Top 10 Places to Visit in Washington by Bike
1. Olympic National Park
Come explore this place with its incredible range of precipitation and elevation, diversity being the hallmark of Olympic National Park.
Encompassing nearly a million acres, the park protects a vast wilderness, thousands of years of human history, and several distinctly different ecosystems, including glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rain forests, and over 70 miles of wild coastline.
The mounting biker will be thrilled here! Mountain bike opportunities vary from steep challenging trails to narrow gravel roads. By combining trails and roads the cyclist can create loop trips that offer a variety of settings, including forests, streamsides and panoramic vistas. Lake Crescent Lodge
Where to go on a ride here?
First go to the Hurricane Ridge! According to pjammcycling.com, cycling to Hurricane Ridge is “one of the most scenic climbs in the US, most of which travels through spectacular Olympic National Park.
And then, you must experience the Lake Quinault! Try one of the many off-road trails or consider the 30-mile Rain Forest Loop Drive, beginning and ending at Lake Quinault Lodge, which loops around Lake Quinault, up the Quinault River into the Olympic National Park, and back around the other side. Along the trail, you can stop to view waterfalls and wildlife, the surrounding mountains, giant trees, and the Quinault River. You will meet here some wild friends as Roosevelt Elk, Black Tail Deer, Cougars, Bald Eagles, Bobcats, and Black Bears, so take care.
Don’t forget to take a ride to Lake Crescent Lodge too. Ride on the Olympic Discovery Trail a beautiful and serene area. Also, consider biking Spruce Railroad, which hugs the north shore of Lake Crescent along an old railroad bed.
2. San Juan Islands
This remote archipelago in the extreme northwest of the United States is a bucolic paradise with bike-friendly roads that provide an excellent excuse to leave the car behind.
Lopez Island is the recreational cyclist’s paradise. The least hilly of the San Juans, but by no means flat, it allows for a leisurely day in the saddle. Bring your own, or rent bikes from Lopez Bicycle Works or Village Cycles located near or in Lopez Village a few miles from the ferry landing, where there’s every type of bike available—from road to mountain to cruisers, as well as kids’ bikes, tandem bikes and recumbents.
Orcas Island is fit for experienced cyclists, as the roads are narrow and winding, with frequent steep grades and few shoulders. If you really want to push yourself, head for the top of Mt. Constitution (2,409 feet). It will exhaust you, but views from the top of the surrounding area will take away any breath you have left.
Head to San Juan Island for some good intermediate cycling. There are some gentle roads but also some grueling hills that will have your calves tingling in the morning. Ride in single file since you'll be sharing the road with vehicles, mopeds and scoot coupes. Bring your own or rent bikes in Friday Harbor, a short walk from the ferry. We recommend reserving a bike in advance during summer. Here are 5 absolutely amazing bicycle routes on San Juan Island: Pear Point Loop, 5.8 miles – The “Fun Family” Ride, Lime Kiln State Park, 18.3 miles – The “Whales & Farms ” Ride, Cattlepoint Lighthouse in American Camp, 17.8 miles (backtracking route) – The “Beach & Wildlife” Ride, False Bay Loop, 14 miles – the “Great Work-Out” Ride, Roche Harbor, 21.2 miles – The “Art & History” Ride.
With such an amazing potential, you can ride for hours these heavenly Islands, but with one condition: to ride comfortably. That’s no exception from the fact that the saddle – if it is the wrong one - can ruin a whole trip.
Nobody could enjoy the breathtaking scenery and feel a constant pain from the saddle in the same time. So, we thought to recommend you one of our comfortable gel seat covers.
3. Mount Rainier National Park
An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers.
Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes.
Inside Mount Rainier National Park, cyclists can enjoy bicycling that is both challenging and scenic. The ride up to Sunrise is certainly a thigh-burner, but the sights along the way are worth the effort. September and early October are generally excellent times for cyclists to visit Mount Rainier. During these months, there are usually fewer vehicles on the roads and fall colors enhance the scenery.
Here we have some route options for your ride! White River and Sunrise a 16 miles one-way, twisting and climbing 3000 feet to Sunrise and an in-your-face view of the mountain. Westside Road found near the Nisqually entrance to the park, is a 13-mile (one way) gravel route, open to motor vehicles for the first three miles, then becomes a hiking and mountain biking route to Klapatche Point. And, of course, the Carbon River Road, a gravel road, open to bikers and hikers only beyond the park entrance. The route is approximately 5 miles long.
Be aware that the park may temporarily close any road to bicycle use. Signs will mark closed roads and cyclists can check current road status when planning a trip. Availability of bicycling equipment in or near the park is very limited and cyclists should be prepared to make repairs on their own.
4. Downtown Seattle
Seattle still pops as one of the top urban cycling destinations in the country.
The good urban bike parks, and the surprisingly vibrant mountain-bike scene, gather all the cycling enthusiasts.
The classic spin is the flat, 20-mile-long Burke-Gilman Trail, a former railroad route, which passes Gasworks Park and the University of Washington, then hugs the western shore of Lake Washington. Take a ferry across Puget Sound to ride the 28-mile Bainbridge Island loop—you’ll see rolling country roads, farm stands, and views of the water.
Train with locals on Mercer Island on a 14-mile perimeter circuit of sweeping turns with scarcely a traffic light.
For a true taste of the city, there’s no better place to start your trip than at Pike Place Market, a staple since 1907. Grab quick bites at spots like Piroshky Piroshky (Russian pastries) and Pike Place Chowder, or sit down for a meal at The Pink Door, a romantic Italian-American restaurant with trapeze performances in the dining room on Sunday and Monday evenings. Don’t miss also the Space Needle!
There are ample bike lanes downtown, however, and other than the hills, it's a reasonably easy place to bike, especially for anyone coming from the east coast.
5. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
The Monument was established in 1982 to designate 445 km2 (110,000 acres) around Mount St Helens for research, recreation, and education.
Here you can do lots of interesting things such as: going on a helicopter tour of the National Park, climbing the Volcano ( permit required - 100 person a day limit ), hiking the National Park trails - start at Coldwater Lake / JRO, shopping at the popular Discovery Gift Store - Forest Learning Center, elk Viewing (Forest Learning Center view point), exploring Ape Caves on the South Side of the National Park, dining on Blackberry Cobbler at 19 Mile House, take a horse Rides on the mudflow from Eco Park.
6. Port Angeles
Whether your interest is kayaking, wine tasting, antiquing, eating or just spending time on the beautiful beaches, Port Angeles has something for every traveler.
Port Angeles is one of the most bike-friendly destinations in all of Washington for both mountain biking and road cycling. Bring your bike — or rent one — to explore the 130-mile Olympic Discovery Trail. For a leisure family ride, explore the Olympic Discovery Trail, a paved path that meanders between Port Townsend and downtown Port Angeles and beyond. This scenic trail will be a delight for the entire family.
For mountain biking, the area has trails ranging from beginner to very difficult. You can choose from many options, but one popular is “Adventure Trail” route offshoot with 25-miles of single and double track trails. And, of course, the Dry Hill Trail that offers about 6 miles of challenging downhill if you’re willing to work climb for it.
For road biking, ride the Sequim-Dungeness Valley’s gently sloping hills that make it easy to ride from farm to farm. You will admire the sea and mountain vistas and enjoy the fresh scent of lavender as you pedal.
7. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
One of the most visited forests in the country.
Located on the west side of the Cascades between the Canadian border and Mt. Rainier National Park, you will find glacier-covered peaks, spectacular mountain meadows and old-growth forests rich in history and outdoor opportunities.
The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest contains many scenic and historical points of interest. A colorful past history, including logging and mining, dominates some areas. Mountain tops gradually rise from 5,000 to 6,000 feet on the south end of the forest to 7,000 to 8,000 feet in the north. Two tall volcanoes, Mt. Baker and Glacier Peak, tower thousands of feet above the adjacent ridges.
Cycling is a great way to travel through the forest, see nature and get those legs and heart pumping. Trails on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest range from technical to challenging, but all give way to views of the beautiful North Cascade landscape.
One more little comment. Being in such spectacular place, you really to plan ahead your rides and be sure that nothing will ruin your vacation.
First thing first, the saddle. It is of the most common reasons of discomfort and even strong pain. We have one recommendation for you, that will assure the 100% comfort of your rides. You will see that having a more comfortable wide saddle make you surpass your anterior personal records.
Biking is one of the most popular activities in the Bellingham area on trails, tracks and city streets.
No need to bring your bike, as long as you can rent one in Bellingham at Jack’s Bicycle Center and Fairhaven Bicycle, as well as in Birch Bay at Paddle and Pedal. Harbor is a great place for a short scenic ride.
The city has published a Bellingham Bicycle Routes map, which designates the best roads for biking and proximity to connecting trails. The perfect time to visit Bellingham is between May and October for the best weather, as Bellingham receives the bulk of its 35 annual inches of rain in winter.
The must-ride here is definitely Galbraith mountain! A world class mountain destination located within riding distance of downtown Bellingham. Ranked among the Top 10 places to ride in the nation by Mountain Bike Magazine, Galbraith Mountain is the area between Lake Padden and Lake Whatcom officially named North Lookout Mountain.
9. North Cascades National Park
Less than three hours from Seattle, an alpine landscape beckons.
Here you can explore jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers or the cascading waters in forested valleys. Bicycles are allowed in park campgrounds, so consider bring one yours get around during your visit. Most cyclists use State Route 20 but other trips are possible in Stehekin, the Methow Valley, and elsewhere.
10. National Mall and Veterans Memorials
Spacious swath of lawns and pools that forms a wide greenbelt from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial is also the site of many of Washington's landmark buildings and monuments.
According to the American Institute of Architects, half of Americans’ top 12 favorite architectural gems line the National Mall.
But the National Mall is much more than a lesson in history through memorials made of stone. East of the Washington Monument lies world-class museums with something for everyone, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the newest addition the Mall’s impressive lineup of museums.
Navigating through the memorials on a bike is made easy, as there is a 15-20 mile partially paved and partially gravel path that weaves throughout them. This allows riders to pick and choose their favorite stops, and to see as much or as little as desired. So, grab your bike, a helmet, and an official bike map of the monuments provided by the city of DC and head out on a self-guided tour.