Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Olympic National Park...Hurricane Ridge

Elwha Dam RV park
Port Angeles, WA
July,  2018

Hurricane Ridge, the subalpine forest ecosystem of Olympic National Park, can be accessed by road from Port Angeles.  

Since the ONP Visitor Center is located on the way to the ridge, we made that the first stop of the day.   

There were no measurements for the diameter of this tree, only that it was 670 years old.

The drive up to the ridge is very scenic with lots of twists and turns

and even a few tunnels.  

At an elevation of 5,242 feet, Hurricane Ridge (so named for its susceptibility to hurricane force winds) has it's own VC  with an information desk, gift shop, restrooms and snack bar.  

We arrived early to an almost empty parking lot and enjoyed the short trails in front of the VC.

Obstruction Point Road is a must do.

It's a gravely 8 mile winding  road that can be narrow in some places to Lillian Ridge.    

Lucky for me, there was no traffic which meant we could make frequent stops.  It was wildflower season after all !

The road was lined with Avalanche Lilies.  A first for me !

 And another first, the Tiger Lily...

 And one more first, a Seep Monkeyflower...

It was a perfect day for viewing...crisp, clean air and beautiful blue skies. 

 The road ends at Lillian Ridge where there are several trailheads. We had planned on doing the short hike to Badger Valley, but the trail was covered in snow.
 A few days later, we returned to the ridge to hike Hurricane Hill...another must do.

The trail had been closed our first visit for trail work and the capture of mountain goats (to be relocated).  

The 3.2 mile (round trip) in and out trail may be short, but it is steep with an elevation gain of +652 feet.  

The trail begins near treeline on a paved path (broken up in lots of places for repair).

 It's a gradual climb at first...
then, we found ourselves in the clouds surrounded by alpine meadows ! 

 The trail levels out briefly at the base of Hurricane Hill's glaciated cirque... "A bowl-shaped depression with very steep sides that form at the head of a mountain glacier."...I had to look that up.
 A short section of three switchbacks resume on a steep climb to the top of Hurricane Hill at an elevation of 5,757 feet. 

Hurricane Hill is one of the most visited activities in ONP so go early to get a parking space and avoid larger crowds.  It is well worth it !
Checking out the trail as we begin the return hike.
  So until next time, 
looking down on Port Angeles...

Peek-a-boo...I see you!
Tiny purple flowers caught my eye on Obstruction Point Road
Steep and narrow with something beautiful around every turn...

Nature's planter...
Hiking among the clouds...



  1. WOW! I'm a bit surprised to see so much snow still up there! Scenes right out of the Sound of Music. You found a perfect day for the views and the hike.

    1. We were surprised at how much snow was still there in July too. Lucky both days to have clear skies Jeff!

  2. I was wondering how in the world you had such clear skies but now I see you were there in July--beautiful!

  3. Great shots, I especially like the first one across the mountain tops

  4. You had a great day to visit Hurricane Ridge with the low clouds below you. They must have been relocating the mountain goats we shared the trail with on our visit last year. There was quite a large group and they really took over the trails as their own. Love that there was still plenty of snow. Sure makes the mountains extra pretty.

  5. Such a beautiful area, your photos capture it perfectly! Love the header pic, such a sweet baby. Thanks for doing the hill climb so I could share the amazing views. Nice to see there's still snow!