GripTwister Tours and Guide Service

The Latest News...


June 11th, 2024

The 2024 Edition of the Olympic Mountains Loop GPS Tour is now shipping. The revision ride went well, and we made some corrections and changed a couple of routes on the north side of the Olympics. However, owners of the 2023 Edition can still use their version without modification.

For those interested in navigating the tour using a rally style roadbook, you can choose to receive an optional digital roadbook download during the checkout process. This $10 add-on will be provided and supported by our partner Northwest Roadbooks.

June 5th, 2024

Well, all did not go well last week. I had a battery issue on Thursday that forced me to come back home to replace it. I went out again Friday, but the forecast weather wasn't looking good for a multi-day ride, so I just went out for a day.

So now I'm heading out again to finally finish it off, which will take a couple of days. I'll work on the GPX files and book changes over the weekend, and If all goes well, we will begin shipping all the pre-orders early next week.

Follow my endeavor on our IG/FB page!

May 29th, 2024

It's that time of year again. I'm heading out tomorrow on my annual "revision ride" to gather all the info required to update the Olympic Mntns Loop GPS Tour, as necessary. The snow should be clear from most of the routes by now, with the exception of the area north of lake Wynoochee on the southern side of the Olympics, which is always the last section to melt off. Fingers crossed that there are no new washouts or slides that render the current route impassable, as I'm fond of it, but also would be less work for me and an earlier delivery date for you!

If all goes well, we will begin shipping all the pre-orders next week. If it doesn't go so well, then the following week will be the target.

A big "Thanks!" to all of you who've put in their order already. It seems everyone is chomping at the bit to ride The Loop, myself included. Your patience is appreciated, as it's not so easy to find a window where the weather isn't foul for a 3 day ride in the mountains just as the snow has melted off enough. I'll try to post some updates while I'm out there to our Instagram/FB page. Wish me luck!

PS We will be working with NW Roadbooks to offer a roadbook "add-on" option to this year's edition. Stay tuned for more info.

January 21st, 2024

Happy New Year! Here's to a year full of great riding and great memories.

Please note that at this time of year, snow makes the route pretty much unrideable, except for lowland sections here and there. If you order the Olympics tour at this time, I will send you an email asking if you wish to receive the 2023 edition right away, or would prefer to be placed on the pre-order list for the 2024 edition. Once the 2024 route is completed, a first printing sufficient to fill the preorders only will be completed and shipped out. Then a second printing will commence to accommodate orders received after the release date. So if you want to get yours as soon as possible, I recommend preordering.

June 14th, 2023

The 2023 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour is now shipping. Thank you to all who pre-ordered a copy... they were mailed out today. The Paypal "Buy Now" button is back online again. You can select to receive a digital delivery of the GPX file, for those who do not have a CD drive in their computer, or who will utilize the tour with a smartphone. Note that you will have to supply a Gmail address to choose this option. You will still receive the booklet and CD.

We are going to be working on adding an optional rally-nav roadbook addition to the tour as well for the 2024 edition. This is going to be a beta feature initially, but may become a permanent choice if the demand is sufficient and all goes well. There will be an additional charge for this option. As with the digital delivery option of the GPX file, you will still receive the booklet and CD as well. Basically, all options will include the CD and the book.

June 5th, 2023

Well, I'm finally heading out on Tuesday to update the Olympic Mountains Loop GPS Tour. I'm hopeful that I won't be turned back too many times by snow, landslides, washouts or anything else. The weather is looking perfect for the next three days, and I'm looking forward to the ride. I love camping off my bike in the mountains, and this time of year I frequently encounter bears. Last year was amazing in that regard, as I came upon three (not at the same time), one of which jogged down the road a good quarter mile in front of me before dashing off the road into the woods.

This year, I splurged and bought myself a shiny new GPS, because hey, I deserve (and need) it. And besides, I wore out my previous unit (Montana 650) over the last 10 years or so. For its replacement, I chose the Garmin Montana 700i. It's about the width and height of my iPhone 13 Pro, but over twice as thick. However, it has a nice, big display (easier to see when you're old like me) and lots of great features, including built-in inReach functionality. This will be its maiden voyage, and I have high hopes for it.

And so with the 2-way satellite functionality, I'm going to be able to plot the course of my trip in real time as I travel. You can follow my progress at: https://share.garmin.com/E8P7T

Additionally, I will be posting updates with photos to my GripTwister page on Instagram/Facebook. My Instagram page is: https://www.instagram.com/GripTwisterTours/

And the Facebook page that will basically mirror my Instagram posts can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/griptwistertours/

Once I return, the plan is to make the necessary updates to the tour, then print enough tour packages up to fill just the pre-orders. The plan is to have them ship no later than June 15th, and if all goes well, maybe a day or two sooner.

May 22nd, 2023

Just like last year, the snowpack is still substantial for this time of the year, so the loop isn't totally passable at this time. I *think* it will be melted off enough to complete the 2023 revision in early June, hopefully to be able to ship all pre-orders by June 15th.

Will this be the new normal for western Washington as a result of global warming? It's too soon to know, but this year's pattern of cold, wet conditions well into April is very similar to what we experienced last year, when, just like that, the switch was flipped and we experienced summer-like temperatures long before we normally get them. Which is just exactly the opposite of how winter began last year-- 80 degree weather one weekend in October, followed a week later by the first snowfall. It seems spring and fall are gradually disappearing around here.

At this time, we are only taking pre-orders for the 2023 edition. You will not be able to order the 2022 edition any longer. Because of this, I don't recommend you make plans to ride the loop before the last week of June. Once the '23 edition is officially released, the price is going to increase to $59.95 (plus tax and shipping). I dislike doing so, but we've held the price for the last 5 years, while inflation over the last couple of years has increased our cost of producing the product. I'm giving advance notice to allow customers a short window of opportunity to pre-order the new package at last year's price.

Stay tuned for updates!

July 5th, 2022

Well, the 2022 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour is now shipping.  It was a crazy cold spring we had, making this the latest release of the new edition since we started almost 20 years ago.

Heavy rains back in November of last year caused major damage to roads utilized by Route C and Route Z. Please check out our Oly Tour Updates page for all the details. The Forest Service has procured the funds for repairs already, and will be working to reopen most of the damaged roads by late summer.  Meanwhile, if you ride up to or through any of the closures, please let me know what you encounter in terms of ease of passability on a bike, or if crews are working on it.

April 25th, 2022

If I had to guess, I'd say the late snowfalls we've experienced on the Olympic Peninsula are going to be the source of a later-than-usual melt off of the snowpack in the higher altitude sections of the Olympic Loop GPS Tour.  Of course, an unusually warm May could speed things up a bit, but my guess is it won't be until early or mid-June that the entire route is passable.  I'm going to be riding in Baja from mid May until June 5th, so my plan is to have a go at the annual "revision ride" the week of June 6th.  If all goes well, the 2022 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour. will begin shipping in mid June.  If you think you'll want to have a go at it before that point, we are still selling and shipping the 2021 edition at this time.  Note that no orders will ship while I'm in Baja, so get your order in by May 13th if you want to ride the loop early this season. 

Heavy rains back in November of last year caused major damage to roads utilized by Route C and Route D.  As of this time, to avoid the risk of being forced to turn around and backtrack, you should avoid these segments of the tour.  Please check out our Oly Tour Updates page for more details, but in general, the workaround for now is to just take highway 101 between Lake Crescent and Forks.  The Forest Service has procured the funds for repairs already, and will be working to reopen the damaged roads by late summer.  Meanwhile, if you ride up to the closures, please let me know what you encounter in terms of damage and passability on a motorcycle.

June 6th, 2021

The 2021 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour. will start shipping this week

I completed the revision ride on Friday evening, and I'm currently making the revisions to the book and GPX files. I'll be shipping out the first batch on Monday or Tuesday to all who've pre-ordered the tour. If you've been waiting to order until the new edition was out, now is the time.

If you want to see some pics and thoughts from my revision ride, please follow us on Instagram using @griptwistertours

June 3rd, 2020

The 2020 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour. is now shipping!

This year's route is the same as last year.  That's good news, as it means there were no new washouts or road closures to mess things up.  However, at this time, the section of the tour that travels through the area of the Maple Fire of 2018 is still closed and will require re-routing around it.  See our "Oly Tour Updates link above left.  As of now, the Forest Service expects to open the roads back up on July 3rd, if all goes according to plan.   At any time there could be a new issue to be aware of, so be sure to get any last minute info and detours by checking out the OlyLoop Updates page..

Note that due to the Covid 19 pandemic, most of the official Forest Service campgrounds are closed, with some exceptions in the Lake Quinault and Lake Wynoochee areas.  So plan on using one of the numerous dispersed camping locations we've identified for you  in the accompanying booklet.

Ride safe and have fun!

May 31st, 2019

The 2019 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour. is now shipping!

As for the route, it is the same as last year.  However, there are no longer any slides or washouts blocking any of the routes.  Having said that, there is a spot on Route D where the hillside regularly sloughs off rocks and debris that occasionally causes a slight blockage.  Usually, a few loose rocks can be moved out of the way without much difficulty to make passage possible.  The problem usually diminishes as summer progresses, and rider's before you likely will have made a path.  At any time there could be a new issue to be aware of, so be sure to get any last minute info and detours by checking out the OlyLoop Updates page.

May 20th, 2018

I've been out riding the loop in preperation for the release of the 2019 Edition of the Olympic Mountains Loop GPS Tour.  Unfortunately, I've been told that the roads closed due to last summer's forest fire up the Hamma Hamma watershed will remain closed until October 31st.  However, they are hoping to get their work done ASAP and will open early if at all possible.  What this means until that time, is that the route on the southeast side of the Olympics will be forced onto highway 101 between the Skokomish river and Triton Cove.  We will still release the tour with the closed logging roads as part of the tour so that when the roads open, you'll have what you need to hit the dirt as usual.

 What I know so far, is that all of the west side and all of the south side sections are free and clear of obstructions or snow at this time, with the exception of Route H, which is still blocked by snow on the shady north side of Three Peaks pass.  I expect it will be melted back by the time the new edition begins shipping next week, or nearly so.

I will be checking out the northern section of the tour on Wednesday and will report more later about that.  Stay tuned!

June 20th, 2018

We'll be on vacation in Baja for a couple of weeks, so orders placed for GPS tours between June 22nd and July 9th will not ship out until July 10th. 

 

June 18th, 2018

Route H is still blocked by snow at this time.  It looks like it could be another week or two before it melts back enough to be passable.  For now, when you get to the end of Route G and load up Route H, simply turn right instead and go across the bridge to the "T" intersection and turn right.  Now you're on Route H beyond the impassable section. 

 

May 30th, 2018

The 2018 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour. is now shipping!  Sadly, the cost of materials to produce the tour package have gone up, and so for the first time in over 10 years, we will have to have a price increase to cover these costs.  All pre-orders will be filled at the old price, but for orders placed after today, the new price will be $54.95.  We hope we are able to hold this price for as long as the previous price held.    Thank you for your understanding and continued support.  Without it, we could not continue to release a new, updated edition every year.  

As for the route, it is similar to last year, with the exception of a portion of Route A which is no longer blocked by a washout.  However, we've added several new Points of Interest to the tour,  a couple of new Side Routes to interesting places, and an updated list of Camp Sites, including several great new locations to set up for the night. There are still some areas to be aware of, so be sure to get any last minute detours by checking out the OlyLoop Updates page.

 

October 20th, 2017

The dates of our next supported Baja tour have been set for April 16th - 21st.  Join us for what will be a ride to remember.

 

October 17th, 2017

The newest edition of our Baja California Loop GPS Tour. is now shipping!  We've added several new routes, including some killer single track trails.  More goods, same price! 

 

July 12th, 2017

The 2017 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour. is now shipping!  There are some repair projects going on, so be sure to get any last minute detours by checking out the OlyLoop Updates page.


June 28th, 2017

The 2017 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour. will be shipping next week.  We're about 2/3 of the way done reviewing the routes, and the remaining section will be scouted tomorrow.  The snowpack was intense and long lasting this year, but the route has been passable so far in many of the spots where, historically, the melt has taken the longest..  This will be one of the latest dates for it to become passable in quite a few years.  Could this become the new normal for the area as a result of climate change?  So far, there are a couple of spots from the 2016 route that require detouring.  The newest edition will account for these closures while, as always, users of  last year's edition will have to utilize the workarounds detailed on the OlyLoop Updates page..  I will have info on the remaining part tomorrow night or Friday


Aug 30th, 2016

Join us for our annual "Oly Loop Ride" on September 10th, 11th and 12th.  Good riding, food, fun and friends.  Limited spaces!  We'll tote your gear so you can ride light.


May 31st, 2016

The 2016 edition of the Olympic Mountains Loop GPS Tour is done and all pre-orders will ship this week in time for the weekend.  While the route is nearly the same as last year's, there are 3 substantial washouts that can only be passed on foot or a motorcycle with caution.  All three of them require riding through some amount of wet, boggy terrain and one has pretty tall mounds of dirt that must be ridden over.  But I expect they'll get worn in pretty quickly by other riders and become much easier as the weeks pass.  For the moment, it's probably wise to have a riding buddy with you in case you get stuck.  Some may be repaired later this summer, but probably not all of them.  If the crews are working on them when you arrive, ask nicely if they will allow you to pass by ever so quickly.


April 2nd, 2015

The 2015 edition of the Olympic Mountains Loop GPS Tour will begin shipping this Friday April 3rd.  Were holding the price again this year at $49.99.  Because I will be in Baja  from April 14th to the 26th, orders placed during that time will ship when I return on the April 27th.  So get your order in soon if you want to do the tour during that time period.


February 3rd, 2015

It's already February in the Pacific NW, and old man Winter hasn't made a grand appearance yet.  In fact he hasn't made many appearances at all, really.  Looks like it's going to be an early start to the Olympic Mtns Loop season, knock on wood.

If you want to stay in the loop with regards to what GripTwister Tours is up to, like us on Facebook.  

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Our annual Baja ride has a new fall date this year.

Come April, we will be doing a ride in support of the update to our Baja California Loop GPS Tour..  There will be some revisions that've been a couple of years in the making, and we're looking forward to adding some additional new side-routes as well.  The "2015 Edition" will be available some time shortly after the ride.


November 13th, 2014

We're changing our Baja ride that we normally schedule for the spring to a new fall date.  Next year's ride will be at the end of September, when summer weather in Western Washington typically gives way to rain and cooler temperatures once again.  We keep our group size small to minimize potential slowdowns and keep things moving along at an efficient pace, and many of our clients tell us it was one of the main reasons they chose to do a Baja tour with us.  But the small group size means spaces go fast, so if you're thinking next year is your year to finally do that Baja trip you've always dreamed of, give us a shout sooner than later.

For those of you who've discovered the fun and excitement of the increasingly popular side-by-side scene, you'll be happy to hear that we are currently in the planning stages of a side-by-side Baja tour.  Todays machines are leaps and bounds superior in performance and comfort to what was available just a few years ago.  Models like the Polaris RZR, Arctic Cat Wildcat, and the Can-Am Maverick and Commander make the Yamaha Rhino that started the craze look like a regular golf cart by comparison today.  I'm not knocking the Rhino at all... it's still a great go-anywhere machine, but rather making a statement about how fast the SxS segment is growing in terms of popularity and corresponding sales that it can support an industry with so many manufacturers building ever more capable (and expensive) machines.  They seem to be in a race to one-up each other with each new model year release.  The kind of performance they're sporting makes them the perfect tool for a kick-ass Baja adventure, and we're working hard to put our first one together.  If this is something you'd be interested in, we'd like to hear from you.

Come spring, we will be doing the annual update of our Baja California Loop GPS Tour..  There will be some revisions we've been waiting a couple of years to make, and we're looking forward to adding some additional new side-routes as well.  The changes and additions will justify giving it the moniker "2015 Edition".


June 23rd, 2014

Do you have a Garmin GPSMAP 60C series GPS receiver?  Do you have a friend or family member who has one?  I am volunteering to teach a GPS class at a day camp at the end of July to some adventurous 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.  I'm teaching groups of 12 and would like the kids to pair up on the GPS units.  I have 3 units already, and would like to borrow 3 more for a total of 6.  If you would be kind enough to let me use your 60C for this one day event, I will trade you for a free copy of the 2014 Olympics Loop GPS Tour.  Aside from the free tour package, I will guarantee the prompt and safe return of your GPS unit or I will replace it with its successor, the Garmin 62C.  If you are reading this and know of someone who has one, please let them know.  If you can help, give me a call toll-free at (888) 474-7894. 


May 31st, 2014

The 2014 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour. is now shipping.  The good news is that the snowpack wasn't too bad this year and the entire route is now passable.  This is the earliest date it has been passable in quite a few years.  Climate change?  The bad news is that the two washouts that have been totally blocking a couple of the routes since last year are likely never going to be repaired, according to the US Forest Service and the WA DNR.  The newest edition accounts for these permanent closures, while users of last year's edition will have to utilize the workarounds detailed on the OlyLoop Updates page. I hope to see some of you out there this summer!


January 1st, 2014

Happy New Year! Here's hoping you get all the great riding in this year that you want, and then some.  To help you out, in April we're once again taking a group of dual sport riders to Baja for a 6 day ride they'll never forget.  You could still be one of those riders, as we still have spots available.  This year's ride is going to be a little "special", in that the terrain we'll be riding has been "roughed up" a bit by tropical storm Juliette.  If you're a strong intermediate or above rider on a capable dual-sport motorcycle, we welcome you to be a part of the fun that's happening on April 7th to the 12th.  -More-


December 11th, 2013

8 weeks back, one of GripTwister Tours' amiable guides Dan and I loaded our bikes with camping gear and threw 'em in the bed of the truck and headed to the border.  It was time to update our self-guided GPS tour and at the same time survey the damage caused by tropical storm Juliette to the roads in the areas around Catavina.  We bring our tours through that area and needed to know the extent of it.  Well, it turned out to be one hell of a ride.

Baja rides do seem to go down frequently as being in the "one hell of a ride" column.  Whether it's because of the unforgettable moments, or the moments you simply can't forget-- Baja rides are always memorable.

Anyhow,we had a fantastic ride.  We alternated camping out and staying in motels.  The weather was great, though it rained off and on one night.  Luckily, we were under cover that night.  Tropical storm Juliette had dumped an immense amount of rain on Baja in the area around and south of Catavina just a few weeks before our arrival.  That made for some rather interesting riding, with all of the dirt washed from roads that had any amount of slope whatsoever.  This made for very rocky roads in places, and in quite a few places the road had huge trenches carved into them, some over 5 feet deep.  We were able to make it through/past every obstacle with the exception of one remote section of road where we were turned around by impassable conditions.  Fortunately we were able to detour without too much back-tracking.

On day 3, we didn't get a very early start out ofGonzaga Bay, so we decided to forego our usual route through arroyo Calamajue and just head on out to the coast.  Good decision-- the camping out there was fantastic!  Mild weather, a full moon, and a killer camping spot right on the beach... we even had a nice fire for an hour or so before bed thanks to some drift wood we found nearby.  It was a spectacular night sleeping under the stars of Baja while the surf lapped at the beach just meters away.  

The route we rode the next day was REAL rough.  We were turned back by a genuine lack of any roadbed at all at some point, the road having become nothing more than a long, winding rockpile, it's path meandering through the desert.  Too much for mere humans on bikes loaded with lots of gear.  No fear, the "easy" road was beat to hell by the tropical storm as well, making it more than just interesting in many places.

At one spot along the ride, Dan told me that a huge bull that I had passed (without noticing him) had taken off at full speed after me, with me completely unaware.  Apparently when he realized he couldn't catch me he turned his attention to Dan, who at that point was riding through a long, deep, silty section and was freaking out that he might lose it in the silt and consequently be stomped on or gored by the beast.  When he next caught up to me and told me the story he was still shaking.  Ignorance, I can tell you from experience, is bliss!

Anyhow, this year's Baja 1000 route ran over quite a bit of the paths we covered.  Even at the casual pace we had set, the riding required constant attention to avoid certain damage.  Doing it at race speeds I'll bet was intense!.  It seemed that around any bend in the road or trail, the roadbed could be missing.

Around Laguna Hanson, it had rained real heavy the night before we came through on our way back to the border, with huge puddles in the road and, accordingly, zero dust all the way back to the pavement.  That was nice!


August 3rd, 2013

The 2013 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour. has been shipping for 6 weeks now, and feedback has been great.  I've been out riding sections of the tour myself, and have been seeing a lot of moto tracks on the logging roads ahead of me.  Gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing it's my customers out there making those tracks. 

Two things I'd like to mention in this post:  The first is that I've been putting the finishing touches on the routes for the AltRider "Ride the Hoh" event that is taking place on August 16th, 17th and 18th.  If you haven't signed up yet or are thinking about sitting out this one, I would urge you to reconsider.  Sure, I'm a part of the event as the route planner, and I don't attend many organized rides otherwise.  But I can tell you that the guys at AltRider put on one heck of a fun event that I would be going to even if I weren't a part of it.  Head on over to AltRider to register for this event.

The second item is to announce the dates for our Spring 2014 Baja Ride.  This ride will be 6 full days of riding, from April 7th to the 12th.  We already had a few of the 7 spaces spoken for even before announcing the dates, so if you're interested in joining us next spring, you'd better not delay.  Contact us very soon if you'd like to join us for another killer ride in Baja.  It's going to fill up quick!


June 14th, 2013

Our 2013 edition of the Olympics Loop GPS Tour. is almost ready to ship.  I fought downed trees and snow blockages last weekend to complete most of the 560 mile loop, but there's still one route with snow blocking.  The good news for previous purchasers is that the route remains pretty much unchanged from last year, although there is a new washout to add to the tour this year that will be dealt with by putting the "workaround" for it on the "Updates" page of this website.  Last year's blocking washout on the north side of the Hoh river is still there, and I'm hoping the DNR makes the repair to it this summer.  It's a nice section of the ride where I frequently spot bear, and in general is a hoot to ride as well.  Anyhow, I'm making one last outing this weekend to make certain that either the snow has melted from the blocked route, or else approach it from the other direction to determine that the snow is the only impediment so we can go to print.  We aim to ship all back-orders the week of June 17th.

Also, mark your calendars now for our annual Olympics Loop Fun Ride, which will take place as always the weekend after Labor Day.  This year's dates are September 8th, 9th and 10th.  Keep an eye on our "Upcoming Rides" page for info.


June 13th, 2013

Our annual spring Baja ride was a blast this year.  We'll be adding photos from the ride in the coming weeks, but if you know you're interested in joining us next spring, please let me know via phone or email right away so I can put you on the list of folks to notify when the dates are set.  I anticipate next spring's ride to fill up VERY FAST!  So getting a heads-up will give you the best chance to get a spot.  If you would rather do Baja at your own leisure and pace, we can supply you with all the info you'll need and a killer route as well in the form of the Baja California Loop GPS Tour..

Also, mark your calendars now for our annual Olympics Loop Fun Ride, which will take place as always the weekend after Labor Day.  This year's dates are September 7th, 8th and 9th.  Keep an eye on our "Upcoming Rides" page for info.


March 10th, 2012

Our annual spring Baja ride is fully booked at this time.  If you would like to join us for our next ride, please drop me a line and I'll let you know when the dates are set for it, giving you a the best chance to get a spot.  If you would rather do Baja at your own leisure and pace, we can supply you with all the info you'll need and a killer route as well in the form of the Baja California Loop GPS Tour..

Also, mark your calendars now for our annual Olympics Loop Fun Ride, which will take place as always the weekend after Labor Day.  This year's dates are September 8th, 9th and 10th.  Keep an eye on our "Upcoming Rides" page for info.

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