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Route advice for northern Washington/ Southern B.C.

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Route advice for northern Washington/ Southern B.C.

Old 05-29-18, 09:29 PM
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Route advice for northern Washington/ Southern B.C.

So right off the bat I want to say I'm not going on a bicycle, but a small motorcycle (225 cc). The reason I'm at a bicycle website instead of a motorcycle website is because I would like to follow the same type of roads I like to ride on my bicycle, and avoid all the things I like to avoid on my bicycle (busy highways and large cities)


I want to ride the "Coast Mountain Circle Tour" in B.C. but would like to completely avoid Vancouver if possible.

The route I'm thinking about doing is the following:

Start in Port Angeles with a ferry to victoria, ride north to Nanaimo, ferry over to Hwy 99 (close to cypress provincial Park ) and start the loop there. Go 99 to 12 to 1 and reenter the U.S. at Sumas, Wa. Go route 9 south to 20 west and catch the ferry from Fort Casey to Port Townsend.

I would appreciate suggestions to improve upon this route or any other *CONSTRUCTIVE* suggestions/warnings.

Thank you,
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Old 05-30-18, 08:50 AM
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Your route through North Vancouver can't avoid high density traffic and captures some of the coast mountains, not part of the Cascade route at all.

From Port Angeles ride further east to Port Townsend.and catch the ferry to Fort Casey/Keystone and ride Hwy 20 up Whidbey Island through Deception Pass. Continue north then east to Hwy 9 at Sedro Wooley and follow that north to the Sumas border crossing which brings you to Abbotsford. From there wind east to Manning Park on hwy 3. 3 to penticton, down to osoyoos, cross the border at oroville and then return to the coast via the Cascade hwy.

Completely avoids the big city and follows excellent rural roads and great scenery.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-30-18 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 05-30-18, 08:57 AM
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If you will be camping, Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend is pretty cool. It's the former military base where much of "An Officer and a Gentleman" was filmed.
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Old 05-30-18, 09:27 AM
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Washington State Department of Transportation has maps , to show the better bicycle route roads.

One link from that site.. WSDOT - Bicycling in Washington State

BC Provincial government may have similar information., found via an online search..


..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-30-18 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 05-30-18, 11:20 AM
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Most of the route that you are describing is the return route that I proposed. You are saying that even taking the ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay will still put me in major city traffic? Perhaps you misunderstood me and didn't know I was talking about heading north on 99 from Horseshoe Bay? I would like to do the route that goes up towards Whistler and than wind my way back down hwy 1 towards Sumas ( do the loop in a clockwise Direction) It does sound like a scenic section that you are suggesting though. Perhaps when I get down to Hope I'll get on route 3 and head towards Osoyoos and then return the Cascade Highway.

By the way, thanks to everyone for your responses









Originally Posted by Happy Feet
Your route through North Vancouver can't avoid high density traffic and captures some of the coast mountains, not part of the Cascade route at all.

From Port Angeles ride further east to Port Townsend.and catch the ferry to Fort Casey/Keystone and ride Hwy 20 up Whidbey Island through Deception Pass. Continue north then east to Hwy 9 at Sedro Wooley and follow that north to the Sumas border crossing which brings you to Abbotsford. From there wind east to Manning Park on hwy 3. 3 to penticton, down to osoyoos, cross the border at oroville and then return to the coast via the Cascade hwy.

Completely avoids the big city and follows excellent rural roads and great scenery.
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Old 05-30-18, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wheels78
Most of the route that you are describing is the return route that I proposed. You are saying that even taking the ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay will still put me in major city traffic? Perhaps you misunderstood me and didn't know I was talking about heading north on 99 from Horseshoe Bay? I would like to do the route that goes up towards Whistler and than wind my way back down hwy 1 towards Sumas ( do the loop in a clockwise Direction) It does sound like a scenic section that you are suggesting though. Perhaps when I get down to Hope I'll get on route 3 and head towards Osoyoos and then return the Cascade Highway.

By the way, thanks to everyone for your responses
Dope! My bad. The brain said Cascade route instead of Coast Mountain.

In that case, yes go P Angeles to Victoria. If you want to avoid traffic of the GVA over the Malahat (I did that last summer and found the ride not bad) you can head up the Saanich pennisula to the Brentwood/Mill Bay ferry and cross over there to travel the old coastal Hwy up to Nanaimo. Or, ride from Victoria up to Swartz Bay and catch the ferry over to Salt Spring Island, travel up SaltSpring to the Vesuvius Ferry and cross over to Crofton. This beats the congestion of the GVA.

From Crofton head north to Nanaimo take the ferry to Horseshoe Bay and then the Sea to Sky Hwy up to Whistler. It's a busy hwy in summer but with good shoulders and many cyclists do it. For a longer variant of the above, ride further north from Nanaimo to Comox and cross over to Powell river on the sunshine coast. Head south from there to Gibsons/Langdale and take another ferry to Horseshoe Bay where you can continue to Whistler. The Sunshine Coast is very scenic. From Whistler ride up past Pemberton to Lillooet, across to Cache Creek, and down the Fraser Canyon to Hope. I just did CC to Hope last week. Don't do the Coquihalla Hwy on a small motor bike as the speed limit is 120kmh and you will get buzzed. You could extend that even more by going east from Cache Creek to Vernon and down the Okanogan Valley to Hwy 3 and through Manning to Hope.


From Hope, take the north side of the Fraser River, Hwy 7, far less traffic and more scenic. Hwy 1 from Hope is crazy busy and more like a freeway. On Hwy 7 cross the Fraser River at Mission and you will have a straight shot to Abbotsford and the Sumas crossing there. Once across, reverse the route I described earlier to Whidbey Island via Deception Pass.

I've cycled almost all of those routes except the whistler - lillooet section which I will do this summer. Highly recommend the ferry jumping to avoid the GVA. Both the Sunshine coast and Okanogan Valley are very scenic and I would recommend them. Ferry fees for bicycles is dirt cheap so I never worry about how many ferries I take but for a motor bike you may want to price it out ahead of time. Near Crofton, stop in Chemainus to check out the murals on the buildings there. The old coast hwy is far more scenic than the new Hwy up island.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-30-18 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 05-30-18, 12:56 PM
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Excellent! This is exactly the kind of information I was hoping for. Thanks very much.



[QUOTE=Happy Feet;20368144]Dope! My bad. The brain said Cascade route instead of Coast Mountain.

In that case, yes go P Angeles to Victoria. If you want to avoid traffic of the GVA over the Malahat (I did that last summer and found the ride not bad) you can head up the Saanich pennisula to the Brentwood/Mill Bay ferry and cross over there to travel the old coastal Hwy up to Nanaimo. Or, ride from Victoria up to Swartz Bay and catch the ferry over to Salt Spring Island, travel up SaltSpring to the Vesuvius ...
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Old 05-30-18, 04:55 PM
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A couple of more questions if I might; I never stay in hotels, is there plenty of camping along the route that you described (including the Sunshine Coast)?
And it's not clear looking at the fare schedule for the ferries if the price for a motorcycle includes the rider or if there is an additional/separate fee for rider?
Thanks again!







In that case, yes go P Angeles to Victoria. If you want to avoid traffic of the GVA over the Malahat --snip
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Old 05-30-18, 05:41 PM
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Question 1 yes. There are private and provincial sites all along those routes.

Question 2 dunno. You could email bc ferries. If you take a few ferries consider buying an "experience" card at your first pay booth. You load it with your credit card and then pay the fare with it at a discount.
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Old 06-06-18, 10:25 PM
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I've ridden the route from Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton, and then to Lillooet several times over the years.
I highly recommend it, especially from Pemberton to Lillooet. The hwy south from Lillooet to Lytton is also
very scenic and lightly travelled...but it's a very rough ride because of poor maintenance. Might be better to
ride east to Cache Creek and then south. Rather than ride through the busy Fraser Canyon, you can ride the
lightly travelled hwy from the south end of Spences Bridge (just south of the hwy bridge) which is 40 miles of
interesting scenery as well to Merritt. From there head south on hwy 5A, continuing to follow it to the right about
5 miles from Merritt onto the hwy to Princeton, another scenic and little travelled route. You then have the choice
of riding through Manning Park and down to Sumas, or better still, heading east through Keremeos on hwy 3 rather
then uphill onto hwy3A and either crossing the border at Nighthawk, or just south of Osoyoos. The last time I rode
that way I went through Nighthawk and turned east onto Loomis Oroville rd which was very rural, scenic, and a well
maintained gravel road.
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Old 06-06-18, 10:30 PM
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Thank you. I'll put this information into my notes.



[QUOTE=Big Lew;20381173]I've ridden the route from Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton, and then to Lillooet several times over the years.
I highly recommend it, especially from Pemberton to Lillooet... snip
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Old 06-07-18, 09:17 PM
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If you get lost and find yourself heading south from Vancouver make the best of it and be sure to swing by Point Roberts, Washington, an exclave of Washington State that is attached to, and can only be reached by land from, British Columbia. There's nothing special about Point Bob except that it's one of those weird little geopolitical oddities like the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the Kentucky Bend or the like.


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Old 06-08-18, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wheels78
A couple of more questions if I might; I never stay in hotels, is there plenty of camping along the route that you described (including the Sunshine Coast)?
And it's not clear looking at the fare schedule for the ferries if the price for a motorcycle includes the rider or if there is an additional/separate fee for rider?
Thanks again!
p
Yes, the fare is for motorcycle and rider.

There are a number of places to camp.
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