Description Taking this quick route through Sequim is an easy, flat, six mile route that winds its wa Read more [...]
Max elevation: 1539 ft
Total climbing: 2625 ft
Total descent: -2621 ft
Route Category: Road Bike
The Palo Alto-Louella Road Route is a challenging 25-mile road bike route that takes you from Whimsy Park near Jose’s in downtown Sequim southeast to the end of Palo Alto Road and then back via a steep, short downhill on Louella Road and a return on back-country byways north of US Highway 101 to your start point.
At the start you can park on East Washington Street in front of the park next to Jose’s, a fine Mexican restaurant (and a nice incentive to think about as you slogging up Palo Alto). Alternatively, north of Whimsy Park is additional parking accessed via North Sunnyside right behind The Rusting Rooster.
Go west on East Washington, turning left (south) onto South Sequim Avenue. About a half mile on, after crossing over Highway 101, turn left on Brownmiller Road for a gently rolling two miles, then left on Simdars to the entry ramp for 101 east. You’ll likely share 101 with some moderate to heavy traffic depending on time of day, but the shoulder is wide and you only have about a mile to go before turning right onto Palo Alto.
At this point you start what may seem like an unending uphill climb, but there are brief respites along the way. Besides, you may want to just stop and take in the views of the Olympic Mountains, the pastures and meadows closer by, and, if you’re really lucky, the Sequim Roosevelt elk herd that can occasionally be seen grazing in the fields north or south of the road at about the five mile mark.
Over the next four miles you’ll climb from around 500 feet to 1500 feet in elevation before you encounter a series of rollers and then, at a sharp left-hand bend in the road, a nice long glide downhill until another sharp bend–this one to the right–takes you up the last mile–a final steep pitch up to the end of the paved section of Palo Alto.
You will see a gravel road (NF 2909) veering off to the left just as Palo Alto enters the National Forest. You’ll also see another gravel road (NF 2880) on the right just beyond. Stay on the paved road and you’ll get to the turn-around point soon enough, where Palo Alto and NF 2909 intersect again.
Catch your breath and enjoy the (mostly) downhill run on the way back.
But, look for Louella Road on your right at about the 18-mile point.
Take Louella for a very steep, winding downhill to the junction with US 101.
Cross 101 with extreme caution, though the line-of-sight here is better than it is trying to cross at Palo Alto.
Head west on 101 for about one mile and turn right on West Sequim Bay Road. If you want, take a brief rest stop and bathroom break at the John Wayne Marina, then head west on West Sequim Bay back into the city. The final mile or so tracks along the Olympic Discovery Trail on East Fir Street through the eastern “burbs” of the city before you turn left on North Sunnyside and head back to the start.
Region: NortheastIcon Display - Surface Road: YesIcon Display - Difficulty Advanced: Yes