|04-10-2015, 11:38 PM||#1|
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Port Angeles, WA
East Olympic Peninsula / Hood Canal Forest Roads
There are some good views and good riding in the forests just west of Hwy 101 and the Hood Canal. The roads I've seen are mainly easy Forest Service gravel, and there are some nice looks at the Olympic Mountains, Hood Canal, Mt Baker, Mt Rainier, and Seattle. I've only had a couple of rides over that way so far.
View from Mt Walker. Larger versions of the pictures at:
The general area.
An interactive map of the track. Zoom in it here, or open at the CalTopo site to change maps, satellite imagery, or other customization.
The gpx track begins in Quilcene and runs south 125 miles to Hoodsport. The distance drops to about 95 miles by not going out to the ends of the Dosewallip and Hamma Hamma roads. (Hwy 101 direct is about 37 miles or 45 minutes). It's not possible to make too much progress north-south without returning to Hwy 101, and this is about as good as it's likely to get. There are several more roads extending west 5 - 10 miles into the forest, but none of them connect (I'd be happy to learn otherwise). The forest roads are usually pretty well marked along this route.
From the gas station in Quilcene, go south on Hwy 101. (The turn-off after 2 miles at Penny Creek Rd leads west on NF-27 to Port Angeles and Forks - see the earlier thread http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984432 ). The well marked turn-off for Mt Walker is at about 5.5 miles. The road isn't paved, but it's easy for passenger cars, and has excellent views. It was still closed when I rode by in early March.
Mt Rainier, looking SE from Mt Walker. Mt Adams is plainly visible in larger versions of the picture, but I didn't notice it at the time.
Bremerton is behind the ridge, but the ferry route can be seen snaking around the south end of Bainbridge Island.
Looking west into the Olympics from Mt Walker.
Northwest from Mt Walker. NF-27 curves back behind the mountain on the left before turning NW towards Port Angeles. The San Juan Islands are on the right.
Northeast from Mt Walker. Mt Baker in the distance.
Rejoin Hwy 101 for about 0.1 mile and turn right on Buck Mtn Rd (NF-2620), becoming Rocky Brook Rd.
Note this segment was reported closed (12/2014), washed out at 1.5 miles on the USFS web site:
But the same page still lists NF-28 (the main road west) as closed at about the same date. NF-28 was open yesterday (04/09/2015) when I went to check it out, with evidence of recent repairs.
NF-2620. Southward progress is blocked by the Dosewallip River, so back down to Hwy 101. South 4 miles on Hwy 101 to Duckabush Rd (NF-2510).
NF-2510 near Duckabush. NF-2510 crosses the Duckabush River, and almost provides a route south. But after only a few miles NF-2510 is washed out at Fulton Creek, presumably indefinitely. I wish I'd stopped and looked at it. It's still a nice road, with good views to the east, even if it's back to Hwy 101 for 4.5 miles to NF-25 along the Hamma Hamma River.
End of the road, NF-25 Hamma Hamma.
Pretty as a beer can.
NF-25 crosses the river about 4 miles in; continue back downstream on NF-2480 2.3 miles and turn south on NF-2401. NF-2441 branches off after about 3 miles, past Elk Lake, and curls back through the mountains a few miles to Washington Pass.
NF-2441 north of Washington Pass.
I rode west at Washington Pass on NF-2464, but there is one unpleasant spot that can be avoided by continuing south on the better quality NF-2441 to NF-24 (I haven't ridden it). Even if taking NF-2464, go a hundred yards east at the junction for a good view point.
Mt Rainier barely visible on the left, "The Great Bend" on the right.
A closer look at the bend.
NF-2464 is a lesser quality road, but still not too bad except for this spot. I'm just past it here, on a fairly steep stretch of road.
It's the only time on the route that I wished I had something more aggressive than the stock Pirelli Scorpions. The bad stretch was about 30 feet long, and I had to paddle my way up the last 10 feet.
Just past the rough spot the road improves a lot.
And a view of Lake Cushman.
Paved NF-24 runs in the valley below connecting Hwy-101 and the north shore of Lake Cushman. There are large tracts of State Forest, east and northeast of Lake Cushman, but I don't know if there is any access.
Either NF-2464 or NF-2441 connects to paved NF-24 (Jorsted Rd). The route south from here is on paved roads.
NF-24 continues west along the north shore of Lake Cushman, but dead-ends after a few miles. To get any further west or south from here it is necessary to continue south on Hwy 119 along the east shore of Lake Cushman, rejoining Hwy 101 at Hoodsport.
Lake Cushman from Hwy 119.
To cross the southern side of the Olympic Peninsula from Hoodsport, go south 7.5 miles on Hwy 101 to NF-23 (W Skokomish Valley Rd). NF-23/NF-22 is the main east-west Forest Service road, passing south of Wynoochee Lake and connecting to Hwy 101 by Lake Quinault.
Quilcene is about an hour from the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal (or from Port Angeles). Hoodsport is about an hour from the Bremerton ferry, a bit longer from the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Gas is pretty common along Hwy 101, except for more than 20 miles north of Quilcene.
The Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for this area is pretty useful, and gives a good indication of open roads reaching west into the mountains. It's available at:
Other than at Mt Walker, I didn't see a car or truck, moving or parked, once I left the pavement. Just the way I like it.
2012 KTM 990 Adventure
|04-13-2015, 08:56 PM||#2|
Joined: May 2005
Nice ride report, riding season has come early this year. It’s sad many of these old roads get decommissioned, converted to trail, or are either washed in or washed out(unpassable) and sometimes take years to fix, if ever. If you enjoyed this ride and haven’t done so already there are more roads like it between Hoodsport and Lake Wynoochee. Take roads 2351, 2352, 2356,2364, etc they were all passable a few weeks ago.
Where are we going? and what am I doing in this hand basket?
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