Hurricane Ridge is the most easily accessed mountain area within Olympic National Park. It is located 17 miles south of Port Angeles off Mount Angeles Road, the southern extension of Race Street that intersects with U.S. Highway 101 in Port Angeles. Follow Race Street out of town and follow signs leading to Hurricane Ridge. Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is a great place to start your visit at the ridge. Stop there for brochures, maps, snacks and tips regarding your visit. It is open daily in the summer and whenever Hurricane Ridge Road is open during the remainder of the year. When planning to visit Hurricane Ridge, take note of the weather and understand that the forecast can change dramatically in a short period of time. Hurricane Ridge offers ridgetop traverses and steep trails that descend to subalpine lakes and valleys. Hurricane Hill is a solid trail that climbs to a panoramic view of mountains and saltwater. On a clear day, the 360-degree view offers glimpses north across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, B.C., or the southern view of the glacier-clad Mount Olympus. This trail has an elevation change of 700 feet. The first quarter-mile of the 1.6-mile (one-way) trail is wheelchair-accessible with assistance. Another easy hike is Cirque Rim, a paved trail with views of Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The half-mile (one-way) trek has an elevation change of less than 50 feet and is wheelchair-accessible with assistance. Klahhane Ridge is one of the more popular — and intense — trails at the ridge. The first 2.8 miles of this trail is on a ridge to a junction with the Klahhane Switchback Trail. An additional mile climbs 800 feet on the
HURRICANE RIDGE VISITOR CENTER IN LATE SPRING
HURRICANE HILL HIKERS
HURRICANE RIDGE ROAD IN EARLY SPRING
Switchback Trail to Klahhane Ridge. Once you’re ridge-running, look for Olympic marmots, mountain goats and gray jays flitting in the clouds. This summer, please be mindful of the roadwork on your way up to the Ridge. Drivers can expect delays of up to 20 minutes in both directions during weekday
work hours. This work is part of a five-month project to rehabilitate Hurricane Ridge Road from Mount Angeles Road in Port Angeles to Heart o’ the Hills entrance station. For Hurricane Ridge road and weather updates, phone the Olympic National Park hotline at 360-565-3131.
OLYMPIC MARMOT FACTS The most unique mammal to the Olympic Peninsula is the Olympic marmot, Marmota olympus, as they are found nowhere else in the world. These chirpy, playful creatures are incredibly social and can weigh 15 pounds or more before they enter hibernation in September or early October. They are often brown in color but can be yellow or tan when they emerge from hibernation in the spring and almost black in the fall. Marmots have a sharp, piercing whistle that warns others of intruders or potential predators and notifies hikers that they are in marmot territory. Marmots occupy mountain meadows above 4,000 feet. About 90 percent of Olympic marmot habitat is protected within Olympic National Park. Olympic marmots prefer fresh, tender, flowering plants such as lupine and glacier lilies (p. 25). In May and June, they will eat roots and might even gnaw on trees. Look for these furry rodents up at Hurricane Hill this summer! 24 OLYMPIC PENINSULA VISITORS GUIDE • SUMMER 2018