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Old 06-07-2014, 05:23 PM   #1
SmokeRing OP
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North Olympic Peninsula Forest Road Route




There is a nice set of federal and state forest roads that link up to cross the north Olympic Peninsula, from Quilcene to Forks. There are some significant paved sections on Highways 101 and 112, but most of the route is on good quality forest service type roads. None of the roads are technically difficult, but itís still a good ride, usually twisting through deep forest with lots of elevation changes. Generally the roads are just outside the Olympic National Park. There are spurs off the main route almost everywhere, leading up valleys or to high spots. The spurs can offer much more difficult riding, but mostly they end up back on the main route. The overall distance is about 160 miles. My typical speeds were 15-30 mph, just loafing along. Usually speed would be restricted more by the limited sight lines in the dense forest than by the road surface.

The basic route is:

Quilcene - NF-27 - NF-28 - NF-2870 - Port Angeles - Little River Rd - Joyce Access Rd - Joyce - NF-30 - NF-29 - Forks




The highway sections include:

13.5 miles on Hwy 101 from Hooker Rd west to Port Angeles near the Olympic National Park Visitor Center
4.4 miles on Hwy 101 from Little River Rd to Joyce Access Rd
12.2 miles on Hwy 112 from Joyce to NF-30
3.7 miles on Hwy 101 from NF-30 to NF-29

There are also a few miles of paved rural roads, and some of the forest roads are paved single lane. But as paved roads go (for an adventure bike), these arenít bad, not at all like a regular road. Most people on a street bike would turn back long before the ďpavementĒ ended.


Iíve been enjoying exploring the area around Port Angeles since I moved here last year. Iíve been on some of these roads a few times, and some just once. I havenít been on NF-27 yet this year, but there was a very good report on it here in the forum earlier this year. On the main route Iíd expect to encounter 0-3 occupied vehicles per hour - and usually on the low end of that scale. The only motorcycles Iíve seen are 2 small dirt bikes, both locals. There are a few trail heads that usually have 1 or 2 parked cars. I have seen 0 vehicles off the main route.


The Olympic National Forest website at:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/olympic/home

has useful information: sort of current road conditions, excellent pdf topo maps, and the Motor Vehicle Use Map. I really hadnít looked at the MVUM until recently, itís not much use by itself. But used with the topo maps it does give a pretty accurate (not perfect) guide to the open roads and routes.

Iíll add some posts below with brief remarks and pictures for each area.
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:00 PM   #2
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I know most of those roads.. that is some good riding.

Will there be future installments for the rest of the way around the olympics?
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:05 PM   #3
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Quilcene to East of Port Angeles



Quilcene is about 40 miles from the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal. NF-27 can also be reached by other roads off Hwy 101, both north and south of the junction with Hwy 104. NF-27 is paved for a distance as it climbs into the mountains. Signage is very undependable, but for the most part just follow the main road. If you donít have a GPS unit youíll be puzzled at a few intersections, but thereís little chance of going more than a few miles off course, before hitting a dead end or Hwy 101. The times Iíve been on NF-27 have been in heavy cloud. Both NF-27 and 28 are mostly in the deep forest with occasional views of nearby snow covered peaks or distant views of the strait and Vancouver Island.



Looking back towards Quilcene from near the junction of NF-27 and NF-28. NF-27 is climbing up the ridge on the right, and will go through the gap in the distance.



View up Gold Creek Rd, near the junction of NF-27 and NF-28. The road surface in this area is unusually good, there are a few trailhead parking areas nearby.






Very close to one of the trailhead parking areas. The roads are still pretty good further west, but not like this. There are some random potholes and mild ruts most of the time. There is quite a lot of rhododendron along this stretch of road.




I took 2810 instead of 28 in the map above (headed the other direction) and found this:



and this:


which got uglier the closer I looked at it. 2810 was just a small loop that joined back with 28.

Dungeness Forks Campground on this route had 1 spot occupied in late May, and 1 spot occupied when I went by a week later, both times in the middle of the week.




Taylor Cutoff Rd is the main road connecting NF-2870 to Hwy 101, but west bound traffic will find it easier to jog over to Hooker Rd with its traffic light.
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:23 PM   #4
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Hwy 101 East of Port Angeles to Hwy 101 West of Port Angeles




Hwy 101 is 2 lane each way east of Port Angeles, and traffic can be heavy at times. Close to Port Angeles is a well marked turnoff for Deer Park Road, an 11 mile dead-end viewpoint in the Olympic National Park. The first half of the road is paved. The gravel portion has some long, steep sections, but the surface is in excellent condition. Thereís no fee for the viewpoint, but there is a fee area campground. I was up there on a beautiful September day last year, and it was nearly deserted, just 3 sites occupied. The road is not yet open in early June.

Continuing west on Hwy 101, shortly after entering Port Angeles, turn south on Race St, following the signs to the ONP Visitor Center. This is an obvious place for a 12 mile paved side trip up to Hurricane Ridge. At the end is another 7.8 miles of gravel to Obstruction Point (I havenít been out there yet, it opens late in the year).

Otherwise:



Continue up the road towards Hurricane Ridge, but after the first large scenic turnout, and before the park entrance station, turn west past Dawn Lake on Little River Rd. This goes past ďThe FoothillsĒ DNR single track area.



More info in the 3 North Olympic Peninsula brochures at:

http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEduc...rail_maps.aspx

I havenít been in yet, there should be some great views of the harbor and Vancouver Island

Little River Rd connects back to Hwy 101 near the Elwa River.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:58 PM   #5
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West of Port Angeles to the end of NF-30



After returning to Hwy 101 from the Little River Rd, continue west for about 4.4 miles.



Turn north on the unmarked road west of Grannyís Cafe. This is Joyce Access Rd, another state forest road. It may have different names. Itís similar to the other roads, the surface maybe not quite as good. A paved alternative is a mile ahead, East Beach Rd along Lake Crescent, also very twisty, that ends up at the same spot in Joyce.



Some good stuff nearby, but the route continues west on Hwy 112.

Hwy 112 is good motorcycle road, but if the 12.2 miles of asphalt is too much to take in one go, there are some more DNR single track areas along the way. Mostly Sadie Creek at East Twin Rivers Rd, described at the same DNR link above.



The turnoff for NF-30, or West Twin Rivers Rd, may not be marked that well. I think I usually see the turnoff clearly as Iím blowing past it.



NF-30 generally follows the power lines, although they are usually out of sight.




View from NF-3067 looking back northwest towards Neah Bay over NF-30 deep in the valley below. Pillar Point is the dark mass on the right. Vancouver Island in the far distance. NF-3067 cuts off the end of NF-30 by climbing steeply up and over by Snider Peak.




Looking the other direction on NF-3067. Kloshe Nanitch Lookout is up the road.

NF-3067 cuts the Hwy 101 connection from 3.7 miles to under a mile, but it's a long steep climb and descent on a lesser quality road. Great views, however.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:00 PM   #6
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NF-29 to Forks



This is a longer and more difficult section than the others, but only a little. At least for me it felt more remote. My only time on this road, May 26, I was surprised to observe 2 small patches of snow just off the road, and then a tiny spot of it still on the road. There hadnít been the least suggestion of snow prior to this (or after). Several miles of the road had a lot of head size rocks (and only head size rocks) scattered about, like inverted potholes. It was easy enough to dodge around them on a bike, but it would have been a real annoyance with 4 wheels. I suspect not too many vehicles had been across at this time.




NF-30 connects to NF-29 over about 3.7 miles of Hwy 101. The steep route over Snider Peak (NF-3067 to NF-3040) joins Hwy 101 even closer. Kloshe Nanitch Lookout is off the map to the right.




Kloshe Nanitch Lookout looking south. NF-29 runs through and over the moutains to the right of the motorcycle. Forks is off to the right.




A portion of the track from the center of NF-29.




Mount Olympus on the right, Hwy 101 in the valley below. More good forest roads in the valley beyond the clearcut ridge, likely curving west to connect high up on NF-29.




Looking southwest towards Forks. NF-29 passes eastbound in the forest below, before swinging back west through the background mountains.




Had just come out of the steeper section of NF-29. The six posts in the back are heavy steel I-beams 8' tall.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:08 PM   #7
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Sweet, never knew about the Joyce Access road. Thanks.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:33 PM   #8
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Good detailed info!
Thanks for posting, hope to do a ride up there soon, will use this thread to compile a route.

Cheers.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:04 PM   #9
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Great info and pics! Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddyJ View Post
I know most of those roads.. that is some good riding.

Will there be future installments for the rest of the way around the olympics?
If you're looking for tracks and info about a ride all the way around the Olympics, then you should check out the GripTwister Tours website. We have just what you need. Click link in my signature line.

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Old 07-31-2014, 08:57 PM   #11
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http://www.bing.com/maps/#Y3A9NDcuOD...H4wfjB+JmF2PTQ=

Put together the route for this trip that looks great. Hopefully I have gotten it correct. Tried to do it on Google maps, but some of the roads were not connected so did it on Bing maps. Have created a GPX file. Due to other plans, won't be able to do it until September 27th. :-)

Thanks for sharing the route.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:08 PM   #12
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GPX file

This gpx file displays fine for me - it was my first attempt splicing various tracks together, and it might do the trick for you.

This is really a wonderful area to explore.
Attached Files
File Type: gpx nopfrr.25.gpx (397.4 KB, 83 views)
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by SmokeRing View Post
This gpx file displays fine for me - it was my first attempt splicing various tracks together, and it might do the trick for you.

This is really a wonderful area to explore.
Thank you, I've downloaded the GPX file. Will compare it to the one I created.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:34 AM   #14
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Thank you for posting!

Just did this ride yesterday! Left Edmonds on the 8:50 Ferry and returned home on the 7:45 from Kingston-Great Day, all roads open and free of snow. Some puddles were iced over, and there was one section with frost on the shoulders.....Great ride to kick off the season!

SeattleAdventure screwed with this post 02-17-2015 at 08:35 AM Reason: typo
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:50 PM   #15
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Olympic ride

Nice job with the maps and descriptions. Thanks for sharing.


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