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San Juans and beyond

Summary

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Explore beyond the revered San Juan Islands on this higher mileage adventure through the Puget Sound archipelago. Cycle on six diverse islands – Camano, Fidalgo, Lopez, San Juan, Orcas and Whidbey – sparkling against a backdrop of the snowclad Cascades and Olympic Mountains. Gather glimpses of whales at play and bald eagles hunting for prey as you pedal through pastoral settings, forested hills, and along rocky beaches. Explore some of Washington’s oldest communities along the way and spend a day cycling on the Olympic Discovery Trail (multi use path). Finish on a literal high note at the top of Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.

Road bike
7 days
484 km / 301 mi
$ 3,698.-
  • Olympic Discovery Trail
  • Spencer Spit State Park
  • Friday Harbor
  • two of the best places to spot Orca whales
  • Kayaking
  • Deposit 25%

Gallery

Details

Type
Road bike
Duration
7 days
Level
Easy = untrained, normal physical condition
Moderate = regular cyclist, good condition
Challenging = experienced, well trained
Moderate
Support
Guided = with cycling guide(s) - support van
Self Guided = individual - directions+maps
Guided
Daily distance
60-80 km / 37-50 mi
Total distance
484 km / 301 mi
Lodging
Deluxe = 4-5 star hotel or excellent B&B
Basic = 1-2 star hotel/motel or B&B
Camping = tent, sports hall or campus
Deluxe, full board
Luggage transport
Daily luggage transfers
Bicycle
Included
Dates
12 Jun 2022 - 18 Jun 2022
24 Jul 2022 - 30 Jul 2022
14 Aug 2022 - 20 Aug 2022
Start date Juli 24 is guaranteed
Start
Seattle
Finish
Seattle
Airport at start
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Airport at finish
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Prices *Please note the prices are subject to change depending availability*

Price per person / please note the prices are subject to change depending availability
The tour price per person
$ 3,698.-
Single supplement
If you travel alone a single supplement is charged. With some group tours you can avoid a single supplement by sharing a room with another rider.
$ 998.-

Itinerary

Included / Not Included – lodging


Day 1: Pedal aong the beaches of Camano island and through the Skagit River Delta to historic La Conner

After a 90-minute shuttle from Seattle we begin by cycling a loop along the shores of laid back and friendly Camano Island – the perfect warm-up for our week of adventure. Pedal past uncrowded beaches along the lapping shore of this artsy island community. Watch your head if you decide to give a nod to the island’s logging history at the Arrowhead Ranch, Camano’s first axe-throwing venue. Ride through the rich and diverse agricultural lands of Skagit River delta – home to several wildlife refuges as well as the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, one of Washington State’s largest events. In 1869 John Connor purchased a trading post and township on the narrow Swinomish Channel separating Fidalgo Island from the mainland in this fertile region and named it “La Conner” in honor of his wife Louisa A. Conner. Today, this charming town is known as a writer’s enclave, “must-visit” destination, and romantic getaway. Spend tonight at the Channel House or La Conner Country Inn.
Lodging: La Conner Country Inn or Channel Lodge
Distance: 60 miles Elevation +2747 ft / - 2767 ft

Day 2: Ride Fidalgo and Lopez islands on your way to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island

No dallying this morning as we have a ferry to catch in Anacortes! Ride across the forested southern end of Fidalgo Island and along the shores of Padilla Bay. Contemplate nature’s horizons against the skyline of industry as flocks of birds from the wildlife refuge circle a neighboring oil refinery. Our first ferry of the day takes us to Lopez Island – the flattest, most rural, and least populated of the three main San Juan Islands. It’s often referred to as the ‘bicyclist’s island’ for its quiet roads, gentle terrain, spectacular marine vistas, and friendly residents who wave as you bicycle past. Ride clockwise around the island, starting with Spencer Spit State Park, then south to Watmough Bay (watch for seals!). Listen to the sound of the waves gently stirring the rocks on the shore at Agate Beach. This is a great day for views of the Olympic Mountains and looking ahead to some of the places you will explore later this week. In the afternoon, we ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to settle in for the next three nights at Earthbox (or the Discovery Inn).
Lodging: Earthbox or Discovery Inn
Distance: Fidalgo 20 miles, Elevation +645 ft / -621 ft. Lopez island 39 miles Elevation +2747 ft / - 2463 ft

Day 3: Orcas Island: home to ancient forest and the best view in the Puget Sound region

Hop on a morning ferry to Orcas Island, the largest and most mountainous of the San Juans. Ride to sleepy Deer Harbor and then on to Eastsound. Explore this tiny hub of town and have lunch on your own. Back on the bicycle, pedal to Moran State Park and Cascade Lake. Cycle a series of switchbacks through the last remaining contiguous old-growth forest in the islands up to the summit of Mt. Constitution, the literal high-point of the San Juans. Contemplate how these fresh-water lakes formed on a mountain surrounded by the sea. (Answer: The lakes and springs are fed by the glaciers of Mt. Baker in the distance.) The view from the top of the summit tower – a somewhat ominous replica of the Russian watchtowers constructed in the Caucasus Mountains during the 12th century – is unsurpassed and unforgettable. Cool off with a swim in crystal clear Cascade or Mountain Lake before heading back to catch the afternoon ferry back to Friday Harbor
Lodging: Earthbox or Discovery Inn
Distance: Orcas island 38 miles, Elevation +3209 ft / -3185 ft. Mt. Constitution island 10.5 miles Elevation +1963 ft / - 1975 ft

Day 4: Explore San Juan Island today: by bike, kayak or both

Cycle a lovely loop around San Juan Island today, taking in the charming and historic village of Roche Harbor, an alpaca farm, a lavender farm, a sculpture park, a winery, and two waterfront parks which offer the best places to potentially spot orca whales from the land. If history is your thing, stop in at English Camp or American Camp, two national historic parks that were part of the “Pig War” between England and the United States. If you’d rather give the legs a rest today, you can put your arms to good use by going for a paddle with our sister-company, San Juan Kayak Expeditions. Before dinner: stroll about Friday Harbor, visit the Whale Museum, or take in the Art Gallery. Dinner tonight is at the acclaimed Coho Restaurant.
Lodging: Earthbox or Discovery Inn
Distance: 48 miles Elevation +3316 ft / - 3330 ft

Day 5: Catch a morning ferry and cycle over dizzying Deception Pass bridge to Whidbey island. Pedal on to Coupeville and another ferry to Port Townsend – one of the oldest cities in Washington State.

Have an early breakfast before catching the ferry back to Anacortes. Cycle over the 180-foot-high Deception Pass bridge where tidal exchanges between 60-mile-long Whidbey Island (Washington’s longest) and the waters of greater Puget Sound create a spectacular rolling “river” of whitewater through a dramatic chasm. Cycle the northern half of Whidbey through Oak Harbor and past Ebey’s Landing, location of one of the earliest pioneer settlements in the area. Near Fort Casey, one of a triumvirate of forts that served to protect the entrance to Puget Sound during World War II, we catch another ferry over to the Olympic Peninsula and maritime Port Townsend, home of some of Washington’s oldest architecture. Stay at The Swan Hotel or Palace Hotel on the historic waterfront.
Lodging: the Swan Hotel or Palace hotel
Distance: 55 miles Elevation +3917 ft / - 3969 ft

Day 6: Follow country roads and sections of the Olympic Discovery Trail along the strait of Juan de Fuca beneath the shadow of the Olympic Mountains.

Begin the day with a look back over yesterday’s ride from the lighthouse in Fort Worden before setting out on the Olympic Discovery Trail – a recently constructed multi-use path running the length of the north side of the Olympic Peninsula. Pedal along Discovery Bay, named for Captain George Vancouver’s ship, and imagine trying to navigate these islands and channels in a 100-foot rigged sailing ship! Pass through Sequim (pronounced “skwim”), a burgeoning retirement community and fertile agriculture region boasting one of Washington State’s largest lavender festivals. Sitting at the epicenter of the rain shadow formed by the Olympic Mountains and sprinkled by less than 17 inches of rain a year, the area is a virtual desert and home to a native variety of prickly pear cactus. Ride along the Strait of Juan de Fuca right up to the doors of the Red Lion in Port Angeles where we will rest up for tomorrow’s climb. Celebrate a great week with dinner at a local “tavern-chic” favorite, LD’s Woodfire Grill.
Lodging: Red Lion
distance: 60 miles Elevation +3082 ft / - 3075 ft

Day 7: Climb over one “vertical mile” to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. Enjoy a sunset ferry ride back into the heart of Seattle.

Dip your tire in the salt-water before ascending to Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center – the high point of our journey as well as the only road (paved or otherwise) into the Olympic Mountains high-country. The overall 5% grade of this climb is relatively steady, making it somewhat easier than the statistics might suggest. Stop for a short breather at the first scenic pullout and look back over your entire journey this week as you transition from the lowland rainforests to mountain meadows and subalpine parklands. Around the next corner, the Olympic Mountain Range spreads out before you in all directions. Revel and breathe in the fir-scented air; it’s some of the purest on the planet! From here, the gradient lessens, and the glorious views are guaranteed to keep you going all the way to the top. Since the National Park Service does not allow commercial tours to ride down Hurricane Ridge, we will spend some extra time at the Ridge. Enjoy lunch with a view at the Visitor’s Center and go for a short hike to loosen up the legs before hopping in the van for the (roughly 3-hour) journey back to civilization. We conclude the trip with a sunset ferry ride from Bainbridge Island into the heart of Seattle’s waterfront.
Distance: 20 miles Elevation +5414 ft / - 181 ft

* This is a general itinerary. Tour itineraries are subject to change based on the group, available accommodations and other unforeseen circumstances such as the weather, local conditions, government intervention, that may affect the quality of the trip and/or safety of the participants. Please view this itinerary as an outline as to what to expect on this tour.

Included:

Shuttle from Seattle
Lodging
Meals: all included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner.
Road / Hybrid Bike, ( E-bike rent possible)
Luggage transfer.
Sea kayaking

Not included:

Night before and after the tour.
Flights to and from the tour
Gratuities guides

Lodging:

La Conner Country Inn or Channel Lodge
Earthbox or Discovery Inn
The Swan Hotel or Palace Hotel
Red Lion
The hotels, Inns, and B&Bs we use are always among the finest the area has to offer. Our smaller group sizes(max. 13) allow us to stay at some award-winning places that can’t handle groups of 25 or more. We work closely with the innkeepers to make sure they understand your needs and ours, whether that is having a place to store your bike, an early morning breakfast or a convenient place to park the van, they are as committed to your vacation experience as we are.
Lodging is based upon two people to a room with a private bath. If you’re traveling solo on any of our trips, we’ll assign you a roommate of the same gender and often of the same age bracket. There is no extra charge if we can’t find you a roommate, even if you sign up the day before the trip starts. You can guarantee yourself a private room and bath if you pay the Single Room Fee. Occasionally a room with two beds consists of one bed plus a roll away bed or sofa bed.

Vaccine or test: A negative Covid test will be required within 72 hours of departure for all non-fully vaccinated guests. or Proof of a completed Covid vaccination course can be used in lieu of a Covid test. A "completed Covid vaccination course" means that the guest has had 1 or 2 shots (depending on vaccine brand) and has completed the 2-week waiting period post final shot.
All of our guides are fully vaccinated.

Map & Routes

Map
Satellite

Bicycle

A road or Hybrid bike is included in the price,
E-bikes
are available for an extra fee.

Giant Defy ADV 3

Choose the longer route. Climb higher mountains. This all-new endurance road bike is purpose-built to help you tackle long-distance road rides in all types of conditions. It’s smooth, it’s efficient, and it’s fast.
Ride farther and faster with an all-new composite frameset that’s engineered with endurance geometry and built-in compliance. Handcrafted with Advanced-grade composite material, it’s engineered with tube shapes that are optimized to absorb road shocks and vibrations. And the frame is still stiff in all the ways that matter—for pedaling efficiency as well as steering and cornering precision. It’s made with a specific carbon layup to give it just the right feel. And for added control, it features integrated disc brakes with flat mounts and 12mm thru-axles. The D-Fuse Seatpost and handlebar system also help reduce road vibrations, adding to its smooth, compliant feel on the road.
Components: Giant Conduct disc brakes, Shimano Tiagra groupset, 50/34 cranks, 11 x 34 cassette, Giant S-R2 tubeless wheelset 700x28c

Fastroad SL 1

So smooth, so efficient, it feels like flying. This lightweight flyer combines the sporty feel of a road bike with the added confidence and control of a flat handlebar.
The perfect balance of road bike speed and city bike versatility. Built on a lightweight ALUXX SL aluminum frameset, this new flat-bar road bike puts the rider in a comfortable position that’s smooth and efficient. The fast-rolling 700c wheels and vibration-absorbing composite D-Fuse Seatpost help smooth out rough roads. The fast-rolling 700c wheels can accommodate large tires up to 32c, perfect for tackling rough roads with confidence and control, while integrated ergo bar ends keep your hands comfortable on longer adventures. Powerful disc brakes give you added control in all types of weather, and easy-to-use rack mounts make FastRoad SL a smart choice for commuting, fitness riding, and weekend adventures.
Components: Advanced-Grade composite fork, TRP Flat mount disc brakes, Shimano Tiagra 2×10 with 11×34 cassette, Giant S-R2 tubeless, wheelset 700x28c
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