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-   -   Olympia to Portland (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3624)

rainperimeter 07-02-2010 12:07 PM

Olympia to Portland
I started to skim through the threads but there are like 15 pages worth here in the routes section. So apologies if this has been covered already.

I'm looking to bike up to see friends in Olympia. Or maybe take the train up then bike back to Portland. Does anyone in here have a favorite route between here and there? It can meander around a bit, that might not be a problem.

I just built up a new wheelset, I have long weekends, just got dumped a couple months ago, need to get the hell out of town, riding and camping.

(the wheelset is awesome. phil wood freewheel rear, schmidt sondelux front on velocity dyads)

jeff 07-02-2010 02:28 PM

best route to Oly
RP, good question.

I've gone Hwy 30 to Longview (not my fave but decent shoulder) then 411 to Vader (marginal but no other choice?) then
506 past Ryderwood up to Curtis near 6 (very nice, quiet, highly recommended). That puts you within striking distance (5 miles) of Rainbow Falls SP (ok campground, showers) . From here, heading east toward Chehalis on Hwy 6, it *looks like* (haven't ridden it but shows as paved on the Washington State bike map) you can follow Bunker Creek Rd. north and work your way to Rochester on Hwy 12. From here it's a short run (12 miles or so) into Olympia on Littlerock Rd. - there are some back ways as well (haven't ridden any of this between Rochester & Oly so caveat emptor). The Olympia/Thurston Co. bike map may provide some guidance.

Also, Michael Wolfe had posted a year or 2 ago (featured on BikePortland?) an alternative route between Portland and Longview that he recommended. You may be able to find it in the archives.

also, the WashDOT bike map is fairly useful:


good luck, have fun.

jr98664 07-02-2010 03:22 PM

Old US 99
Here's the route of Old US 99 through Washington:

My last two days of my 1,000 mile bicycle tour of Washington last summer were from just out of Olympia at Millersylvania State Park back to my place in Vancouver. The route I took more or less follows old US 99 the entire way. Now that I-5 has replaced US 99, the old highway is very light when it comes to traffic, with plenty of historical things to see along the way. There's only one 5 mile stretch where the only flat route is along I-5, although it's just from one exit to the next.

Once you get to Vancouver, just take Main street north until you get to Hazel Dell Ave, which is generally a nicer route than Hwy 99. It was once 99 as well. Follow that to the Klineline Bridge, where you'll take a left and head north. This turns into NE 20th Ave, and then NE 15th Ave, which ends at NE 179th. Turn left and go a quarter mile to NE 10th and take a right. Follow 10th and it will take you all of the way to La Center Road. Take a right, and follow this through La Center as it becomes NW Pacific Hwy. This takes you up to Woodland, where you'll take a left onto a bridge into town across the Lewis River. Take a right at the light. In a few blocks, you'll veer left onto Goerig St which then turns into Pacific Hwy, which will take you to Exit 22 on I-5. Here, a nice wide shoulder will lead you to Exit 27, where you'll exit, take a right, and then a left onto Old Pacific Hwy. This goes through Kalam and along the cliffs of Carrolls, giving you some great views of the Columbia. Eventually, you'll have to turn onto Kelso Dr to continue into Kelso, where Grade St will take you into Kelso. From there, it's just a few blocks to Pacific Ave.

From Kelso, you can just follow this route that I took more or less in reverse:

I stayed the night at Sequest State Park, which was about a 5 mile climb from the freeway, but well worth it for the secluded walk-in campsites.

From there, just follow this route in reverse:

I stayed at Millersylvania State Park, which has a few hidden primitive sites that are great for cyclists, but to get to Olympia, you can just stay on Old Hwy 99 which eventually turns into Capitol Blvd as it enters Olympia. Alternatively, Tilley Road will take you right through some of the tall stands of forest surrounding Millersylvania.

I've taken 99 in one form or another all of the way from Eugene, OR to Everett, WA, and I've really enjoyed it. Hope this route works for you.

rainperimeter 07-07-2010 12:20 AM

good info. thanks to both of you. i checked out michael wolfe's blog. i had forgotten about that (had it bookmarked on my old computer).

it seems like 99 is the way to go. i wish i could leap over vancouver to start my trip, or end it, however it works out. i grew up there so i can hate on it all i like.

Alan 07-07-2010 06:40 PM

Fruit Valley/Lakeshore to 179th St

Originally Posted by rainperimeter (Post 24225)
it seems like 99 is the way to go. i wish i could leap over vancouver to start my trip, or end it, however it works out. i grew up there so i can hate on it all i like.

Alternate bypass to the Hazel Dell/Salmon Creek parts of Hwy 99: After crossing the I5 bridge take Mill Plain/15th bike lanes west to 4th Plain, quick jog right (east) to Fruit Valley Road. Turn north and follow Fruit Valley as it becomes NW Lakeshore Drive, NW 36th Ave, NW Seward Rd and finally NW 41st Ave. Turn right (east) on NW 179th St and climb up to the Clark County Fairgrounds at I5 exit 9. From there you can turn north on either I5 (shoulder is legal) or back onto the 99 route by taking NE 10th St up to La Center/Pacific Hwy. Trades off busy multi-lane urban streets and lots of intersections for subrural two-lane with minimal (if any) shoulder.

Plenty to knock Vancouver for while it won't budget any bike funds.

jeff 07-08-2010 05:41 PM


Originally Posted by rainperimeter (Post 24225)
i wish i could leap over vancouver to start my trip, or end it, however it works out. i grew up there so i can hate on it all i like.

C-Tran probably runs a bus up to the north side of Clark County...that ain't cheatin', imo. In fact, i seem to recall there is bus service (carrying bikes) between the Couve and Longview/Kelso...

rainperimeter 07-08-2010 10:58 PM

i feel like once upon a time you could bus it all the way up to seattle. the vancouver to longview/kelso bus, then from there was one to oly, and once in oly the connections to seattle are pretty easy.

LESTER 07-25-2010 01:44 AM

The worst part at the moment is Kenton to downtown Vancouver, IMO. Northbound on Columbia St. in Vancouver is a pretty mellow ride.

I'd probably cheat and bus it to North Van if I were you also. If you ride from 99th St. Transit center all the way in to Oly it'll be over a hundred miles. I ride I-5 up to Tumwater from my place on 63rd in Hazel Dell and it's right around a hundred miles.

Day and month Trimet passes work on C-Tran, otherwise you'll have to pony up $1.50 to catch the 4 bus across the river, then another $1.50 to catch a ride up north.

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