The Port Angeles to Salt Creek loop route starts on the water front in Port Angeles. You travel west Read more [...]
Max elevation: 5043 ft
Total climbing: 5341 ft
Total descent: -5344 ft
Route Category: Road Bike
This route is the iconic ride of the Olympic Peninsula. If you start on the waterfront in Port Angeles, you begin a 20-mile climb across the town of Port Angeles up to the Olympic National Park entrance then continue on to the top of Hurricane Ridge. You will climb 5,242 feet. The average grade is around 5% with maximum grades of 10%. Once out of Port Angeles proper and past the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center at about the three mile mark, the next five miles is the steepest. It is a grind…but, going through cedar and fir forest hugging the road it is shaded and, in summer months, wonderfully cool.
From the entrance gate at 12 miles, the climb eases; it’s still a steady uphill slog…but it’s beautiful, with stunning vistas around every turn and in between, especially after you’ve gone through a series of three short tunnels at around mile nine. The trees thin out and start to retreat back from the road after mile 12, so in warm summer months, you’ll be riding in full sun and you’ll want to have plenty of water since there’s nowhere to refill your water bottles until you reach the top.
After completing the climb, you can take a break and enjoy stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and their glaciers. After you have absorbed these sights, you can start your descent and take in the view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but keep your eyes on the road while you’re moving–the turns, occasional wildlife, and cars you encountered on the way up are still there but a lot trickier to navigate when you’re zipping along at 25 mph or more. It may be warm at the start of your ride, especially in summer, but you should still think hard about packing a jacket or windbreaker for the descent, and be aware that the weather on and near the summit can change quickly and dramatically.
Region: NortheastIcon Display - Surface Road: YesIcon Display - Difficulty Advanced: YesIcon Display - Route Style Point-to-Point: Yes