I have tried to collect some useful links to help you with your cycling trip to Vashon Island. Please let me know if you find any more and I’ll stick them up here too!
There are no bridges across to Vashon Island. You need to get a ferry! There are two operators, Washington State Ferries and King County Ferries.
Washington State Ferry from Fautleroy
This is the main ferry service between the mainland and Vashon. It takes about 20 minutes and there are ferries running 7 days a week, throughout the day, at intervals of about 30 minutes. The first ferry leaves Fautleroy (West Seattle) for Vashon at 5.10 am and the last one at 2.10 am. The first ferry leaves Vashon for Fautleroy at 4.05 am and the last one at 1.20 am. Check the schedule in the the link above though as it may change! There is a small surcharge for your bicycle.
Washington State Ferry from Tacoma
There is also a ferry from Tacoma to Tahlequah in the south of the island. There are fewer crossings and they end much earlier. But it could be useful if you’re coming from the south.
King County Foot Ferry from downtown Seattle
This is a commuter ferry for foot (and bicycle!) passengers only. It leaves from from downtown Seattle and only takes around 20 minutes as well, so it might be more convenient. But there are only 6 crossings a day and there is no service at the weekends. The schedule is built around commuters timetables. So the first ferry from Seattle leaves at 5.30 am and the last one returns at 6.58 pm and there are no crossings in the middle of the day. Again check the link above for the full schedule and any changes. There is no extra cost for your bicycle.
You can also get the bus to Vashon Island…
Seattle Metro Bus Service
Routes 118 and 119 go from downtown Seattle to Fautleroy to Vashon on the ferry and then from the north to the south of the island and back again. All the buses have bike racks and there is some useful information on how to use them here.
Pierce County Buses
If you’re coming from Tacoma you can get bus 10 or 11 which will both take you to the Pt. Defiance Ferry Terminal where you can get the ferry to Tahlequah at the southern point of the island. Again, all Pierce County buses have bike racks and there is some useful information about how to use them here.
Spider’s SKI & SPORTS
This is the only bike rental shop on the island. So if you’re not bringing your own bike, this is the place to go! It’s located in the middle of the island, so bear in mind if you’re not coming by car, you’ll need to catch a bus from the ferry terminal to get there. You can currently rent road and comfort bikes, but unfortunately no mountain bikes or kids bikes at the moment.
Ride your Bike
Some useful information here about mountain biking on Vashon Island. Includes some great trail maps.
Kent’s Bike Blog
Another good account of riding around Vashon Island with the Seattle Intl Randonneurs.
A very detailed account of another day trip Vashon. Lot’s of useful information on routes and the gradients of the hills!
A lovely little travelogue of a cycling day trip on Vashon Island, including some amazing photographs. Check it out! And I just discovered a blog post from his companion for the day with some more great photos!