Olympic Peninsula Loop

Trip Date: 5-25 - 5-27-2007

Features:

  • Purdy
  • Hood Canal
  • Discovery Bay
  • Port Angeles
  • Fat Smitty's (Burgers)
  • Hurricane Ridge (Allot of Deer)
  • Sol Duc Hot Springs
  • Olympic National Forest
  • Hungry Bear Cafe (My pick for #7 Burger in WA)
  • Hyw 113 loaded With Twisties
  • Hoqium & Ocean Beaches

Hazards:

  • Grooved Pavement US 101 paralleling Lake Crescent
  • Rock Debri (Hurricane Ridge)
  • Deer (Hurricane Ridge & Olympic Forest)


Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads destinations ride video Hood Canal Washington
 


Olympic Loop Ride Video - Day 1
16:9 Wide Screen Format 400 Kbps. (21.8 Mb)

Olympic Loop Ride Video - Day 2
16:9 Wide Screen Format 400 Kbps. (19.8 Mb)

Olympic Loop Ride Video - Day 2
16:9 Wide Screen Format 400 Kbps. (18.2 Mb)

 

Trip Details:

Day 1 (5-25-2007):

It’s memorial day weekend and our family was heading to Sol Duc Hot Springs as the do every year. The hot springs are located in the SW corner of the Olympic National forest. I decided to “kill two birds with one stone” and ride the Olympic Peninsula loop. The plan was to leave early Friday morning and head SW up towards the coast to hwy 101 and ride NW to the hot springs where the family would meet mw later. My wife, kids and grandparents were coming up in the RV. My wife’s brother and his family were coming up as well in their car. I was going to make 3 days of riding out of it heading back through Port Angeles Sunday. The weather was looking like Sunday was going to be sunny Friday and cloudy Saturday and Sunday.  I decided last minute to invert my route. This way I would get the best of weather for riding Hurricane Ridge in Port Angeles.

 I had my bike packed and ready to go the night before so I made a quick departure at 11:20 AM Friday. To avoid a boring ride down hwy 16 I went through Purdy onto hwy 302 and made my way to Hood Canal. I road around Hood Canal and the view was awesome. This area is one of my favorites with allot of little towns and places to stop. The road around the Canal is loaded with twisties paralleling the water. State patrol is known to patrol this area so be careful. I was on a strait road and was able to see a white Tahoe with lights on top waiting down the road. He pulled out and followed me a bit so I took it as an opportunity to pull over and snap some pictures. After a short break I was on to my next stop Discovery Bay. Discovery Bay is home to Fat Smitty’s  know for the Smitty Burger. This burger is a thing of beauty. It’s like a Big Mac on steroids with real beef Patty’s, 3 bun sections, tomato, bacon, lettuce and Onion hanging out of the sides. It stands about 5 ½ inches tall and you have smash it down to get it into your mouth. I have to say it was very tasty. And to know surprise, the cook is a large man named Smitty. Burgers joints like this are slowly slipping away into history over taken by fast food chains.

 After a filling meal I was back on the road heading to Port Angeles and Hurricane Ridge. Once in Port Angeles I soon turned on to Hurricane Ridge Road heading up onto the hills. This road turns on to Heart of The Hills road. This was my first ride up to Hurricane Ridge and it was nothing short of pure delight. Allot of twisties with many great view points and ample opportunity to photograph deer. The first deer sighting I counted 5. This ride produced more deer sightings then an ride I have ridden around Rainier National Forest. As I came with in a mile of the visitors center the ground became intermittently covered in large patches of snow.  Once at the visitors center is was photo time. This was a great opportunity to snap some photos of the gorgeous scenery. Hurricane Ridge is a 34 mile must do, if your in this area. It's approximately 17 miles up and 17 miles down. If you have the time, try not to miss out on this section of road. 

The ride down was just as pleasant as the ride up. Once I was down into Port Angeles I made a brief fuel stop. From here I made my way back onto SW bound hwy 101. This stretch of road brings through Port Angeles and towards Crescent Lake where I got the pleasure of riding through some great twisties that parallel the lake and provide ample opportunity to pull off and enjoy the view. The roads through here are rough and in some cases were grooved for some road work. Watch out for these areas as grooves tend to cause a bit of a stability concern from time to time. It was getting around 5:20 PM and the hot springs were not far away. Near the endRoad-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads destinations ride video Sol Duc Hot Springs Olympic Peninsula Washington of the lake hwy 101 turns South bound. A short ride from here and I saw my first sign informing me I was to take the next left to Sol Duc Hot Springs. My GPS was right on the money! The park entrance is approximately   ¼ mile from the road. I stopped and purchased a yearly pass for $30.00 and headed up the road. I’m going to guess and say the hot springs were about 4 miles into the Olympic National Forrest. This was 4 miles of slightly banked twisties paralleling the river with countless road side stream fed falls. The best way to sum this short section up is just gorgeous. I’ll take this opportunity to warn you to watch your speed. The twisties scream 60 mph but the speed limit is 35 mph. A firm 35 mph! I will elaborate within day 2. After a brief check in, I was handed a key (the only one) to a kozzy little 500 square foot cabin. 2 beds a small love seat, table and bathroom. The cabins are heated with electricity, hair dryer and coffee pot. They do not come with phone or TV. If you plan on making a cell phone call you can plan on heading down out of the park and down towards Lake Crescent. I’m not sure when the cellular signals come in again but they do work back up the road about 10 miles. Since I arrived a hour or so before my family I took the opportunity to take a short nap. Our cabin’s front door was about 20 yards from the river bank. This and an open door mad for a great nap. This was brief as I was awakened by my family and it was time to get everyone situated.  

 Day 2 (5-26-2007):

 After breakfast with the family and a hour long soak in the hot springs pools I was ready to hit the road with my step son Matt. But first we had to hit the showers and get ride of the rotten egg smell that come with the sulfur from the hot springs. We showered and got our gear together and headed down through the park to hwy 101.  The plan was to ride SW on 101 to hwy 113 to hwy 112 and Back to US 101 where we would end up back at the hot springs. First stop was a little café called the Hungry Bear Café near mile post 206 on US 101. I heard they have a 1 pound hamburger and Matt loves a good burger. And I might as well say it... I do too!

The cafe was just as I pictured it. Small and quaint with allot of history. As we approached the cafe we took notice of 3 Harley's parked out front. In the window I could see a group of riders sitting in the corner window table. As we entered the cafe I noticed some hunters trophy mounts on the walls as well as many old pictures. I really enjoy these small cafe's and Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads destinations ride video The Hungry Bear Cafe Olympic Peninsula Washingtoneven more when the food is good. We sat at a table just a few feet from the other bikers. The waitress came by and took our orders. That was 2 1 pound burgers. It wasn't long and the mammoth burgers were delivered to our table. All we could do is laugh due to the size of the things. The burgers were 3/4 the size of the plate and was the best tasting burger I have eaten. The other riders got a kick out of them as well. It wasn't long and one of the riders came over and sat down with us to chat. He introduced himself as Clive (hope I spelled it right). He was curious how the ST1300 handled and asked about the camera. I explained  to him my little hobby about riding around Washington and collecting ride video to share with others on this site. He was interested in some other Washington rides as well. We talked for a bit as we ate. Once the food was put away we all settled up our bills with the waitress and shuffled out the door to our bikes. We spent some time talking and comparing gear and stuff along with taking a few photo's. Matt thought it was pretty cool getting his picture taken with Clive and friends. It turns out 2 of the riders rode up from Mexico and blew a tire tube in the middle of the Baja desert. Luck would have it, some folks came along in a van and drove them 400 miles to a nearby town. The local police called in their mechanic to help get them back on the road. These folks were a great bunch of people. It goes to show you Karma does go around.

Soon we were on the road and I made it a point to get some video of Clive and friend riding off on US 101. Within 2 miles we turned of on to hwy 113 to go on with our ride. I was very impressed with the road conditions and the endless string of twisties. As I rode through them enjoying the countryside I kept thinking to myself, it just doesn't get any better. If your going to ride the Olympic loop you have to ride this small loop around Crescent lake. It is a spectacular ride that is approximately 80 miles. There is a short area where you cut through the forest on some patchy and bump roads but it's brief. It wasn't long and we turned South on US 101 paralleling Crescent lake. This meant we were nearing the end of our ride. Several miles of lake side twisties were the icing on the cake. All was good, that is until the Park Ranger pulled me over for 48 in a 35. I wasn't watching the speedometer and he didn't waste time turning around and pulling me over. He asked me if I was trying to catch the bike  that entered the park ahead of me. I told him I was simply not paying attention to my speed. In the end honesty paid of as he let me off the hook with a verbal. That was a close one. A few more miles and we got back to the camp ground where my father in laws RV was parked just in time to roast smores over the camp fire. Grandma tried to feed me but there was no way I could eat another thing for some time. A Camp fire and family time was a great end to the day.

Day 3 (5-27-2007)

Breakfast came and went and I started getting my gear ready for the days ride. Today's route would take me South bound US 101 through Forks and on past the Ocean Beaches. I planned on fueling up in Aberdeen and riding hwy 12 to I-5 near Olympia. There I would make a slight detour and stop in at Stewart's Meats in McKenna. I planned on picking up some jerky and Jalapeño pepperoni. As luck would have it as soon as I started my departure the rain started up. No worries, I had the appropriate gear for the conditions. US 101 kept dishing out the twisties  all the way and past the ocean beaches. It was very cool to ride this stretch of road with the Ocean to your side. The views were magnificent. The weather was very fickle as one moment I was in a down pour and the next partly sunny skies. I must have mounted and dismounted my camera gear 6 times. I included a picture of my rear tire that demonstrates I was using every inch of my tires navigating the twisties. After all, I wouldn't want them to wear flat. :-)

It wasn't long and I was approaching Aberdeen and the Shell station where I stopped for fuel. Soon I was riding hwy 12 towards Tacoma. This isn't a bad stretch of road but doesn't come close to the last couple days worth of roads and scenery. I was glad to approach Olympia where I turned on to I-5, simply because I was tired and ready for some rest. Another 30 minutes or so I was placing my order for 2 pounds of pep and 2 pounds of cubed jerky. As I was placing the meat in my rear trunk I had to do a bit of sampling. I was still full from that hamburger the day before but it smelt too good! From this point on it I road through McKenna and Roy on 507 until it dumped me off in to Spanaway. The rest of the ride home doesn't warrant any mention other then I made it home in one piece. Looking back I would have to say this has been one of the best rides right up there with the time I rode Windy Ridge and Sunrise in the same day. 

Email Author

Hit Counter


 

Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
Recommended Links

Sports-Vue.com
Capture the thrill of your own rides in 1080P HD with choices
of many different brands of high quality spanning a diverse price range.
Sports-Vue has a camera for you.


Northwest Motorcycles Adventure - Custom Paint By James Scott - Northwest Cycle Report
Oberon Performance - OES Accessories - NW Harley Blog
 

All donations go toward maintaining this site and improving the content.