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 washout at waypoint "RD16WO" for 2016 Edition users, or "REPAIR" for 2017 Edition users that is being repaired with the installation of a new culvert at that location. For that reason, the road there will be closed until August 7th. It may get done sooner, but plan for the road to be closed until then. So for now, you have two options. Choose an option based on what edition you are following and have fun!
Either Edition ('16 or '17) Option 1: At waypoint RD11KR, turn left here instead. After turning, stop and activate Route Z and continue. You will come to a rockslide blocking the road in a few hundred yards. 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. 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. When you reach the end of Route Z at waypoint RZXOKS, stop and activate Route D and continue on your way. You can see video of me going over this rockslide on the "Latest News" page by clicking here. 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. If you find it cleared when you get there, please notify me so I can update this page.
2016 Edition Option 2: At waypoint RD12TL, continue straight instead, and take the paved logging road down to rejoin Route D at RD18KL (at which point you will continuing straight instead). You are now back on Route D, past the culvert replacement project and can now resume navigating Route D. This is the recommended route for most riders.
2017 Edition Option 2: At waypoint RD12TL, continue straight instead, and take the paved logging road down to rejoin Route D at RD16KL (at which point you will continuing straight instead). You are now back on Route D, past the culvert replacement project and can now resume navigating Route D. This is the recommended route for most riders.
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 you have two choices:
Option 1: Turn around and go back down the way you came to the intersection at waypoint RZ03TL (near highway 101), where you will activate Route D and turn left to continue on from there.
Option 2: Go back to waypoint RZ12TR, where you will turn right and follow the track for Route D, running it backwards until you reach waypoint RZ02TR (this is where you turned off the highway earlier to begin Route Z, but coming from the opposite direction), at which point you will turn left off of highway 101, activate Route D and continue on this paved road, rejoining the last half of Route D. Note that you will need to disregard the first waypoint that shows up, (RD19TL for 2016 Edition, or RD17TL for 2017 Edition), and just continue straight on the paved road to the next waypoint and follow the prompts from there.
Since you will normally choose either Route Z or Route D when you reach the end of Route C, choosing Option 2 above is basically the same as if you choose Route D to begin with, and then follow the detour instructions for Option 2 on that route. This will amount to the same as if you selected Route Z and took option 2, but in reverse. I think it's a bit easier to follow that way, and I would recommend it over taking Route Z, Option 2. The only difference is whether you go uphill on pavement and downhill on dirt, or the other way around.
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. Walk it first and decide if it's doable for you in 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 is a section of Route F that is undergoing a culvert replacement project. The culverts are many and small, and it's not certain how long the project is going to take. If you come to a "Road Closed" sign when you reach waypoint RF11TL, then the detour is just to stay on the paved road out to highway 101, where you will turn left. You will rejoin the route where it rejoins the highway at RF18TL (but don't turn here). Continue straight on down the highway to your next turn at RF19TL and carry on. It has been reported that while the "closed" sign was posted, the road was actually open for at least 2 riders who then passed through. If you see machinery working, it's probably best to turn around and take the detour.
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.