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Breathe Mile-High Air at Hurricane Ridge!
Hurricane Ridge, 17 miles south of Port Angeles, in Olympic National Park, will make you feel like you're on top of the world. And, in fact, you are! Hurricane Ridge is reached by taking Hwy 101 into Port Angeles. Look for the Olympic National Park Visitor Center and Hurricane Ridge signs. Turn south on Race Street, and taking a slight right curve on the Hurricane Ridge Parkway. From there you will see signs leading to the Park Entrance.
Olympic Park Visitor Center and Wilderness Information Center, Port Angeles, 360-565-3131 (daily recording on weather and road conditions).
Share a picnic supper on the Ridge and watch the sunset over the western range. As the moon rises you may even spot a black-tailed deer, a coyote or an Olympic Marmot popping out of its burrow. With such a peaceful way to end the day, it's hard to believe this area is named for the wild winter storms that come this way.
Hurricane Ridge runs east to west on the northern side of the Olympic Peninsula, along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The tallest mountain - Mount Olympus - is 7,965 feet high. The ruggedly carved mountain range contrasts with the soft fields of wild flowers in the subalpine meadows below. And the best part is that there are numerous trails and walks to enjoy it all.
Hurricane Hill Trail. 1.5-mile ascent to panoramic views
Meadow Loop Trails. Short, paved, nature trails near the Visitor Center are accessible with assistance.
Heart of the Forest Trail. Two-mile trail through old-growth forest
The Hurricane Ridge area also has access to extensive backcountry in the Klahhane Ridge, Elwha Valley and Obstruction Point areas.
Camping is not allowed at Hurricane Ridge, but nearby Heart O' the Hills is a great year-round (weather permitting) campground, managed by the Park, and located on the way to the Ridge. The campground entrance is on the east side of the road, 4.8 miles from the Visitor Center. Fees are collected daily throughout the summer, but only on the weekends in winter. The campground offers 105 sites with picnic tables and fire pits, one accessible site, water and restrooms. There are no RV hookups. firewood sales and interpretive programs are available in the summer.
HIGH COUNTRY WINTER FUN
Come back when the snow flies. The wind may not blow you away, but you can bet the views will! Hurricane Ridge offers a family-friendly ski and snowboard area, without the high costs (the National Park charges an entrace fee, $15,00 per car and lift rates are reasonable) and crowded slopes of many more well-known winter recreation areas.
The Ridge offers some groomed areas, but for more experienced skiers, the steeps and glades are well worth the hikes to get there. At an elevation of 5,240 feet, the Ridge boasts a season that runs from mid-December through the end of March. With an annual 400-plus inches of snowfall, you'll not only enjoy the view, you'll also enjoy the mile-high fun.
Olympic National Park WA
Olympic National Park WA