Trip Report    

Bikepack - Olympic Discovery Trail: Olympic Adventure Route

A cold-weather bikepack loop that followed the flowing singletrack trail of the Olympic Adventure Route to Joyce-Piedmont Road, then to Salt Creek Recreation Area. Following an overnight camp, a return to the trailhead via the singletrack of the Bunker Ridge Trail and scenic rural roads.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The lower-elevation of the Olympic Adventure Trail was well maintained and clear. At higher elevations the trail was covered in soft snow, and melt water was contributing to stream flows and muddy trail tread. This slowed progress, making the traversal of the full route in our plan not possible within the number of daylight hours this time of year. The roads we rode were wet, though not slick. The Bunker Ridge Trail was well maintained and free of debris, though the trail surface was blanketed with leaves in many segments of the trail. This did not interfere with our ascent, but could however reduce traction for riders descending the trail on mountain bikes. 

Seven Mountaineers went on a late-shoulder-season bikepack loop that included the Olympic Adventure Trail this weekend. We set off from the Colville MTB Trails and Horse Trailer Parking lot on Saturday at 9:30. The lower trail was free of snow, and immaculately maintained for this time of year. The group enjoyed scenic singletrack, popping in and out of pockets of forest over undulating terrain, and the fleeting views of the Olympic Mountains and snow covered foothills to the south of our route.


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As the trail began its climb to higher elevation, the fully loaded bikes became heavier and a mix of hike-a-bike and singletrack riding became our new normal. 

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At higher elevations, we began to experience the Adventure part of the trail. The snow-covered trail made the riding more challenging and our progress slowed. At 2:45PM we’d covered 12 of the 18 miles of Adventure trail in our route. 

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With six more miles of snow-covered singletrack ahead of us, and a desire to reach our campsite before dark, we opted to shorten our route by four miles by riding the Joyce Access Road to SR-112. The road was initially clear, and the gravel was fast. We would however soon encounter a series of road segments covered in sheets of compacted ice, turning our easy descent into a spicy mix of gravel and icy hike-a-biking. 

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When finally we reached the end of Joyce Access Road, we were treated to some trail magic, when Karla, the proprietor of Old Soul Bread Co drove up and offered the group cinnamon rolls that she had left from an earlier pop up bakery event in the area. 

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Energized by the cinnamon rolls and generosity, we pedaled the final four miles to the Salt Creek Recreation Area, arriving just as our daylight was waning. We were nearly alone at the huge campground, and we settled into two adjacent campsites with views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The earlier cold temperatures we experienced on the Adventure Trail were replaced with moderate temps in the 40s.

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We gathered round the picnic table for our dinners and discussed our day’s events. We shared strips of billtong, dried ham, slices of Parmigiano Reggiano and rosemary olive oil Asiago cheeses, dried apples, and pears.

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We went to sleep to the sounds of waves breaking on the shore below our campsites. Unfortunately the next low tide wouldn’t happen until the following evening, so early morning exploration of the tide pools wasn’t an option for us. 


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We began pedaling at 9:00 to ride the singletrack of the Bunker Ridge Trail. We soon discovered that riding the climb segment of the trail was ambitious as it gained 900 feet in just over a mile. We settled into our hike-a-bike rhythm, pausing along the way to discuss techniques and ways of efficiently moving over more rugged terrain with fully loaded bikes. Near the summit, we were treated to Becca’s Lounge, a cafe-like setup overlooking the strait with a bench, table, and chairs created by the WTA. 

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Over the top, past the bunker, and along a flowy singletrack with views of the strait, we finished the Bunker Ridge Trail riding on rolling terrain in the midst of plant succession from a clear cut in a prior year. Finally, we descended back into civilization using the gravel Striped Peak Access Road. Our journey ended with a few miles of road riding back to the trailhead, and a debrief over a hot meal at Pho New Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant & Lounge in Port Angeles. 

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