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Old 03-01-17, 07:14 PM   #1
spinnaker
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Seattle to Victoria ferry or Port Angeles to Victoria?

I am planning on touring Vancouver Island this year as well as some of the San Juan Islands. I see there is a ferry straight to Victoria. Should I take it or make the ride to Port Angeles? I figure that ride is about 1.5 days for me. Time I can spend on the island.

Would I be missing anything? I understand Port Townsand is really nice bit I might be able to catch it on the way back, if I come through Fort Casey.

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Old 03-01-17, 07:31 PM   #2
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I have taken the Coho ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria on Vancouver Island a couple of times, both as a pedestrian. Don't know the rates to take a bike along but that should be on the BC Ferries website. @Lascauxcaveman lives in Port Angeles and can probably advise.

I have also taken the ferry from Seattle to Victoria as a pedestrian. Another time rode from Seattle-Bremerton ferry to Port Townsend, Whidby Island and back. If the choice is to take the ferry from Seattle-Victoria to ride the island or to ride Seattle-Port Angeles in order to take that ferry to Victoria in order to ride the island, I'd suggest the first choice to maximize your island time.

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Old 03-01-17, 07:49 PM   #3
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I have taken the Coho ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria on Vancouver Island a couple of times, both as a pedestrian. Don't know the rates to take a bike along but that should be on the BC Ferries website. @Lascauxcaveman lives in Port Angeles and can probably advise.

Sounds like you are an expert on Victoria. Any tips? I already plan on seeing the Kinsol Trestle and perhaps the Galloping Goose Trail. What I really want to do is take a boat from Port Renfrew to Bamfield. Supposedly there is a water taxis but the information is sketchy.

Coastal Sea Ventures ? Come see what Vancouver Island is all about
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Old 03-01-17, 07:59 PM   #4
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I regret to report that my trips involved romance and not cycling or sightseeing, but I'm sure some knowledgeable person will chime in. I will say that Victoria is a nice town to propose in, and to buy a wedding band in, and to return to on a 25th anniversary trip.
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Old 03-01-17, 08:29 PM   #5
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Yeah, except that the Victoria Clipper is $129 one-way with a bike.
And the MV Coho from Port Angeles is $25 one-way with a bike.
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Old 03-01-17, 08:29 PM   #6
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I regret to report that my trips involved romance and not cycling or sightseeing, but I'm sure some knowledgeable person will chime in. I will say that Victoria is a nice town to propose in, and to buy a wedding band in, and to return to on a 25th anniversary trip.


Check out the trestle the next time you are there. It looks cool.
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Old 03-01-17, 08:32 PM   #7
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Yeah, except that the Victoria Clipper is $129 one-way with a bike.
And the MV Coho from Port Angeles is $25 one-way with a bike.

Yeah I thought about that but a night in a hotel will cost me that. Plus I am a firm believer in Rick Steve's philosophy. He says don't cheap out on travel. Figure what your trip is costing you per hour. You might find it is cheaper to take the taxi as opposed to the bus.
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Old 03-01-17, 08:53 PM   #8
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...What I really want to do is take a boat from Port Renfrew to Bamfield. Supposedly there is a water taxis but the information is sketchy.

Coastal Sea Ventures ? Come see what Vancouver Island is all about
I've never done that one, but you can bet your big, green, American dollars that's gonna be pricey.

Because touring on the North Olympic Peninsula is quite comparable to touring on Vancouver Island anyway, try this:

Assuming a starting point in Seattle, I'd pedal up to Edmonds and take the ferry across there, ride up to Port Townsend, then head to Port Angeles. You can take the Olympic Discovery Trail almost all the way from PT to PA. PA itself has some great day rides: Hurricane Ridge, Spruce Trail around Lake Crescent, Olympic Hot Springs, Elwha River mouth on the Lower Elwha Res... I'd be happy to play tour guide for you on some of these, if you catch me at a time I can take a day off.

From PA, ferry to Victoria, then do whatever you want on Vancouver Island. Go west on the Galloping Goose, it's a nice flat ride going to Sooke, and then beyond, less flat. Ride up island if you want, or cross over to the San Juans from Sydney, hop from island to island as you go. It's been 30+ years since I've done that, so I defer to whatever the guidebooks tell you on how to approach it. Once you're done with the San Juans, get the ferry to Anacortes and so forth back to Seattle, maybe going down by way of Whidbey Island and/or LaConner, etc.

Or do the whole thing in reverse order. It'd be really easy to burn a whole week making that loop, with side trips and misc exploring.

In Port Angeles, you have to stay at the Downtown Hotel, of course. Apart from your tent, it'll be the cheapest lodging on your whole trip. And I'll buy you a beer
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Old 03-01-17, 10:12 PM   #9
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I just lost a three paragraph route description, so you are getting the short version. My wife and I have done 7-8 tours ranging from 1 to 3 weeks in the Puget Sound area. We also started our PCH ride in Vancouver, BC and rode north to Lund. We crossed over to Vancouver Island at Powell River to Comox on Vancouver Island and then down to Victoria. Then we headed south on HWY 101.

Amtrak station at Mt. Vernon, Washington>Ride the 20 miles to Anacortes> Take the Ferry to San Jan Island> Explore the Islands. There is a nice campground about 4 miles from the ferry terminal in Friday Harbor> The inter-island ferries are free, explore the islands> Take the Ferry from Friday Harbor to Sidney, Vancouver Island> ride north to Swartz Bay and take the Ferry to the Canadian Gulf Islands> Backtrack to Swartz Bay and take the Lakeside Trail to Victoria. There is a nice campground 3-4 miles north of Victoria> Catch the ferry in Victoria over to Port Angeles and take the trail east> ride the trail and road to Port Townsend> Take the ferry to coupeville, and head north toward Mt. Vernon.

There are numerous loops that are only limited by time and imagination. It is not as pretty as the original, but you will get the idea.




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Old 03-02-17, 12:04 AM   #10
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The ride from Poulsbo to Port townsend is my least favorite part of your trip. The 90 can take you from Bainbridge to Poulsbo and the 7 up to Port Townsend. 1 day saved. A person standing on the ferry dock in Seattle, with ticket in hand at 6am can make the sailing of the $25 Coho. Is there not a ferry connection from the San Juans to Vancouver island?

The Olympic discoyery trail is nice
ODT End to End Map
So is the coast on the Olympic Peninsula.



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Would I be missing anything?
Yes. You need to make a choice. There are too many places to go and too many things to do. choose one side or the other. Why not start in Vancouover and catch a ferry at Tsawwassen, or Horseshoe bay to Nanaimo. I make it up that way most every summer, I have not seen it all.

Be advised Bike Theft is on the rise in Seattle and Vancouever.
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Old 03-02-17, 01:40 AM   #11
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Another option is to take the Amtrak to Vancouver and then the BC ferry to Vancouver Island.
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Old 03-02-17, 07:02 AM   #12
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The Olympic Peninsula is amazing. I'd try to fit in as much of that as you can, though cutting out at Port Angeles is leaving right when it gets Really amazing.
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Old 03-02-17, 08:27 AM   #13
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This is an area I am also thinking of exploring. If you could choose your dates, when would you go for the best weather?
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Old 03-02-17, 09:22 AM   #14
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First, Victoria is on Vancouver Island. Either ferry trip is fine. Neither is BC Ferries. With Port Townsend you end up North of Victoria at Sidney on the Saanich Penninsula. You could ride down by Buchart Gardens to catch the Mill Bay ferry across the Saanich Inlet to the main Island Highway and head north to Nanaimo. There you could cross the Island to Port Albernie and on to Tofino (north side of Albernie Inlet) or Bamfield (south side of the inlet). If you ride to Bamfield you will need an 'off road' type bike.

If you cross to Victoria (Black Ball Ferry from Port Angeles) you end up in downtown Victoria. Pretty touristy city, but it has its charm. I've never looked into the boat trip up to Bamfield. Sounds cool but you are going to experience some notable waves so be sure you aren't the seasick type. It will be expensive but with the exchange rate won't be too bad.

I used to live in Victoria and still go back to the Island regularly. Let me know if you need more info.
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Old 03-02-17, 07:12 PM   #15
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First, Victoria is on Vancouver Island.
Exactly where did I say it wasn't?
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Old 03-02-17, 07:25 PM   #16
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Another option is to take the Amtrak to Vancouver and then the BC ferry to Vancouver Island.
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I just lost a three paragraph route description, so you are getting the short version. My wife and I have done 7-8 tours ranging from 1 to 3 weeks in the Puget Sound area. We also started our PCH ride in Vancouver, BC and rode north to Lund. We crossed over to Vancouver Island at Powell River to Comox on Vancouver Island and then down to Victoria. Then we headed south on HWY 101.

Amtrak station at Mt. Vernon, Washington>Ride the 20 miles to Anacortes> Take the Ferry to San Jan Island> Explore the Islands. There is a nice campground about 4 miles from the ferry terminal in Friday Harbor> The inter-island ferries are free, explore the islands> Take the Ferry from Friday Harbor to Sidney, Vancouver Island> ride north to Swartz Bay and take the Ferry to the Canadian Gulf Islands> Backtrack to Swartz Bay and take the Lakeside Trail to Victoria. There is a nice campground 3-4 miles north of Victoria> Catch the ferry in Victoria over to Port Angeles and take the trail east> ride the trail and road to Port Townsend> Take the ferry to coupeville, and head north toward Mt. Vernon.

There are numerous loops that are only limited by time and imagination. It is not as pretty as the original, but you will get the idea.



I kind of like this idea.


I have to see how things work out but maybe cross at Powell River?
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Old 03-02-17, 07:26 PM   #17
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This is an area I am also thinking of exploring. If you could choose your dates, when would you go for the best weather?
From what I understand before the end of September. After that you get more rain.
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Old 03-02-17, 08:26 PM   #18
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This is an area I am also thinking of exploring. If you could choose your dates, when would you go for the best weather?
July. Mid June to mid August. Victoria in the rain shadow, most of the area is not in the rain shadow.
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Old 03-02-17, 09:22 PM   #19
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I am planning on touring Victoria Island ....
Victoria island is a virtually uninhabited island in the Arctic Sea in the Northwest Territories of Canada https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Island_(Canada)
A bit more difficult to access and I'd definitely bring an off road bike!
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Old 03-02-17, 11:25 PM   #20
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Victoria island is a virtually uninhabited island in the Arctic Sea in the Northwest Territories of Canada https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Island_(Canada)
A bit more difficult to access and I'd definitely bring an off road bike!
I'll say. 1,875 inhabitants on an island the size of Great Britain. Perhaps he meant Vancouver Island? Can you imagine getting on the boat to Victoria Island instead? Whoops!

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Old 03-03-17, 04:05 PM   #21
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Victoria island is a virtually uninhabited island in the Arctic Sea in the Northwest Territories of Canada https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Island_(Canada)
A bit more difficult to access and I'd definitely bring an off road bike!
Sorry obviously a typo. I had Victoria the city on my brain.
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Old 03-05-17, 11:49 AM   #22
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If you decide to take the ferry to Kitsap County and ride to Port Angeles there is a decent state park just prior to Sequim with hiker/biker spots. If you choose to make that trip there are some nice things to see but I would skip Port Townsend, as nice as it is the trip from there to Discovery Bay where you pick up the ODT is harrowing to say the least and can be enough to make the trip regretful. Less scenic but much less dangerous is the trip down 104.
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Old 03-05-17, 11:54 AM   #23
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What is "the ODT" sorry but I am not from the area.
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Old 03-07-17, 10:55 PM   #24
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The route from Vancouver to Powell River has very heavily traffic because it is pretty much the only road.
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Old 03-08-17, 10:17 AM   #25
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Yeah I thought about that but a night in a hotel will cost me that. Plus I am a firm believer in Rick Steve's philosophy. He says don't cheap out on travel. Figure what your trip is costing you per hour. You might find it is cheaper to take the taxi as opposed to the bus.
Bravo!

Cheapest form of travel is to stay home, eat oatmeal (no-name as it is cheapest), and read National Geo (or FT threads).
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