Description Officially called the Olympic Discovery Trail Adventure Route, locals refer to it as the Read more [...]
Max elevation: 1503 ft
Total climbing: 3035 ft
Total descent: -2953 ft
Route Category: Mixed Surface
Fairholme-Sappho is a great loop route (out-and-back) for 50 miles on a gorgeous section of the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT).
Start is at the Fairholme campground at the west end of Lake Crescent. If you begin at the lower parking lot, follow Camp David Jr. Road east to pick up the ODT. The eastern mile or so of Camp David Jr road is hard-packed dirt, with some pot holes and bumps, but a skinny-tire road bike can handle it easily. The route is designated mixed surface because of this part, but it is mostly on paved surface. The route follows a relatively newly completed segment of the ODT and paved Forest Service roads west to Sappho, with a couple of return route options.
From the campground parking lot, pick up the ODT and head west for a brief, steady climb on wonderfully smooth, wide pavement through cedar forest. A nice winding descent brings you to the trail’s intersection with US 101. The ODT continues on the other side of 101, paralleling the highway for several miles before continuing on National Forest Development Road 2929, a rougher, chipped sealed, but fairly level stretch through hemlock timberlands.
The route crosses over the Sol Duc River and continues west until it connects with Cooper Ranch Road. Follow Cooper Ranch to Mary Clark Road and head west to the junction with US 101. From there, turn east on 101 for Sappho and a reward–ice cream, pie, a milkshake, etc.–at the Hungry Bear Cafe.
At this point, you can turn back west on 101 and re-trace the route, or head east on 101 for about 10 miles to pickup Cooper Ranch Road and the ODT again. The shoulders on 101 are comfortably wide, but be careful crossing the bridges–they have no shoulders!
Once back on the ODT, just follow it east, cross over 101, and head back to Fairholme.
Region: NortheastIcon Display - Surface Mixed: YesIcon Display - Difficulty Intermediate: YesIcon Display - Route Style Loop: Yes