Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Issaquah, WA
Bikes: 2015 Focus Mares CX, 2008 Cannondale Supersix
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Follow up report:
We arrived in Port Angeles on a foggy Saturday morning. After warming up on the mostly deserted streets in town, we made our way up the mountain from the Civic field in the middle of Port Angeles to the top of Hurricane Ridge, which took about 1 hour 40 minutes for the 18 miles of climbing. Most of that was in warm sunshine; we broke through the fog layer at about 1,800 feet and from then on great views of the canyon we were riding up, and then sweeping views over the Olympic range from the top . The road conditions on Hurricane Ridge were great - no potholes and nice smooth tarmac -- and the grade of the road was never difficult. The descent off Hurricane Ridge is loads of fun -- no brakes required except at one or two bends, just a fast swooping downhill run back into Port Angles. After refilling foods and bottles, we rode up Black Diamond Road and down Little River Rd. to Highway 101. We saw only a few cars in that segment. Black Diamond was surfaced with a somewhat rough chipseal, but it was no problem. The descent of Little River Rd. was perhaps the highlight of the day. It is narrow, but very well surfaced and with good sightlines so you can really let loose on the steep descent (but keep an eye out for oncoming vehicles!).
From there we headed West on Highway 101. The shoulder is wide and has rumble strips and there weren't many cars or trucks out. There were a couple of narrow bridge crossings that required us to ride in the lane for a few moments, but it was a non-issue given the lack of traffic. We turned off 101 onto Beach Rd and rode along the north side of Lake Crescent, which was stunning, and then over Joyce-Piedmont Road, which rises up through a dense forest on one side and the drops down gently to Highway 112 on the other side. There were no cars in this area. From there we crossed 112 and headed straight to Crescent Beach, which dropped us down right next to the beach and the waves rolling in, and then followed the loop back to 112 a few miles up the road.
At that point we hopped on 112 and headed east for about 6 miles until we reached Elwha River Road, which we followed past the airport and back in to Port Angeles. I was a little apprehensive before the ride about 112, but the shoulder was adequate (3 feet) and there were only a handful of cars that passed us over the course of 20 minutes. It was a non-issue.
Total ride length was 90 miles with 8,500 feet of climbing. It was really a great day of riding and a nice change of scenery from the Seattle area. I'll do this route again and would not change anything, other than perhaps adding a few more miles.
I would note that we tried to find the Olympic Discovery Trail a couple of times, but it isn't easy to access. MapMyRide gave totally unreliable directions for getting on the trail. And the one segment of it that we did find, in downtown Port Angeles right in front of the water, was torn up for construction and only suitable for a mountain bike.