Bike Camping Olympic Peninsula: Day 1

My friend Sibylla and I packed everything onto our bikes and toured a 4-day loop from Sidney, north of Victoria on Vancouver Island, across to Anacortes, Washington, down Whidbey Island to Port Townsend, across to Port Angeles on the Olympic Discovery Trail, and back to Victoria. Total distance: 180 kilometres. Average distance per day: 45 kilometres. Bike: Marin Four Corners touring bike. This is our trip, taken straight from my journal:


Our campsite right on the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Tuesday, May 3: Left Port Alberni at 6:30 am this morning, met Sibs at Mum’s place. Parked my car there & we drove up to the Sidney/Anacortes ferry. Packed our bikes in the parking lot & did some test drives. I’ve never done this before. It’s weird. The bike’s so heavy that it’s hard to swing the back around, but it rides great! It’s a novelty not to be carrying anything on my back. I really like it. We rode onto the ferry all stoked. So happy to be doing this. We both have had a really busy month and a crazy weeknd, and it’s great to be on vacation. But more than that it’s the adventure! Going somewhere new, seeing new things, making it up as we go along, all self-supported and carrying what we need. Plus it’s so fun to hang out.


Sidney-Anacortes ferry. You tie your bike to the railings with ropes. It worked.

The ferry was perfect. Old, sparse, spacious, comfortable, quiet. Reminded me of old BC Ferries. We found a window booth with tons of room. Each had a 20-minute nap. Just ate snacks for lunch. Customs was nothing and we were through — with a big hill to climb right away. Anacortes is gorgeous: high properties with views to the San Juans, azaleas in bloom everywhere, lilac. We biked for an hour, until we reached Deception Pass. Sibylla goes faster on the uphills, and I go faster on the downhill. Right before there it got all foresty, and a fence with piles of stonework with logs through lined the road. It was the beginning of Deception Pass State Park.. Beautiful view — an incredibly high bridge over bright green water, boiling in current, connecting the islands.

We walked our bikes across the bridge because it was so narrow, then got going again, into the farmland of North Whidbey Island. Up and down and up and down. So many hill climbs. We didn’t walk our bikes once, though. Eleven kilometres from Oak Harbor, Sibylla and I both hit a wall. We’d only had snacks for lunch. It was 5:30; we’d done 37 kilometres, and we were tired. It was also getting cold and windy and we’d had so many hills. So we decided to go eat dinner at Oak Harbor. We talked to locals, who recommended the Thai restaurant Sweet Rice. It was good. I had pad thai and a margarita and we had jasmine tea. We were so chilled from biking. The wind is howling now [9:30 pm, as I wrote in the journal] . We’re in a motel a few blocks from the restaurant. It was 7:45 when we finished eating, and we wouldn’t make it to a good campsite in the light, so we stayed. Didn’t feel like staying at the RV park to camp. It’s aaight. Nice hot showers.


  • 37.2 kilometres from Anacortes to Oak Harbor, WA.
  • 616 m elevation gain.
  • 2 hours and 32 minutes actual riding time.

Memorable Moments:

  • Fast, fast downhills.
  • Entering Deception Pass State Park all ferny leafy green & the really cool state park stone/split wood fences.
  • Being cheered on up the Taylor Rd. hill by a woman going down in her car.



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