As I write this, part of Route H is likely still blocked by snow and likely will be until the second week of June. Fortunately, we didn't receive any torrential rains this spring to cause any new washouts. And thankfully, the washout that was previously on Route A has been repaired. 2018 Edition users can now ride over Rocky Brook pass as was the norm in the past. 2017 Edition users can continue to ride the loop that was created last year in place of riding over the pass, bypass the section that goes up the Dosewallips altogether, or Keep Left instead when they get to waypoint RA29TR and just stay on that road until reaching highway 101 where they'll rejoin the route by turning left.
Currently, there are a couple of items that may require detours to deal with: A landslide on Route Z, and a washout on Route E.
So let's get on with the updates to the 2017/2018 Olympics Loop GPS Tour!
For those of you who purchased the 2017 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. For those who awaited the 2018 Edition, you will be rewarded wih several new Points of Interest that were added 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.
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
As of June 12th, Route H is still blocked by snow. It looks like it could be another two weeks or more 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. If you are able to make it through, please let me know so I can remove this warning.
Well, something had to give, and the result is better than the other alternative, which was full decommissioning of this road. The FS sent a contractor up this road with heavy equipment and pretty much restored it to a condition such that it's not much of a "challenge" any longer. While that's bad news for those looking for a challenge, it's good news for the general public and everyone else, as anyone can now ride or drive up to the top and indulge in the views. Once again, we will be seeking a replacement for Route W in the future, for those die-hard riders looking for something intense to ride. For now, if you've got the fuel for it, head on up and check out the views. And there is still a short section at the very top that hasn't been opened back up, so there's still a little "challenge" left up there if you're up for it.
There is still a blocking rock slide that came down over the road a little ways past RZ12TR last year. 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 toss a few rocks around enough to be able to walk/ride over it alone on my 500 EXC-F slowly and with caution. 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 eventually, 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 RE10WO (or RE09WO for 2017 Edition users). 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. 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 RE02TL, 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 RE11TL (or RE10TL for 2017 Edition users) by keeping to the right at the waypoint instead.
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.
When you arrive at the closed gate, turn around and activate Route H and
continue on. That's it! Now enjoy the tour any time of year,
weather conditions permitting.