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  1. #1
    rcd
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    Cyling Anacortes WA to Port Angeles WA route help

    We live in Victoria, British Columbia, and want to take our bikes over to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington for a few days of cycling. We'd cycle out to Sidney BC (about 30 km) and take a ferry over to Anacortes. From there, a series of roads and smaller ferries will take you down to Port Angeles via Port Townsend and other places of interest. According to various maps, it all looks fairly clear and easily doable for car travel. BUT (there's always a but!) does anyone know specific information about the roads from a cyclist's perspective? Are they heavily travelled by cars and trucks? Is the vehicular traffic moving fast? Are there plenty of other cyclists on the road? Are the roads steep? Are there attractive alternate routes for cyclists in no hurry? Are there specific cycle/tourist sites that could help us plan better? Do the dominant winds make going in one direction far better than the other? If you know anything about the road between Anacortes and Port Angeles, we'd love to hear it!!! We're two experienced 60+ cycle tourers whose old dog is about to go to meet her maker and we are eager to go biking!
    Last edited by rcd; 07-17-14 at 08:40 AM. Reason: correction and addition

  2. #2
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    My wife and I have ridden that loop clockwise, starting in Anacortes. I might be able to check my wife's journal for the trip and get specific road information. However, the route is fairly straight forward, and I don't remember any issues with roads or traffic.

    We've done several variations including Vancouver Island, Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, Anacortes, Port Townsend, and the northern Olympic Peninsula. Actually, Mt. Vernon, about 17 miles east of Anacortes, is a good starting/ending place for us; there is an Amtrak station there.
    Last edited by Doug64; 07-16-14 at 11:40 PM.

  3. #3
    rcd
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    Thanks, Doug. The fact that you don't remember any road issues is a good sign! It would be great if your wife's journal came up with any details. I'm sure many folks around the NW States and southern Vancouver Island have done this trip, but I haven't met them yet, as we are fairly recently arrived from Alberta.

  4. #4
    Senior Member adventurepdx's Avatar
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    rcd, if you want a map that already has a bike route between Anacortes and Port Angeles, you can't beat Adventure Cycling's Washington Parks Loop.
    Washington Parks | Adventure Cycling Route Network | Adventure Cycling Association

    Also, Skagit County has a bike map, and I also believe there is still one for part of the Olympic Peninsula, so you should check those out.

    From personal experience (I've ridden between the two), the riding is decent, but it's better to get off the two main routes (WA 20 and US 101) as much as possible, as they can be busy. Much of the time there is a decent shoulder on the two, except when you're forced to use 20, like over Deception Pass Bridge and the few miles before it meets 101. 20 doesn't have a shoulder through central Oak Harbor, but you can avoid that area (and I recommend you do, as traffic can be mean there.) If you use the Adventure Cycling routing, they'll get you off of 20/101 wherever possible. You'll be able to use parts of the Olympic Discovery Trail (multi-use path) between Port Townsend and Port Angeles as well.

    As for steep, well, you'll be hitting some short but sometimes steep hills along the route, nothing too big or long. Staying on the main highways will minimize the hills, but you'll get more traffic in return.
    http://urbanadventureleague.blogspot.com/ http://societyofthreespeeds.wordpress.com/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanadventureleaguepdx/

  5. #5
    Senior Member adventurepdx's Avatar
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    Here's the Skagit County map:
    http://www.beactiveskagit.org/uploads/Bike_Map.pdf

    And for the northern/eastern Olympic Peninsula:
    Bike Maps | Port Townsend Bicycle Association
    http://urbanadventureleague.blogspot.com/ http://societyofthreespeeds.wordpress.com/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanadventureleaguepdx/

  6. #6
    rcd
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    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by adventurepdx View Post
    Here's the Skagit County map:
    http://www.beactiveskagit.org/uploads/Bike_Map.pdf

    And for the northern/eastern Olympic Peninsula:
    Bike Maps | Port Townsend Bicycle Association
    Thanks for the great information. Whenever I can, I avoid "shoulder cycling"! Our many trips across the pond have been precisely to find hard-surface roads with very little traffic that is not four-footed.These maps and your other suggestions will be very helpful.

  7. #7
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    Between Port Townsend and Port Angeles, there are a few completed sections of the Bike/Ped path known as the Olympic Discovery Trail. Olympic Discovery Trail ODT | Washington Bike & Multi-use Trail System

    Because it's pretty patchy, this won't be of much use until you hit Sequim. But it's definitely recommended from Sequim to PA. Very flat and scenic. Some of it is gravel, though.

    You'll also need to take a ferry from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend. The Whidbey side is just a dock, no town. Port Townsend is a lovely town. Plan to spend a bit of time there. Good provisions, too. They have some very nice state parks with camping just outside of Port Townsend as well.

    The worst part of the ride, I suspect, will be from Port Townsend to Hiway 101 at Discovery Bay. This section is narrow and windy. Hiway 101 is unpleasant, but at least it has wide shoulders.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    My wife and I have ridden that loop clockwise, starting in Anacortes. I might be able to check my wife's journal for the trip and get specific road information. However, the route is fairly straight forward, and I don't remember any issues with roads or traffic.

    We've done several variations including Vancouver Island, Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, Anacortes, Port Townsend, and the northern Olympic Peninsula. Actually, Mt. Vernon, about 17 miles east of Anacortes, is a good starting/ending place for us; there is an Amtrak station there.
    There's an Amtrak station there, but I don't think they have baggage service, so it's not really a stop for cyclists...
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  9. #9
    Senior Member adventurepdx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    There's an Amtrak station there, but I don't think they have baggage service, so it's not really a stop for cyclists...
    It is really a stop for cyclists. The only train that services Mount Vernon is Amtrak Cascades, which has roll-on bike service, and you can board at any station, whether it has baggage service or not. I have boarded and unboarded with my bike at Mount Vernon many times over the years.

    Amtrak - Plan - Onboard - Bring Your Bicycle Onboard
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adventurepdx View Post
    It is really a stop for cyclists. The only train that services Mount Vernon is Amtrak Cascades, which has roll-on bike service, and you can board at any station, whether it has baggage service or not. I have boarded and unboarded with my bike at Mount Vernon many times over the years.

    Amtrak - Plan - Onboard - Bring Your Bicycle Onboard

    Oh! That's very good to know! Thanks for the correction!
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