Distance: 80km | Ascent: 773m | Paved: 100% | ↓ GPX file
On the first day of this mad dash across Hokkaido from Abashiri to Sapporo, you’ll have your sights firmly set on the free campground at Onneyu. There’s an onsen hotel nearby, so you’ll be in for a good soak at the end of the day too. The main road (Route 39) is a fairly busy road with plenty of trucks, so it’s best to jump off the Route 39 and onto one of the parallel farming roads. They’re all paved, and much more pleasant to ride on. As far as scenery is concerned, this Kitami City valley is not much to look at, so it’ll be a bit of a head-down-and-go sort of day.
Accommodation: Onneyuonsen Tsutsuji Park Camping Ground (おんねゆ温泉つつじ公園キャンプ場) | Free
Onsen: Ōe Honke (大江本家) | 800yen | 1km from accommodation
Distance: 105km | Ascent: 1800m | Paved: 75% | ↓ GPX file
One of the highlights of this Abashiri to Sapporo cycle route across Hokkaido is tackling Hokkaido’s highest pass, Mikuni Pass (三国峠, 1,139m). But just to make things more interesting, this route approaches the pass from the southern side, accessed via gravel forestry roads. These roads are rough and steep in places, but are fantastic for getting off the beaten track.
UPDATE (2018/10/08): As of September 2018, the forestry road from Lake Oketo to Route 273 is all but impassible to bicycles due to massive washouts. While a hiker would be able to walk the route, there are multiple high bluffs across the washed out sections. Furthermore, the route is officially closed to all unauthorized personnel.
Also note that I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that the Sounkyo Campground may be closed due to typhoon damage (as of 2018/10/08). An alternative would be the Sounkyo Auto Campground (here) about 7km downhill (north) from the Sounkyo Village.
Blog post: Abashiri to Sapporo Day 2: Onneyu to Sounkyo
Accommodation: Sounkyo Campground (層雲峡野営場) | 300 yen per person
Onsen: Hotel Sounkaku Grand (層雲閣グランドホテル) | 1000yen | 0.5km from accommodation
Distance: 140km | Ascent: 1000m | Paved: 100% | ↓ GPX file
Today’s route follows one of Hokkaido’s longest sustained cycleways. The Sounkyo-Asahikawa Cycleway runs most of the way to Sounkyo along the Ishikari River. It is an excellent alternative to the busy Route 39 main road.
Accommodation: Ashibetsushi Kenmin Center Auto Camping Ground (芦別市健民センターオートキャンプ場) | 1940 yen per tent
Onsen: Ashibetsu Onsen (芦別温泉) | 800yen | 1.4km from accommodation
Distance: 150km | Ascent: 1900m | Paved: 100% | ↓ GPX file
This final day in the saddle goes via the remote and lonely Route 452. Make sure you’ve got all your supplies for the 90km stretch of Route 452 between Ashibetsu and Yubari, because there’s not much in the way of shops or even vending machines along that route. Highlights include the Shuparo Dam lake and Sandan Falls.
Accommodation: None ()