The true spoils of riding possibilities in the Evergreen State would make motorcyclists obese if edible. The only limiting factor to feasting on these spoils is time. Monica and I have a three-day weekend and our goal is to experience as much of the Olympic Peninsula as two nights and three days will allow.
Notice the use of “experience” and not “see.” This is intentional. The 350-mile Olympic Peninsula loop, mostly along US Highway 101 is feasible for a long day ride. The required pace to finish that day ride will not allow you to actually take in the Olympic National Park and towns that dot its perimeter.
Mt. Olympus’ 7,980 feet peak and the rest of the Olympic Mountains catch the moist winds as they climb from the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The nearly 1 million acre Olympic National Park and its dense rain forests wring much of the moisture from the air and turn it into deep shades of green that reach up to the Olympic’s snow capped peaks that stretch North-South along the 123rd line of longitude.
Wishing we had a week or more to explore this area, we plot a route that will give us a good weekend taste of the area. We’ll start the ride in Tacoma and head north on State Route (SR) 16, south on SR 3 and SR 106 from Bremerton and hook up with US 101 near Skokomish. From there we’ll wrap around the top of the Olympic Peninsula where we will spend the weekend.
In all, we’ll experience about half of the peninsula. We’ll take in as many of the towns and park areas as time allows. I expect the pinnacle of the ride to be Hurricane Ridge. We’ll see waterfalls, a soon-to-be removed dam that blocks salmon passage, small towns and back roads.
Check back as this will be a multi-article series. There’s more to come.
Here is a map of our proposed ride. Please note that the actual route will likely change.