Western Washington had a very wet and cold winter this year, and the result was snowpack that blocked the highest sections of the tour until late June. And as I write this, the first part of Route H is still blocked by snow and looks like it will be for another week or two. Fortunately, we didn't receive any torrential rains this spring to cause any new washouts. However, one of the previous washouts from years past has deteriorated to the point that it is no longer passable (on Route A) and must be detoured. And while there are still some old washouts that exist where no automobiles will be getting by them, there is enough room at each for a motorcycle to pass.
But washouts arent the only thing to cause closures, and right now there are a couple of items that will require detours to deal with: A landslide on Route Z, and culvert replacement on Route D.
So let's get on with the updates to the 2016/2017 Olympics Loop GPS Tour!
For those of you who purchased the 2016 Edition of the tour, I'm happy to report that the route is virtually the same this year, but read on for closures and detours.
All waypoints in our tour have names with only 6 characters, so if you notice the aforementioned problem, there are two reason this may have happened to you. The first possibility is that you did not delete all of the waypoints from a previous version of this tour (or our Baja GPS tour) that you had on your GPS. You cannot have two GripTwister GPS tours loaded onto a GPS at the same time. In fact, it's best to backup your GPS and then delete all of your waypoints before loading the tour. Then you can add back your essential waypoints like HOME and such if you still have room.
The second reason this could happen, is that you have waypoints from a previous version of this tour or our Baja GPS tour in your "Library" within BaseCamp. It's necessary to make sure that if you have other GripTwister GPS waypoints in any folder within the "My Collection" folder of the "Library" in BaseCamp, that you first delete them before importing/opening the GPX files from the CD into BaseCamp. If this is what happened, you will need to delete all the GripTwister waypoints from "My Library", including (and especially) the "Unlisted Data" folder near the bottom of "My Libray", and delete all the waypoints off of your GPS again to start clean. The proper method to delete the old files from BaseCamp is to right click on the "List" item in the "Library" that contains the other GripTwister GPS tour, and select "Remove and Delete Unique Content". Once that is done, you can import/open the GPX file for the tour in BaseCamp and download it to your GPS.
The reason is that the default setting for some GPS receivers and/or software is
to not have individual tracks automatically "Show on Map". It is a good idea to
check to see if they (the tracks) are all set to "Show on Map" after you download the
tour, and to manually change them if necessary. Different models do this
differently so check your instructions, but here's how to do it on the Garmin
Montana (and may be the same or similar on your model):
Select "Track Manager" from the menu screen.
Scroll down to the track you would like to see and select it.
Press "Show On Map". If "Hide on Map" is displayed, it is already set to show, so do nothing more.
Press the back button (curved line with arrow).
Repeat for the other tracks
The 2 year old washout on the road over Rocky Brook pass between Brinnon and Quilcene is no longer passable by motorcycles. Worse, the road is not slated to be repaired. For 2016 Edition users, you'll need to bypass this section, so when you come to waypoint RA22TL, do not turn, but instead continue up the highway and rejoin the route at RA32TL, where you will continue north on highway 101 to the end of Route A/beginning of Route B.
2017 Edition users do not need to do anything, as the new edition of the tour has been amended to avoid the washout by creating a scenic loop in this area that still allows you to experience some of the great views and riding up the Dosewallips valley.
There is a blocking rock slide that came down over the road a little ways past RZ12TR. However, there is a rough trail that goes over it on the downhill side of the road that can be used to get past it if you are on a smaller dual sport bike and/or you are with buddies that can help each other out here. I was able to walk/ride over it alone on my 500 EXC-F slowly and with caution as of June 28th. You can see video of me going over this rockslide on the "Latest News" page by clicking here. Due to the nature of rock slides, the pile may have shifted before you get here, causing it to be blocked once again, or perhaps requiring a few rocks to be moved out of the way. If you choose to go over it, do so carefully. Probably not big bike friendly unless you are with a group of 3 or more riders, where you can all work together to get each bike over the slide. Please note that this rockslide is scheduled to be cleared soon, so it's possible that you may not have this option if the crews are actively working on it when you get there. Alternatively, if you should find it cleared when you get there, please notify me so I can update this page.
If it is not passable for you, then go back to the last waypoint, which is RZ12TR. From here, you will stop and activate Route D before turning left and continuing on Route D from here. Note that you'll be backtracking about 2 miles of Route Z that you just came up the mountain on from that point, but at the next waypoint you'll be turning onto "new" territory.
There is a washout on Route E, and it's marked with waypoint RE09WO. This washout has a trail around it through the ditch. Some riders on big bikes may not be comfortable going around this if they are alone, and maybe not even with a group, depending on their skills. While it is a bit wet and muddy in the ditch, the ground is pretty solid, and lots of motorcycles of all sizes have been through it successfully. However, the trees uphill of the washout were recently felled in the downhill direction, leaving the trunk of one to make yet another obstacle to get past (you'll sort of go under it or have to lean your bike towards the hill to miss it). Walk it first and decide if it's doable for you and your circumstances. If you wish to avoid it altogether, then you'll want to instead stay straight on the mainline road when you reach waypoint RE02KL, and continue for approximately 5.2 miles to the junction with road C-200, where you will bear left and go another half mile to rejoin Route D at waypoint RE10TL by keeping to the right at the waypoint instead.
There are two areas of Route F that are undergoing culvert replacement projects. The first one is reported to me to be in the vicinity of or just past waypoint RF07TR. If you find this repair project still ongoing and impassable, then the workaround is to go back to RF06TL and turn left, and continue on that road. You'll come upon 3 junctions on this dirt road detour before you reach the paved mainline road. At the first one, bear right. At the second, just a couple hundred feet past the first, bear left. At the third junction, bear right. Upon reaching the pavement, turn left and travel approximately 1.4 miles to rejoin the route by turning right at waypoint (RF12TL for 2017 Edition) or (RF11TL for 2016 Edition).
Unfortunately, there is a second section of Route F beyond waypoint RF12TL (RF11TL for those using the 2016 Edition) that is undergoing a multiple-culvert replacement project. The culverts are many and small, and it's not certain how long the project is going to take. Many riders have reported being able to get past this section just fine, despite the "Road Closed" sign. If you find this not to be the case or see heavy machinery working in the road, then the workaround is to go back to waypoint RF12TL (RF11TL for 2016 Edition) and turn left and continue on the paved main-line road out to highway 101, where you will turn left. You will rejoin the route where it rejoins the highway at RF18TL (RF19TL for 2016 Edition) but don't turn here. Just continue straight on down the highway to your next turn at RF19TL (RF20TL for 2016 Edition) and carry on.
It seems that the Forest Service has decided to close the river ford found at the end of Route G to vehicular traffic for the time being. This has made the approach a little steeper and the crossing a little rougher, due to the lack of four wheeled traffic wearing it in, but it's still quite doable on a bike. You may need to look downstream a little ways from where the road meets the river for the best spot to ford now. If it looks like too much for you or you don't wish to risk getting your feet (or worse) wet, just take the bypass, which you'll find in your tour package. There are often people camped here and on the other side of the river where you'll be crossing, so be considerate and check it out on foot first and let them know of your desired intentions before riding through their camp.
Here's what to do to enjoy the trip in the off-season:
Follow the instructions in the tour booklet for avoiding the water crossing on Route G, which you will find on the "Route G--Quinault to Wynoochee" page. That's it! Now enjoy the tour any time of year,
weather conditions permitting.