Washington, USA

Olympic National Park & Discovery Trail

DURATION

6 Days

PRICE

$3,714

LEVEL

All Levels

DAILY DISTANCE

25-40 Miles

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Cycling (bikes included) & Hiking

INCLUDED MEALS

All breakfasts. One lunch and one dinner on your own.

Discover and explore what we ultimately strive for in a cycling vacation–which is to simply “Pedal Happy”.

Decades in the making – and yet to be finished – the Olympic Discovery Trail follows an old logging railway along the northern portion of the Olympic Peninsula. We take advantage of over 80 miles of the completed trail, keeping you off the sections where it follows busy roads. Pedal with the snowcapped Olympic Mountains on one side and the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the other. And no logging trucks! We circumnavigate the peninsula, beginning at Lake Quinault (home to six species of record-sized trees!) before heading north and then east around the peninsula, stopping at Kalaloch, Ruby Beach, the Hoh Rainforest, Forks (setting for the Twilight series), Lake Crescent, and Port Angeles before hitting the high point of the tour (and the peninsula) at Hurricane Ridge. We also get off our bikes to take a closer look at things, hiking in ancient forests, on beaches, and through sub-alpine meadows. Enjoy waterfront lodging for three nights and stay at two National Park lodges. Finish the week with a coastal bike ride and beautiful ferry ride straight into the heart of the Seattle waterfront!

The Olympic Discovery Trail surface is mostly paved with some short sections of hard-packed gravel.

Special Note: The National Park Service does not allow commercial tour participants to ride down from Hurricane Ridge.

National Parks on this tour: Olympic National Park

This tour is operated under special use permit/s with Olympic National Park. Bicycle Adventures is an equal opportunity provider.

Day 01

Hike through ancient forests at Lake Quinault and explore the beach at Kalaloch. Stay at Kalaloch National Park Lodge on the coast.

Meals

– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Kalaloch National Park Lodge

Distance

3-4 miles trail walking plus a few miles on the beach

Elevation

Less than 300ft overall

To the Northwest Coast natives, Quinault means “river with a lake in the middle.” It is the name of the land, the lake, and the tribe who lives here. The Quinault River basin famously holds six different species of record-sized trees. It’s a bit of a drive (~2.5hrs) from Seattle, but don’t worry, you will be craning your neck to catch a glimpse of the tops of the “Big Trees” before you get out of the van! Explore the network of trails along the lake this afternoon to see some of the largest western red cedar, Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and Douglas fir trees on the planet. Sample a dozen or more varieties of native berries depending on the season. From Quinault we drive another half-hour to Kalaloch on the Pacific Coast.

Kalaloch means “a good place to land” and we think you will agree. In sharp contrast to the soaring inland forests, the coastal beaches are lined with forbidding-looking tangles of gnarled spruce and wind-whipped shore pines. Take a walk on the beach, keeping an eye out for migrating whales, scurrying shore birds, surf-riding scoters, playful otters and soaring bald eagles. In the evening, the garnet-tinged sands and offshore haystacks of Ruby Beach form a photo-perfect sunset backdrop. Spend the night overlooking the beach at Kalaloch National Park Lodge.

Day 02

Hike the Hoh Rainforest's legendary Hall of Mosses and Hoh River Trail!

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Pacific Inn Motel

Distance

Hike up to about 8 miles. Optional cycling up to 31 miles.

Elevation

Hike is less than 500ft gain.

Spend a whole day in the most famous rainforest in the park! Cited as being one of the quietest places on earth, Hoh means “whitewater,” an apt description for this boulder-strewn, braided ribbon of a river flowing from Blue Glacier on Mt Olympus – the lowest glacier in the lower-48 states. Hike the Hall of Mosses in the morning before continuing up the Hoh River Trail, or cycle back downriver in the afternoon. With luck, we will track down an elk herd along the way. Regardless, colonnades of spruce stretch toward the sky, big leaf maples spread out over fern meadows, and lichens and mosses run wall to wall and floor to ceiling. There is more biomass here per acre than anywhere else on the planet! In this valley, you will inevitably run out of different ways to describe “green”. Spend the night in Forks, WA – once the logging capitol of the Olympic Peninsula, now famous as the setting for the “Twilight” teen vampire series. With a population of less than 4000 souls (werewolves and vampires are not counted), it’s still the “big city” on the peninsula’s remote westside. Stay at Pacific Inn Motel.

Day 03

Saddle up and set out on the Olympic Discovery Trail. Ride the Sol Duc River valley to the shores of Lake Crescent and spend another night at a National Park Lodge.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Lake Crescent Lodge, or Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Distance

Ride 28 miles · +1,278 ft / -989 ft (or more)

Hike 2-4 miles

Elevation

Ride: +1,278 ft / -989 ft (or more)

Hike: less than 500ft of gain

Today, after a short van shuttle (or optional 12-mile morning bike ride along Highway 101), we begin cycling east on the Olympic Discovery Trail. Beyond the dense forests, glacial-carved Lake Crescent makes a magnificent backdrop for much of the ride today. The clear, cold waters (you can see up to 60 feet down), and stunning depth (over 600 feet!) give the lake it’s blue-green color. Two species of trout found nowhere else in the world also call it home. We spend tonight at another National Park Lodge, either Lake Crescent National Park Lodge or Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Both locations offer great short hikes through fabulous forests to wondrous waterfalls. It may cause you to stop and ponder which is more spectacular here: Is it the waterfalls themselves, or the old growth forests they reside within? Whatever you decide, it’s a special combination when you put the two together!

Day 04

Continue cycling on the Discovery Trail along Lake Crescent and on to Port Angeles.

Meals

– Breakfast

Lodging

Red Lion Hotel

Distance

26 miles (up to 40 miles)

Elevation

+795 ft / -1.575 ft (up to +1500 ft / -1.575 ft)

Rejoin the Olympic Discovery Trail where we left off yesterday. Savor a relaxing ride along the shores of sparkling Lake Crescent in the morning before having lunch on your own at a lakeside resort. Shuttle (or ride alongside the roadside) to the recently unfettered Elwha River – the site of the largest on-going dam removal project in the world. Learn more about this important habitat restoration program before continuing on toward Port Angeles (pop. 20,000), the biggest city as well as the busiest port on the peninsula. Ride out Ediz Hook for beautiful views of the Straight of Juan de Fuca and Port Angeles with the snow-capped Olympic Mountains as a backdrop. Stay on the waterfront at the Red Lion Hotel, our lodging for the next two nights. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.

Day 05

Spend the day in subalpine glory at Hurricane Ridge. Enjoy views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Hike, ride, or both!

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Red Lion Hotel

Distance

– Hiking: variable, about 4 miles

– Ride up the Ridge: 20 miles, or less

Elevation

– Hiking: about 1000 ft of gain at an elevation of 5400 ft.

– Cycling (optional): up to +5,414 ft / -181 ft, or less.

Today we ascend to Hurricane Ridge, the literal high-point of the tour. As its name suggests, wind truly shapes this land, gusting to over 70 mph, with snows 30-35 feet deep in the winter. Go for a hike through alpine meadows and tree islands, dodging black-tailed deer and Olympic marmots – an endemic and adorable species of giant ground squirrel. Revel in a panorama of sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Vancouver Island. Enjoy lunch with a view near the Visitor’s Center (currently being rebuilt after a fire in 2023).

If you prefer, you can challenge your legs by riding your bike to the Ridge instead of taking the van. The overall 5% grade of this climb, ascending one vertical-mile in 20 miles, is relatively steady, making it somewhat easier than the statistics might suggest. You can also avoid some of the steeper, less interesting riding by getting shuttled part of the way. If you choose to ride, there will still be time to enjoy a hike before we return to Port Angeles for a celebratory dinner at our favorite local restaurant.

Special Note: The National Park Service does not allow commercial tour participants to ride down from Hurricane Ridge.

Day 06

Ride the Olympic Discovery Trail from Port Angeles to Sequim Bay. Cross Puget Sound on an afternoon ferry back to Seattle.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch

Distance

27 miles (or more)

Elevation

+1,180 ft / -1,163 ft (or more)

Ride the Olympic Discovery Trail right out the front door of our hotel this morning. Continue east through forests dotted with farmlands to the small town of Sequim (pronounced “skwim”), the rain-shadow retirement capital of the peninsula and home to Western Washington’s only native cactus – the brittle prickly pear. While not quite a “desert,” less than 30 inches of rain fall here per year, compared to nearly 200 inches just 40 miles away at the Hoh! The area is renowned for its lavender festivals as well as the world’s first interactive elk-crossing. The female herd-leaders have been fitted with collars which set-off warning signals on the highway when they are in the area. Continue to Blyn for lunch before we load up bikes. Shuttle to Bainbridge Island where we catch a ferry into downtown Seattle – the perfect end to a perfect week!

Dates
Guaranteed
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Price
Availability
Dates
Single Supplement
Price
$1003
This is not required. It is an optional fee to allow a solo traveler to guarantee a private room for the duration of the tour.
Dates
Jul 14, 2024
Guaranteed
This means that the tour will definitely depart as scheduled and not be canceled.
Price
$3,714
Availability
Closed, call for waitlist
Dates
Jul 21, 2024
Guaranteed
This means that the tour will definitely depart as scheduled and not be canceled.
Price
$3,714
Availability
Open
Dates
Aug 25, 2024
Guaranteed
This means that the tour will definitely depart as scheduled and not be canceled.
Price
$3,714
Availability
Closed, call for waitlist

Plan a fun pre- or post-tour escape to Washington’s national parks.

Our Sister company, Evergreen Escapes, offers small-group day tours to Mt. Rainier, Olympic National Park, and Mt. St. Helens that provide a great way to see a little bit more of the Evergreen state before your bike tour begins, or after you’re out of the saddle.

Escape your every day and explore the wonders of the PNW!