Adventure Route of the Olympic Discovery Trail

In Ride Report by Hawkens

It started in the spring and continued through the summer….. Hey I just got back from riding this trail out in Port Angeles and you really need to go check out. My buddies went on and on that it’s one of the best trails in the state. I trusted their opinions that this is a great trail, but one of the best in the state? Ok, I’ll put it on my list to check out sometime, first I need to go ride my favorites St Helens, Falls Creek, Rat Pac, Palisades a couple Bend trips and several other summer favorites…that is once summer arrived.

The summer once it finally rolled out of bed to make an appearance was gone in a blink of the eye and replaced by back to school for the kids plans. During all that we rode some great trails and also said good bye to a great friend and fellow mountain biker, trading in Washington for California. Guess he was tired of all those wet and muddy mountain bike rides. While walking back to our cars made plans to check out the Adventure Route that coming Sunday.

At the break of dawn Sunday morning I hit the road, picking up my carpoolers 1st stop in Bellevue and the last stop in Tacoma then off to Port Angeles to check out this new to me trail system. After 3hrs of driving rolled up to the small trail head already full of cars with bike racks. Found a place to park unload the bikes geared up and then off we went.

Starting out the Adventure Route I had mentally set the bar high from all the praises said about this trail.

The trail begins with a gradual climb right out of the parking lot and then rolls along, dips, rolls and climbs again. When you come up to a switchback they sweep wide with a gradual climb. There are a few that are steeper than others, but overall I am liking the way this trail system was built. We came across a few riders heading back to the trail head they all looked a bit on the tired side.

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Kind of blurry photo, but gives you an idea of the buffy trail you’ll be climbing for 20 or 40 miles depending on how far you make this out and back.

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After 3 miles of rolling climbs with a few short descents then climb back up again we came to this point. Completely unexpected and awesome

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What a great view so early into the ride, oh that was not all….not by a long shot. We took in the view then continued on where the trail became a bit exposed climbed up a little then started rolling again. It wasn’t long and there was less pedaling and we began to pickup some speed….. Hot smile The trail swept left then right little rollers to pump additional speed on. The trail was buffy sight lines were good and we were having some fun.

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Eventually the trail leveled off and back to climbing. This section was a little steeper than earlier sections and we got a bit stretched out here.

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The trail then popped out to a road probably the steepest section all day. The 1st part was a tough grunt up and the second section a little easier, not when you are not chasing two 29ers up it though.

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Off the road and back on trail again. This section a bit steeper and the switchbacks not as wide. Some partial views of the water, but with the low cloud cover not too much of a view. We climbed descended then climbed a bit more before arriving at another long and fun section of coasting. We came across another rider coming up other than that it has been a low traffic trail.

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Nearing our planned turn around point. We had made a call earlier to just do 24 miles from there we had maybe a mile more to go then would turn around. We came to another road that goes up a ways then connects to the trail from this point we turned around and started back for the cars. Getting a bit tired and for my brother this was his fifth ride in the Pacific Northwest and by the time we would arrive back to the cars it would be twice the mileage we’ve done on any other ride.

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Flying down or is it up the trail….What we came down earlier did not really feel like a climb at all….well maybe a little bit in areas.

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I bet this is a nice view on a clear day

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Looking down switchbacks this section three

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Through out the ride we’d come up on these signs. They are placed well in advanced giving you plenty of time to be ready

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By the end of the ride we were experts at coasting through these. There are some that are higher than others that you can’t coast through, the rest were a breeze.

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Rode through this section and started back up that long section fun we hit earlier. I think we were all amazed at how quickly we could go…until it really kicked up then it was a slow comfortable climb.

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Starting to return to that 1st view point, time to do some climbing

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More climbing

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Getting Closer

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Success

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Time to relax a bit and take it all in

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Once we had everyone we continued on again. Climbed out a bit then we coasted down for a bit actually much longer than I recalled climbing earlier that day

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We had pushed a good pace with limited stops and legs were tired and ready to be done when we rolled back into the parking lot.

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24 Miles on the dot, 2745 Elevation Gain and 26.83 Twinkies expended.

In Summary: Want to see how a great trail should be built? Grab your riding pals and plans now to head over to ride the Adventure Route of the Olympic Discovery Trail. I’ve guzzled the kool aid and will be praising this trail too. Rolling climbs that you can just fly up! I already have plans made to head back when I return from the upcoming Fruita\Moab Trip.