Max elevation: 1047 ft
Total climbing: 4055 ft
Total descent: -4049 ft
Route Category: Road Bike
The Port Angeles to Salt Creek loop route starts on the water front in Port Angeles. You travel west from there across the Elwha River on the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) to Hwy 112, then out to Salt Creek and Crescent Beach. There’s a short but challenging climb up West Hill Drive at the start, but that will put you on a great new part of the ODT as it leaves Port Angeles and winds west to the Elwha River. The vista south into the Elwha Valley while standing on the bridge high above the river is breathtaking–more so when you realize the river now runs free and salmon have begun returning to their spawning grounds after the removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams and the restoration of the river’s ecosystem. A short climb up the Elwha River Road to Highway 112 and you’ve got it a bit easier for the ride west toward the town of Joyce. A right on Camp Hayden Road takes you north to the Salt Creek Recreation Area and Crescent Beach with more stunning views, this time of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and sea stacks looming just off the beach.
Now you face more climbing as you head south back toward Joyce, then up and over Joyce-Piedmont Rd. toward East Beach Rd. and Lake Crescent. A couple of points along the way here are worth a pause to enjoy the beautiful views of the lake stretching west. As you turn back to east, you’re rewarded with a nice slight downward grade on a comfortably wide shoulder of US Highway 101 back across the Elwha River.
Just pas the Elwha River bridge, turn right, then make a quick left to start the second significant climb for this ride as you head up Little River Rd. for about two miles. Congratulations! Now you get to descend back into Port Angeles from the south to complete the loop.
Region: NorthwestIcon Display - Surface Road: YesIcon Display - Difficulty Intermediate: YesIcon Display - Route Style Loop: YesGPX File Upload: Salt-Creek-Loop-From-PA.gpx