HIKING HURRICANE RIDGE/HILL TRAIL   Olympic National Park, Washington

Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: June 30, 2022

We entered the park and stopped at the Wilderness Information Center for maps. We then ascended a slow, winding road for 17 miles to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.  On the way we went through a tunnel and past many fields of beautiful rhododendrons. Several deer were sighted just outside the center. When the clouds briefly parted, we looked south and could see an incredible chain of snowy mountain tops including Mount Olympus (7,980 feet high). Hurricane Ridge is shaped by the wind and snow with winds gusting over 65 mph and 30 to 35 feet of snow annually. In many places the snow lingered into the summer months.

We hiked four miles out and back on the Hurricane Hill Trail gaining 700 feet in elevation. The temperature was much chillier: 67 in Port Angeles and 51 degrees at the summit of the trail. Thanks to hiking the past ten days in high elevations in Montana, Idaho, and Washington, I seemed somewhat acclimated to the thinner oxygen. At the top at 5,757 feet, we had scenic views of the ridge, the mountains, and the subalpine valley below. If clear, we could have seen Canada and the Strait of de Fuca to the north or glacier clad Mt. Olympus to the south. From this summit we could see Mount Olympus, but the peak was covered in a lenticular cloud. It was windy and within minutes the clouds returned giving us zero visibility. On the trail down we spotted many deer and chipmunks and passed several patches of snow.   

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