planning my Pacific NW bikepacking tour

This is a work in progress. 

I want to hit as much of the planned Great American Rail-Trail as possible. And as many rail-trails on Vancouver Island as possible.

I tried to start Canada Day from Port Alberni.

But only an hour into the 118km logging roads to Lake Cowichan I got my second flat tire in two days. … And I was carrying only one spare tube.

A false start. 😕

I decided to skip the gravel and start instead in Nanaimo using The Great Trail app for navigation to the rail-trail out of Lake Cowichan. I’ll work my way there with a combination of cycling paths and smaller roads.

Lake Cowichan is the western terminus of the Great Trail (Trans Canada Trail).

  1. Lake Cowichan to Victoria on the Cowichan Valley Trail

2. Islands to Port Townsend WA

I’ll make it up as I go along. Looking for the most scenic route via the American San Juan Islands.

3. Port Townsend WA to Rattlesnake Lake WA

To avoid some highway miles, Doug & Diana delivered me to the Bainbridge ferry. I wanted to cycle the Burke-Gilman rail to trail and others connected to it.

4. Rattlesnake Lake WA to Tekoa WA on the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail

5. Plummer ID to Mulan ID on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes

Sidetrip to Stevens Peak ID

From there … I’m not sure.

Perhaps Montana.

Whitefish and West Glacier?

North to Castlegar?

Eventually I’d like to loop back via the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail and the Columbia & Western Rail Trail.

Hope to Vancouver.

Vancouver to Parksville.


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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

One thought on “planning my Pacific NW bikepacking tour”

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