San Juan Islands, WA. July 27 - August 4, 2019
This nine day women only DamselTour weaves along the magical northwestern coastline of Washington’s Puget Sound, traveling through the famous San Juan Islands. Offering a combination of low daily mileages, optional days off and unique scenery. This is the perfect tour for first time self-contained cyclists, or seasoned touring cyclists who prefer sleeping in a bed rather than in a tent.
We’ll spend our days leisurely pedaling the waterfront, spinning inland past farmlands and scenic villages full of interesting shops and top-notch seafood restaurants. On four days, our cycling will be broken up by ferry rides, from which you see orca whales, seals, or bald eagles! Clean off your bike, pack your camera, and bring your sense of adventure — because you’re in for nine days of Pacific Northwest bicycling that you’ll never forget!
Anacortes, 0 miles. Our group will assemble at 4pm in the town of Anacortes; gateway to the San Juan Islands. Our lodging is located in Historic Anacortes. We’ll enjoy a walk to dinner together after our orientation and map meeting.
Anacortes to Port Townsend, 36 miles. Today we’ll ride an island-hopping excursion on part of Adventure Cycling Association’s Pacific Coast Bicycle Route. After leaving Anacortes and Fidalgo Island, we’ll travel to Whidbey Island by way of the bridge spanning Deception Pass. We’ll ride briefly through Deception Pass State Park, around the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, then along the western shoreline of the island. Our route takes us along the shore of Penn Cove (famous for its mussels) to Coupeville, a picturesque small town. A short ride later brings us to the ferry terminal at Keystone for a short ferry ride to Port Townsend, a seafaring community noted for its gracious Victorian architecture and the Wooden Boat Foundation at the Northwest Maritime Center. We stay in a hotel located right on the marina looking at the sailboats from your deck. We will walk to a delicious dinner nearby, afterwards you may explore the craft beer and ciders at a nearby hipster tap house.
Port Townsend to Friday Harbor, 2 miles. First thing in the morning, we’ll load ourselves and our bikes onto one of the Puget Sound Express boats for a three-hour whale-watching cruise to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, (last year we watched two pods of Orcas for two hours). When we arrive at Friday Harbor, the “capital city” of the islands, we’ll have lunch at a cafe. After lunch we will check in to our victorian house for the next two nights of lodging. Our rental home is in the Village of Friday Harbor, where you can enjoy visiting The Whale Museum, checking out the quaint shops or just relaxing at our house. Or, you can spend the afternoon exploring the south end of SJI by bicycle, 22 miles.
San Juan Island South Loop, 36 miles. Today’s journey will lead us along pastoral country lanes and the western coastal road of San Juan Island. We’ll visit the American Camp section of the San Juan Island National Historical Park and the Cattle Point Lighthouse at the island’s southern tip. We’ll stop at scenic beaches and a small marina. Continuing our loop, with a stop at a small winery near the end of today’s ride.
San Juan Island to Eastsound, Orcas Island, 20 miles. Starting out, we’ll board the morning ferry for the short boat ride to nearby Orcas Island. From the ferry landing we’ll pedal across the western arc of this horseshoe-shaped island. Along the way we’ll ride pass marinas and farms, as we close in on our destination for the night, we’ll be challenged by a one mile long hill climb. We’ll finish the day with a downhill into Orcas Island’s largest town, Eastsound, where we’ll spend the next two evenings. This little town is packed with fun things to see and do. Eastsound has the San Juan Islands only brewery, “Island Hoppin’ Brewery”.
Orcas Island loop, 32 miles. Today is a relatively big day for this relaxed trip in terms of vertical feet gained. This trip’s most notable climb occurs early in the day: the 4.5-mile, 2,300-foot climb to the top of Mt. Constitution in Moran State Park. The magnificent views from the summit and the thrilling descent back down the biggest mountain in the San Juans will make it worth the effort. Once back at sea level, we’ll ride out to Buck Bay Shellfish for a truly locals lunch of shrimp, crab, oysters, clams and mussels. Before returning to our home in Eastsound, DamselTours will purchase some dinner supplies from Buck Bay Shellfish.
Orcas Island to Lopez Island, 13 miles. We’ll start with a seven mile ride to the ferry landing, for a short ride to Lopez Island. After leaving the ferry we will ride 6 miles around the east side of the island quickly entering Lopez Village. Today you will have the opportunity to kayak, paddle board, explore Lopez Village, swim in the heated swimming pool, soak in the hot tub, or just relax and enjoy the view from the deck of your room. Or, you can explore some of Lopez Islands many back roads by bicycle.
Lopez Island, 44 miles. Leaving our lodging, we’ll start out our ride pedaling through farmlands and along the southwestern coastline. On the southwest corner of Lopez, we may stop at Shark Reef Sanctuary and hike, which is a prime location for viewing grey whales and orcas. Agate Beach County Park is the southernmost point of Lopez Island. It offers beautiful views for picnicking and beachcombing for round rocks and pebbles that have been worn by the constant action of the sea. Next we’ll ride up the eastern side of Lopez to Spencer Spit State Park and back to Lopez Village, spending our final evening at the Lopez Islander Resort. We’ll celebrate with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Lopez Island to Anacortes, 9 miles. We’ll begin our final day with a easy five-mile ride to the ferry landing at the northern tip of Lopez Island. We’ll board the ferry for the ride back to the terminal in Anacortes. Ending our journey after disembarking the ferry in Anacortes, we’ll ride back to town together. The friendships forged and the memories we’ve made will leave us feeling fresh and renewed!
Start date: July 27, 2019 End date: August 4, 2019
Start location: Anacortes, WA. End location: Anacortes, WA.
Total days: 9 Riding days: 7
Rest or optional activity days: 2
Miles: 210 Average daily mileage: 35 Surface: paved Riders:11
Airport: Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)
Meals: All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included.
Accommodations: Hotels, Townhomes and a Victorian house.
Type: Self-supported, Inn to Inn (no vehicle support).
Physical difficulty: beginner - intermediate
Single Supplement: $500
Space is limited, don't wait.
Contact Ruth through Facebook messenger or email about signing up.
*Unsuitable Bicycle Types: E-Bike, E-Trike, trailers.
*No Pets allowed
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