Olympic Adventure Trail Info/RR
A group of us have rode this trail four times in the last five months, and I just wanted to pass along some info. This is the adventure section of the Olympic Discovery Trail, not the rails to trails and paved sections that most people have heard about. The Adventure Trail begins just a couple of miles out of Port Angeles. On 101, take right on 112, and trailhead is about 1/4 past the Elwha River bridge. It is an out and back, over 20 miles one way, of the sweetest, well maintained single track you could ride. Old growth forests, huge drainages, and incredible views of the Olympics, the Straits, all the way to Canada. I'm guessing not more than a 5% grade anywhere. Full range of the trail system elevation is 1100 feet, with nice wide switchbacks and miles and miles of unbelievable bench cut singletrack. You cross a few service forest roads, and we have seen a few horses here and there. We usually ride it 20 miles to the Joyce Piedmont Rd., and then back. It flows quicker on the return. In my opinion, a top 5 ride in Washington.
thanks K.C. I've been told a good long weekend trip is to do one day on the Olympic Adv trail followed by a Gold Creek/Dungeness the next day. Will try and get schedule a trip to go check both trails out soon.
One question for you... 20 miles of singletrack one-way. Does this mean there is very little to No road riding on the route you ride? How far has the singel-track been built headed west?
No road riding on the Adventure section. A little over 20 miles of spectacular singletrack from the Elwha trailhead to the Joyce-Piedmont Rd. There is one short section of old service road, maybe .5 mile, which as narrowed to near singletrack. Almost every service road crossing is directly across the road. There is one where the singletrack picks up about 60 feet up the service road, and another that picks up about 150 feet. Thats the only service road riding. After 20 miles, you cross the Joyce-Piedmond Rd. There you will find about 1.5 miles of singletrack, and then it turns to about 3.5 miles of service road to Cresent Lake and an old rail bed section. Hope that helps.
A weekend of riding the Adventure Trail and the Dungy-Gold Loop would be hard to beat. Thats why they call this 'mountain biking.'
I usually add in the the trip to Crescent Lake, and a trip on the old Spruce Railroad grade. From that end it isn't paved for 6 or 7 miles. Keep in mind that the section of rail next to the lake was never completed so it isn't your typical rails to trails. There are a few sketchy moments where you can easily fall into the lake from the trail, there are some big rock piles, half finished rail tunnels to explore, and some other fun things. That makes the full out and back around 68 miles or so.
I'll be checking this out! Probably solo, and taking it easy. I like paddling and fly fishing the lake.
The area is known to have ticks carrying Lyme Disease, so if you go there, be sure to apply some repellant! The West end of the lake around Fairholme Campground is where my bother's step son's wife got bitten and came down with Lyme disease. It took months for her doctor to figure out what she had, as she showed no preliminary symptoms, but just was really fatigued all the time.
RIDERS WANTED to share GAS Cost. I have been doing the 40 miles on Fridays for the last two years, and would like to find 1-2 riders to join me and share the cost of gas.
I can pick you up anywhere along 101 North, from Brinnon, on to the trail.
I do it from 112 to Joyce Rd. and back. My best time so far is 4 hours 44 minutes, last Friday June 6. You ride at your own pace, we will wait if you are slower or try to catch you if you are faster, Ideally the group will eventually be able to ride at similar pace.
The car is an FJ Cruiser with a Thule T2 carrier that accommodates 1 Fat bike and 1 up to 2.5 Tire Bike. Or 2 up to 2.5 Bikes. Mine rides inside the FJ.
Interested Riders IM.
Hoping to ride this section in a couple weeks with my girlfriend who just started MTBing this year. She's picked up the basics really well and I don't think she'll have a problem with this trail, other than the length. That said, is there any camping near either end of the Adventure Route?
Ideally, we'd like to ride east to west the first day, pitch a tent, then ride back the next day.
Didn't find much in the way of campgrounds around Lake Crescent, other than the Log Cabin Resort which is, of course, booked solid.
Salt Creek Campground off of 112 is one of my favorites. Sequim State Park on 101, or Dungeness Campground off Palto Alto Rd., also puts you close to Dungeness/Gold Creek loop, one of the best rides in Washington. Just to name a few. Many, many more very nice campgrounds in the area.
There is an RV park on 112 on the left side, just before you cross the Elwha river bridge. I think they would let you pitch your tent there. There are many spots around the lake where you can camp, but camping on the Adventure trail is not allowed as far as I know. Two Fridays ago a big Cougar jumped right in front of me around mile 15, heading back to the car from Joyce Rd after 6 PM. I have seen 3 since I started doing the 40 miles on Fridays, but this last one was the biggest, as far as I can tell these are not aggressive like those in the Sierra Nevada, but they get your attention for sure.
Go to the ranger station at the lake and ask where you can camp, its pretty open.
BTW I ride the 40 from 112 to Joyce rd and back. I have done it now both ways many times, but I think 112 to Joyce and back, works better, since you hit the steep fresh, and then have an easier more fun return.
Going from 112 to Joyce Rd, you start with easy climbs to mile 3, then you start a very fun decent though the forest with banked turns and woops, this continues until 5, where it levels a bit before you hit mile 6 and start climbing to mile 7 which is the steepest climb, but short. Those descending easily hit 26+ so be aware and ready to get out of the way. You pass mile 7 towards the end of the climb where you will find a car gate. While working mile 8 you traverse a sand pit and climb mildly, and meander elevated rock trails through swampy areas under the canopy. Mile nine comes fast and continues downward with more fun stuff, woops and turns to mile 10. You are now parallel to the Strait and can see Victoria Canada and the shipping lane. momentum is king here, a bit of crushed rock and endless woops. I keep it in my big ring 44, and work the rear endlessly to pump the dips. Watch out for cut stumps that like to stick out in the worse places. By now you are fully warmed up and loose, and it only gets better, until mile 12, then mile 13 marker, feels distant and you are very happy to see maker 14, from here on its under the canopy tight turns bridges, possible horses headed the opposite way, pay attention. Mile 15 1nd 16 come easy and the fun keeps you going, wanting more. At the end of 16 you cross a fire road, turn left and watch for the arrow pointing to the trail, it is easy to miss these days with overgrown brush. This stretch, is not my favorite, the trail is crushed rock and the trees are scarce, this translates into heat coming from below your feet, sunny days feel pretty hot, carry plenty to drink. The view is nice though and after mile marker 17, which is attached to a low stump, and easy to hit, there is a nice pick nick table with a nice view. Catch your breath if you need to and get ready for a really nice section. 17 to the almost Joyce Rd. goes through what looks to be the oldest forest on this trail, its a nice respite on hot days, the trail is a mix of pine needles base with occasional crushed rock elevated sections through swampy areas. I seldom catch a glimpse of the markers, by this stage I am full of satisfaction, specially if a was able to shave a few minutes, and the last climb to the road is just nice as it culminates in an open space. Hit the road have a drink and head back.
Or continue around the Lake to make it 50 miles.
See you on the Trail.