume to be low, somewhere around 1000 cars a day depending on location. As you get closer to Port Angeles, the traffic volumes increase, but the shoulder gets better.
Bad news: Google street view shows the highway as narrow, without shoulder and winding. Generally looks like a nightmare for cycling. The Strava heatmap shows that it is not heavily used for cycling, but it does get some usage, and it is in a remote location so you wouldn't expect much anyway.

Offline jamawani

Re: Neah Bay to Port Angeles
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2021, 08:59:38 pm »
Howdy Hilltopper -

Although I am not a Olympic Peninsula local, I have ridden it a few times.

Neah Bay is a great place to start a journey.
If you can - and you should - head all the way out to Shi Shi Beach.
Cape Flattery used to have a loop road - it's now out-and-back.
Then there's the Makah Museum in Neah Bay
with artefacts from Ozette village which was covered by a landslide 500 years ago.
It is the equivalent of Pompeii.

Highway 112 is narrow with some serious climbing, too. And lots of curves.
There's zero shoulder, but traffic is light and usually going no more than 45 mph.
Because it's the Pacific Northwest, dense forest prevents views of the water.
But there are sections with lovely views of the Strait.
The toughest section is east of Clallam Bay after the Hwy 113 turnoff.

Pillar Point (MP 34) is a small day-use park with magnificent views of the water. Quiet.
(There's no designated camping between Clallam Bay and Sadie Creek but -
if you are totally wiped out and it's getting dark, you might beg forgiveness and camp here.)
Sadie Creek (MP 47) is a small State Forest campground used mostly by 4x4ers.
Lyre River (MP 50) is another State Forest site with less noise.

Salt Creek County Park (MP 58 via Crescent Beach Rd) is the place to aim for.
If you can do 60+ hilly miles. Spectacular, eye-popping views. IF - - it's not cloudy/foggy.
Reservable campsites - bathrooms w/ showers.

A note about Highway 112 -
Highway 112 frequently has washouts that close the road for extended periods.
Already, the Pacific Northwest has had heavy fall rains and the ground is saturated.

It's always a crap shoot.
The rainy season ends about June 30 and begins about July1.
But really, you probably shouldn't start before June 1.
Hope for sunshine, but always be prepared for rain.
And plan an alternate rout via Highway 113 and US 101.

Happy  trails!

Offline Hilltopper

Re: Neah Bay to Port Angeles
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2021, 06:45:15 pm »
Thank you for your helpful observations, John and Jamawani.

It's very fun planning this. From Port Angeles east, it looks like much of the way is along the Olympic Discovery trail, with a few winding road segments interspersed. From Port Townsend, I ferry to Whidbey Island, then ride south to Clinton where I catch another ferry into Mukilteo. After a short ride from there, I connect with the Interurban Trail into Seattle and the bike trails running east to Snoqualmie Pass -- which seems like a good end to part one of this adventure.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Offline dan_t

Re: Neah Bay to Port Angeles
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2022, 09:52:32 pm »
I rode the Northern Tier last summer and wanted to do a full coast to coast route, so I started in the Olympic Peninsula. At the time, Neah Bay and La Push were closed to visitors (they're Indian reservations), but Rialto Beach just north of La Push was open. I took 101 to Port Angeles and on to Port Townsend. The traffic is a little busy, but it was manageable. There is a section without shoulders next to Lake Crescent. You can press a button on a sign that will alert drivers that there is a bike along the route. One advantage of starting at Rialto Beach is that there is a bus to Forks, and then another bus will drop you off in La Push (if it's open) or at Mora Road, about six miles from Rialto Beach.

Also, lots of people warned me about 20 between Discovery Bay and Port Townsend, but I rode it on Saturday about 6pm, and the traffic was light. I walked a spot that was steep and had no shoulder in case I needed to get out of the road.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Neah Bay to Port Angeles
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2022, 08:40:47 pm »
I rode the whole loop around the Olympic Peninsula and was warned about the Lake Crescent part.  We went on a weekday in mid-July and it was totally fine.  Drivers were courteous, especially the truck drivers, which was supposed to be the problem.  We were not on the 112 road, but on the main highway most of the way except for some of the southern part.  As always, I wouldn't ride this or any road with cars on it without a mirror.  I just want to know what's coming and what kind of drivers they are.  After some experience, you can tell.   
May the wind be at your back!

Offline jcmuellner

Re: Neah Bay to Port Angeles
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2022, 07:59:33 pm »
You can entirely skip riding along the south side of Lake Crescent on 101 by taking the car-free Spruce RR Trail along the north side. Pick it up right across from Sol Duc Hotsprings Rd. At the east end ride to Joyce-Piedmont Rd up to Joyce (great general store) and along Hwy 112 to Elwha River Rd and connect with the Olympic Discovery Trail all the way to Port Angeles (all services) and to Discovery Bay (limited services). From there you can take Hwy 20, but it is narrow, limited sight lines and high speed traffic. A better route is 101 to Center Valley Rd all the way to Chimacum, then Hwy 20 to Port Townsend (very expensive to eat or stay there).