Sitting at 5,242 feet above sea level, Hurricane Ridge sits, existing perfectly in the Olympic Mountains. Considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge is the best high-alpine destination for day trips in the summer and skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing in the winter. With a Ski run, designated snowshoe trails and vistas that rival anything in the country, Hurricane Ridge should be your destination this winter.
Before you go though, there are a few things you need to know:
The Gates Might Be Closed:
Because funding to the National Parks has been drastically cut, the road to Hurricane Ridge will only be plowed 3 times a week. Starting “around Thanksgiving”, each Friday, Saturday and Sunday this winter, the road will be plowed. That means that if any snow falls Monday through Thursday, they Olympic National Park will NOT open the road for visitors.
For current road and weather conditions call 360-565-3131.
You can also look at this website: http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/hurricane-ridge-current-conditions.htm.
Chains Are Required in All Vehicles:
According to the Olympic National Park, “Between November 20 and May 1, all vehicles traveling on the Hurricane Ridge Road above Heart O’ the Hills entrance station are required to carry tire chains. This requirement applies to all weather and road conditions.“
The weather can change fast, so do not chance this one. Bring a pair of chains with you. Many stores sell chains, and if you do not use them during the winter will allow you to return them for a full refund. Be smart and be prepared.
The Weather Can and Will Change Quickly
What starts as a sunny morning and amazing views can quickly turn into a white-out with hurricane force winds. Always be prepared for bad weather. Bring proper clothing, sign in on snowshoe trips and hikes and bring the 10 Essentials. You are in the mountains during winter, so be ready for anything and everything.
Avalanches Do Occur and Cornices Do Break
Be aware of the avalanche risk and watch where you are walking. While the snow is beautiful, it can also turn deadly with one wrong step. Always check the conditions of the snow before you head up and stay on marked trails. I know it is tempting to take cool pictures, but is it really worth your life?
Great Avalanche Website: http://www.nwac.us/forecast/avalanche/current/zone/1/
One of the Three Lift-Service Ski Areas in all the National Parks
Hurricane Ridge is one of 3 Ski and Snowboard Park in the National Parks. The other two (Yosemite National Park’s Badger and Brandywine Ski Resort, Cuyahoga Valley National Park) are lame compared to Hurricane Ridge. With epic views of the Olympic Mountains to the South and stunning sights of Vancouver Island, Dungeness Spit and Mount Baker to the North and East, coming here is an absolute no-brainer.
Best Snowshoeing in the State
I might be slightly biased on this, but every winter, snowshoe tours to the Hurricane Ridge region become the most memorable trips of the year. With spectacular views on sunny days, incredible snow covered trees after storms and amazing experiences while snowing, Hurricane Ridge is the perfect spot to experience winter. You could go to Mount Rainier, but the views aren’t that great and the crowds are usually too much of a hassle. Change up your winter plans and come to the Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge this winter. You will not regret it!
Snowshoe Tours will be available through Exotic Hikes Starting Soon. Contact us for details.
For More Information on Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area: http://hurricaneridge.com/
For More Questions, Contact Us
Phone and text: 360.350.8938
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