The Olympic Adventure Route

  • Distance

    66 Mi.

    (106 KM)
  • Days

    2

  • % Unpaved

    99%

  • % Singletrack

    75%

  • Difficulty (1-10)

    3

  • % Rideable (time)

    99%

  • Total Ascent

    7,900'

    (2,408 M)
  • High Point

    1,511'

    (461 M)

Contributed By

Patrick Colleran

Patrick Colleran

Guest Contributor

When clocked in, Patrick organizes supported road tours for hundreds of people around the United States. In his free time, he seeks out dirt trails with few people in is backyard and beyond. He is continually trying to vindicate himself for not stopping at that middle-of-nowhere pizza vending machine while bikepacking in France

The Olympic Adventure Route offers a great weekend bikepacking getaway on the Olympic Peninsula. The route is mostly singletrack through dense mossy forests with spectacular views of mountains and sea.
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This 66-mile out and back route ties together the Olympic Adventure Route and the Spruce Rail Trail starting at the Elwha River and ending at Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. From its high points, you'll catch views of the Olympic Mountains, Vancouver Island and the Straight of Juan De Fuca. Down through the old growth forests, you will see more moss species than people.

Minus a couple of spots where the trail crosses paved roads, this route is all dirt, most of which is completely rideable singletrack. If grueling hike-a- bikes through stinging nettle, long stretches without access to water, super technical riding, and suffer fests are your thing, this probably isn’t the route for you. It is better for those into well-maintained, flowy singletrack, sub 40-mile days, and ending the day with swims in crystal clear water. Despite being an out and back, the trail has enough undulations and variation to keep it exciting in both directions.There are a couple campgrounds around Lake Crescent and ample stealth camping opportunities as well. The route is rideable year round though it can be wetter in winter months.

  • Highlights

  • Must Know

  • Camping

  • Food/H2O

    💧

  • Trail Notes

  • Popping out of dense rainforest to vistas of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca
  • Swimming in the crystal clear waters of Lake Crescent and jumping off the footbridge or cliffs into Devil’s Punchbowl.
  • Bikepacking in Olympic National Park.
  • Smooth, well-built singletrack.
  • Dog-friendly bikepacking route
  • The route is rideable year round. While summer offers great swimming at Lake Crescent, there are more people around. Winter offers exceptional riding and opportunities for solitude.
  • There is parking at the east end of the trail at the Olympic Adventure Route Trailhead. It is easy to take the bus from Port Angeles on the Clallam County Transit route 10 right to the trailhead. Busses are equipped with bike racks. From Seattle, one could even take the ferry to Bainbridge Island, then two busses to Port Angeles.
  • There are several motorized use barriers along the trail that a biker can ride through but they require you to slow down significantly.
  • There are two campgrounds on Lake Crescent. Fairholme Campground is at the west end of the lake and the route. The other designated campground is the Log Cabin RV and campground.
  • There are numerous streams along the route which make for easily accessible water.
  • Port Angeles has numerous grocery stores, a bike shop, and an outdoor gear store to stock up for supplies and food for the route.

Heading west, the trail gradually climbs up through singletrack to a high ridge, the trail then descends to a 4-mile section of doubletrack to the shore of Lake Crescent. From here, the route follows a mix of single and double track along the shore of Lake Crescent to the end at Fairholme Campground. The route follows the same path in reverse heading east to the starting point.

Terms of Use: As with each bikepacking route guide published on BIKEPACKING.com, should you choose to cycle this route, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check current local weather, conditions, and land/road closures. While riding, obey all public and private land use restrictions and rules, carry proper safety and navigational equipment, and of course, follow the #leavenotrace guidelines. The information found herein is simply a planning resource to be used as a point of inspiration in conjunction with your own due-diligence. In spite of the fact that this route, associated GPS track (GPX and maps), and all route guidelines were prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. BIKEPACKING.com LLC, its partners, associates, and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individual riders cycling or following this route.

  • adamgnewman

    Any ideas for a way to make this a loop?

  • NickS

    Great track, thanks for the additional camping info.
    FYI in the Spring (thought out the year really) the nettle can be thick in sections. Although most sections are extremely well maintained there are a few that are not. Also those moto barriers are very tall and there are a ton.

  • mikeetheviking

    Must go back to France for the vending machine

  • DamagedSurfer

    Great pics! Sadly, this is a part of the world I have not spent enough time in amidst my travels. I’ve been contemplating a 2-week bikepacking trip around Vancouver Island and BC. It’s always ‘maybe next year’. Every time I see pics of this region I want to quit my job. Of course I say that about Peru, the Himalayas, Scotland, Eastern Europe, New Zealand, etc.

  • Thomas Snow

    Nice pictures. Looks like a great 24hr getaway.

  • http://www.leavenotraceexpeditions.com Zoran Vasić

    Hi, do you think this route could be done with slick tires? Something like 2.0 size but not knobby …

  • Drew Thompson

    Doable on something like an AWOL?

  • Karl S.

    Yes. Just don’t be a dummy like me and try to take your road touring config on this. It’ll handle the terrain beautifully but you’ll need to lift panniers over every. single. barrier.

  • FatLikeElvis

    Wow. Beautiful pics. I’m thinking about doing this route in October. This might be a dumb question… is rain an issue? Where’s the nearest place to rent a bike? Thanks, Earl

  • Lennart

    Could you be more specific? Or post a picture of one of these barries? I’m unfamiliar with them and was planning on bringing panniers. Thanks!

  • http://www.offroute.ca Skyler

    Yes, probably, if you’re careful. The climbs have very easy, low-angle switchbacks so traction shouldn’t be a limiting factor on most of it.

  • http://www.offroute.ca Skyler

    We did it February! Because of the low elevation and coastal climate, you can do it any time of the year. Yes, it rains much more frequently in the off-season (Oct-April), but it can rain any time of the year in the rainforest, so it’s best to just watch the forecast and go when the weather is good.

  • Enrique

    Wow the route looks amazing, thanks for sharing.
    I’ve just moved to Seattle so I guess this one is in my must-do list now!

  • allan knibbs

    Anyone do this with kids yet?

  • Lillian Schiavo

    is camping restricted to only the two mentioned campgrounds? how possible is it to just get off trail and camp? Do you know if one has to make reservations at either campground?

    Planning on going either late July or early August, so wanted to know if I needed to make reservations.

    Thanks for the great write up!

  • Zach Love

    I also have a whpg, how’d they do with the long day?

  • Ttocs Nruboc

    I want to ride this some time if anyone is going and needs a +1 please let me know

  • Alan Love

    According to the NPS (had to email them directly to get the info), wild camping isn’t allowed along the route. But the Fairholme campground sites are first come/first served.

  • max_9

    I did a portion of this a few years back – if you camp at Lake Crescent (aka Fairholm camp ground) you can take a bus to something close to the starting point. You want to get off at Lairds corner and bike to the start – it has a shoulder and isn’t that bad. Here is a link to the schedule, the bus can hold 2 bikes on the front – no Sunday service. Saturday service is rough with only two routes in your direction. http://www.clallamtransit.com/Portals/17/Images/Schedule%20and%20Map/jpeg%202017%20June/June%202017%2014%20Forks.jpg