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Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Blog, Canada, Cycling Routes, Island Rides, Jefferson County, Pacific Coast, Pacific Northwest, Urban Rides | 2 comments

Vancouver to Seattle by Bike

Take your passport and head north on the train to visit Vancouver with your bicycle. Then come back the long way, via Victoria and Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

I made this trip earlier this summer, and wrote about it for this week’s Seattle Times (see Take train to Vancouver, then cycle home to Seattle).

One of the highlights was the interconnected trail system in the Victoria area. The Saanich Peninsula on the southeast corner of Vancouver Island, has two trails that combine to offer a great way to see the region.

Here’s a short video that provides a flavor of the trail system:

Earlier I wrote about Bikepacking the Saanich Peninsula, which is certainly a highlight, but this trip offers so much more.

The Olympic Discovery Trail very likely will be a welcome discovery for you, as it was for me. Nearly 30 miles of paved trail through the flat land along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, it runs from Port Angeles through Sequim and to Discovery Bay.

Olympic Discovery Trail

The Olympic Discovery Trail at Port Angeles.

Planners tell me that someday the trail will connect to Port Townsend, but right now you have to get on the roads for a while, then take the fantastic Larry Scott Trail into Port Townsend. (They’re also working on segments west of Port Angeles, to eventually take cyclists all the way to Forks, on the western edge of Olympic National Park, and to LaPush, on the Pacific Ocean.)

There’s a bit of every type of cycling on this route from Vancouver to Seattle: urban exploration, highway stretches, paved and unpaved trails, quiet rural scenes, fabulous small towns. And there’s still a bit of summer left. Oil the chain and give it a try.



  1. If the Saanich Peninsula, as shown in the video, already looks sublime, I don’t know what to think of the Olympic Discovery Trail after you’ve said it’s a better ride.

    This definitely goes into the cycling bucket list!

    • Hard call, Johnny. I liked the ODT for its variety and length. They’re both great rides!

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