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Thread: Planning a PNW Trip

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    Default Planning a PNW Trip

    My wife and I are planning to spend some time in the PNW this summer and I'm planning to take a bike with me. We will likely be spending some time in Portland, Seattle, and Olympic National Park. We are primarily foodies and outdoors people, not huge on typical tourist attractions. The thought with Olympic is that there's downtime for my wife to read (and I can ride) as well as some hiking and the like.

    Any suggestions regarding lodging in/around Olympic? Any routes in any of these three locations that I should plan to ride? Any good food spots that are recommended?

    Thanks!
    Nathan H

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Here are a couple of thoughts off the top of my head:
    Hurricane Ridge is a popular climb, and it is pretty accessible if you are staying in Port Angeles.

    I'd say camping in the Hoh rain forest is pretty spectacular, too (but kind of on the other side of the park). I'm sure you can pretty easily find any number of picturesque cabins/ air bnb-type places close to either of those things.

    I can't remember the name of the place, but I've stayed at Lake Crescent a few times. It was sort of a cluster of small cabins that were rentable, along with a restaurant/kayak rental, if those are sorts of things you might be after in addition to riding.
     

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Olympic National Park area riding--taking 101 east from Port Angeles is good, there are smaller roads parallel. 101 west from PA is great until you get to Crescent Lake. Trust me, you don't want to ride that part of the road. If you PM me I will get you a beautiful alternate route. Haven't done it on a bike but the climb from Port Angeles to Hurricane Ridge is spectacular. The area north and east to Port Townsend is good riding, too. PT is a good place to base yourselves for eating, cycling, reading, and walking. The best book store in the area is 60 miles west in Port Angeles, however. Also, if you are music lovers of any kind, Port Townsend's Fort Worden State Park has music camps on several weekends--good for eavesdropping on amateurs.
    The calendar is at centrum.org. PT has an excellent small bike store, Port Townsend Cyclery right downtown.
     

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    I lived about half of my adult life on the Kitsap Peninsula right across the floating bridge from the Olympic Peninsula. Tons of great riding there. Port Townsend has been mentioned, there are several loops from downtown, one loop I called the Ports Loop that included all the area towns that started with Port. I've never had an issue with a driver or a dog on the Olympic Peninsula. As mentioned, don't ride a bike around Crescent Lake on 101, it's a winding road next to a beautiful lake, no one is looking for bikes. You really can't go wrong with anywhere on the peninsula. Another note, the weather in Seattle is not the weather on the Peninsula, the farms on the peninsula have to irrigate.
    I heart burnt bikes.

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    One other thing to mention is that my (soon to arrive) travel bike will be capable of taking 40c tires so gravel, light single track is a possibility as well.

    Thanks for the thoughts and keep it coming!!
    Nathan H

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    +1 for the Hurricane Ridge climb. It is a must-do. 5000' of vertical in 18 miles, constant grade. The view at the top is in the OMFG category.

    If you get down to the Rainier National Park there are several rides that are each beautiful and can be strung together. You can see these on a map or use Google/Strava/Map My Ride: Longmire to Paradise; Ohannapecosh to Paradise; Cayuse Pass; Chinook Pass; Sunrise. For beauty, Sunrise probably wins. For a great workout I'd choose Ohannapecosh up to Paradise, down to Longmire, up to Paradise, down to Ohannapecosh. About 60 miles and 6000 feet. If that is not enough, add Cayuse Pass. The visitor center at Paradise has a restaurant, hiking, nature trails, etc. so your wife could have plenty to do also.

    If you're in Seattle on a weekend, you might try to rally some of the local vSalon folks out for a ride. I've wanted to do a Seattle vSalon meetup.
     

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    FWIW, a bike industry friend was riding up the Hurricane Ridge road one day a few years ago and in the middle afternoon saw a big, healthy looking mountain lion trot across the road a few hundred feet ahead of him.
     

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by 9tubes View Post
    Rainier National Park there are several rides that are each beautiful and can be strung together.
    When I camp at White river and am feeling frisky:
    rainier road route - A bike ride in Pierce County, WA

    most payout for the effort in the nw atmo
     

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    If you are foodies stick with Seattle and Portland, I cannot recommend anything on the Peninsula. As for cycling, Hurricane Ridge is good as well as Port Townsend. I'd be up for a Vsalon meetup ride as well.
    Byron
     

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    I'm all for meeting up with the locals VSalonistas. I'll post something in the events area when the dates firm up but tentatively looking around July 4th timeframe. Not sure if I'll make it to Rainier National Park on this trip but I'll keep that in mind if I do.

    The time in Portland and Seattle is definitely about the food. The planned time in Olympic National Park is purely nature/downtime.
    Nathan H

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by bironi View Post
    If you are foodies stick with Seattle and Portland, I cannot recommend anything on the Peninsula. As for cycling, Hurricane Ridge is good as well as Port Townsend. I'd be up for a Vsalon meetup ride as well.
    Byron
    But what about Fat Smitty's on Hwy 101? Any cheeseburger that runs down your arm is good in my book. There's an excellent Subway in Port Angeles. Seriously, good dining to be found in Port Townsend. Shanghai Chinese in Port Townsend is well above average Chinese food with an incredible view of huge ships entering and leaving Puget Sound.
    I heart burnt bikes.

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    For cycling, I think I'd avoid the OP on the way out to the park. The road is not all that friendly to cyclists...especially compared to what else is available.
    I'm partial to Whatcom/Skagit county as you don't get the National Park insanity while you maintain the mountains and wonderful weather. If you're on the road, rides like Mt. Baker Highway are open with hikes at the top
    ,
    If you're on 40c tires, you can add local logging roads


    as well as the National Forest roads
    Wells Creek Rd

    [mig][/img]
    Glacier Creek Road


    Canyon Creek Road,

    Twin Lakes Road,




    Each one of these would be something you could set out on to then meet your partner at a trailhead for a great hike as they are ways people access the alping hiking areas and don't lend themselves to loops.

    Whatcom and Skagit are way quieter than the big metropolitan areas. and I'm sure there are great rides off of the North Cascades Highway you should check into as well. You can be in farm country or the foothills in a few miles and can roll along the coast or away from it. If you're way into the foodie thing, hit up the Willows Inn on Lummi Island.

    Personally, I love being away from the summer masses that flock to the national parks and make something like riding up to Paradise an ordeal that it isn't out of season.
    Jason Babcock

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    I need to start riding with Jason, nice pictures.
     

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor View Post
    I need to start riding with Jason, nice pictures.
    Ditto. I think a PNW Baller's tour is a strong and worthy possibility. I've got 2 days from Rochester in July, Jason can take another 2 days from Bellingham and make it a serious undertaking.

    Jason? What say you?
    DT

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Keeping an eye on this. If there's a PNW 'Salonista gathering, it's a short drive down from Vancouver for me.
    My name is Hung | Instagram | Website/portfolio

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Man, it's becoming clear I really need to branch out and get out farther from Seattle...I'm taking notes here, for sure.
     

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Vancouverdave View Post
    FWIW, a bike industry friend was riding up the Hurricane Ridge road one day a few years ago and in the middle afternoon saw a big, healthy looking mountain lion trot across the road a few hundred feet ahead of him.
    Completely in line w/ other things I've heard/seen up there.

    OP- The road that goes by Crescent Lake is STELLAR, the whole area is amazing, my wife and I liked it enough that we got married on the lake and have an annual camping trip there. HOWEVER, it isn't bike friendly, logging trucks aren't terrible, but the folks driving campers are terrifying on that narrow road. So, be aware. The nature of the place is that there aren't other roads really, it is super amazing though - I'd ride it on my bike in the "off season" for tourists, or lower traffic times of day... just be aware - twisty road w/ terrible visibility and distracted drivers looking all around isn't a good combo.

    I'll agree w/ a lot of what has been said so far - I'm over in Bend now, but if there's a Baller's ride planned for around here, I'd think about heading back over, for sure.
     

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by David Tollefson View Post
    Ditto. I think a PNW Baller's tour is a strong and worthy possibility. I've got 2 days from Rochester in July, Jason can take another 2 days from Bellingham and make it a serious undertaking.

    Jason? What say you?
    Wow, those photos are getting me excited!!! I'm definitely open to other areas outside of the national park if we can find a quiet cabin and have access to moderate level hiking. We've been told Olympic NP is beautiful but that portion of the trip is more about quiet and solitude in nature for my wife especially.

    It would be fun if there was a couple of PNW Ballers type rides while I was there. Looks like I'll have a car so I could probably get away for a couple of rides if they aren't that far from the Seattle area.
    Nathan H

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by David Tollefson View Post
    Ditto. I think a PNW Baller's tour is a strong and worthy possibility. I've got 2 days from Rochester in July, Jason can take another 2 days from Bellingham and make it a serious undertaking.

    Jason? What say you?
    That would be easy with 2 days. Day 1 is 100 miles to the top of Baker and back. Day two has two options, a road option out to Chuckanut Drive and around Lake Whatcom and a dirt option that hits the climbs in those pictures. I'm good for two big climbs but you could easily hit 3-4 in a day.
    Jason Babcock

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    Default Re: Planning a PNW Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by mjbabcock View Post
    That would be easy with 2 days. Day 1 is 100 miles to the top of Baker and back. Day two has two options, a road option out to Chuckanut Drive and around Lake Whatcom and a dirt option that hits the climbs in those pictures. I'm good for two big climbs but you could easily hit 3-4 in a day.
    chuckanut is a classic - totally worth it.
    Dirt option, maybe? depends on which ones, seems a pity to be right by coast and have both rides inland? Plenty of really great dirt routes that could change my mind though.
     

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