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Hurricane Hill

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A paved path to an emerald knoll with horizon-spanning views from snowy Olympus and Mount Baker to the azure waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Choked in the sunny summer months with sauntering tourists, Hurricane Hill has helped introduce young and old, local and foreign, to the wonders and delights of the Olympic high country. This hike is perfect for kids in the summer, and even hardcore hikers need not shun it. And when winter spreads its white coat upon the open slopes, it's a whole different adventure.

Summer: For summertime visits, the way is quite simple and straightforward. Follow the procession of people in front of you on the paved path 1.5 miles to the 5757-foot pinnacle, where views abound. Take in the mountains, from Mount Baker in the Cascades, to Mount Garibaldi in British Columbia's Coast Ranges to the interior Olympic peaks. Enjoy views of the green cirque below that forms the ridge between Hurricane Hill and Sunrise Point. Wildlife, including bears, are often seen feeding below. People-friendly deer will probably be loitering on the summit. Don't feed them-they need to fend for themselves if they are to survive the winter.

Winter: For winter visitors, Hurricane Hill offers one of the most-accessible snowshoe routes in the Olympics. Although not overly difficult, windy and icy conditions can make the route treacherous. Hurricane Hill is subject to blinding snowstorms and howling, frostbite-inducing winds. Snow along the ridge forms cornices and the steep slopes are subject to avalanches. But when conditions are optimal-stable snow and stable weather-the trek to Hurricane Hill is incredibly rewarding. Always check with the park about conditions before setting out. The park also offers guided snowshoe hikes along the ridge on winter weekends, perfect for introducing novices to snowshoeing.

Along the way enjoy a winter wonderland landscape, with Mount Olympus and the Bailey Range forming a great white wall to the southwest. Venture out on the broad western shoulder of Hurricane Hill for breathtaking views down into the Elwha Valley. In winter, Hurricane Hill is a whole different world.

For winter info, see also: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/hurricane-hill-snowshoe.
Driving Directions:

From Port Angeles leave US 101 near milepost 249, following Race Street south 1.2 miles to Hurricane Ridge Road (Heart o' the Hills Parkway) and passing the Olympic National Park Visitors Center and Wilderness Information Center. In the summer, drive 17.5 miles to the Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center and continue 1.5 miles farther on the narrow Hurricane Hill Road to trailhead parking. In the winter, stop at the visitors center. Water and restrooms available at the visitors center.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 39 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Hurricane Hill — Aug 03, 2013 — MountainRunner
Day hike
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Made the drive from Olympia to Hurricane Ridge and wasn't sure if it would clear up enough to be abl...
Made the drive from Olympia to Hurricane Ridge and wasn't sure if it would clear up enough to be able to see anything, but it did, fortunately! Just as we arrived at the parking lot, the clouds were blown to the distance, just leaving scattered clouds to add a pretty effect to pictures. We did miss out on the view from Hurricane Hill proper; we weren't able to see Port Angeles and beyond. Only Unicorn Peak would sneak out of the clouds for a glance.

I hiked with my 3 year old, who loved seeing all the marmot and deer. We lost count of them; there were so many! It was quite busy out; lots of tourists but there were plenty of good pictures to be had. I definitely recommend this hike; it's so gorgeous. It would be fun to go back and do the nearby trails to do some backpacking.
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Wolf Creek, Hurricane Hill — Jun 15, 2013 — smallhands
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Mud/Rockslide | Snow on trail
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Hurricane Ridge has been having many good weather days off late. Even though there was quite a crowd...
Hurricane Ridge has been having many good weather days off late. Even though there was quite a crowd at the visitor center, Hurricane Hill trail is not-so-crowded and Wolf Creek trail was quite deserted.
There is some snow still on the Wolf Creek Trail - if you are wearing hiking boots you can walk over it but probably not safe for children. There are also fallen big branches that have to be climbed over.
But it is completely worth it for the wildflowers in the meadows and unhindered views of the snow-peaked Oympics. Also great mushroom sighting and birding opportunities. I am glad we kept going in spite of snow, fallen branches and slush!
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Hurricane Hill — Jun 09, 2013 — Joe Hendricks
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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Wonderful day to be out on the ridge! Here are a few minutes' worth of video clips: http://youtu.be...
Wonderful day to be out on the ridge!
Here are a few minutes' worth of video clips: http://youtu.be/kXtuel0vAZU

Explored 3 of the trails including the road(still closed to cars) to the Hurricane Hill trailhead. What a beautiful day! Lots of deer, flowers and friendly rangers. Did not do the last half mile up Hurricane Hill to comply with my surgeon's orders regarding staying off steep or slippery trails a while longer until my climbing injury heals.
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Hurricane Hill — May 26, 2013 — TsuKata
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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The road is closed to cars starting at the Hurricane Ridge Visitors' Center, so it's 1.5 miles walki...
The road is closed to cars starting at the Hurricane Ridge Visitors' Center, so it's 1.5 miles walking down the road to get to the trail. The trail is still snow-covered. It looks like some hikers have patted down the snow (and lots of tourists were venturing onward), but I wasn't prepped for snow and ice, so I trudged back up the hill road to the Visitors' Center. (Avalanche status was yellow.)

Visibility was zero at Hurricane Ridge, so no mountaintop views. Fortunately, my disappointment at a snowed-in trail and no views was overcome by spotting a Blacktail doe happily feeding along the roadside. I also saw lots of chipmunks darting around, and several large predator birds were out and about.
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Elwha To Hurricane Hill, Hurricane Hill, Wolf Creek, Upper Lake Mills — Jun 20, 2012 — PNA
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Blowdowns | Snow on trail
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Just a quick report, 5 weeks after my last trip up here. Quite a change! 4 trees down on the...
  Just a quick report, 5 weeks after my last trip up here. Quite a change!

  4 trees down on the hike up - small ones at around 1600 and 2700', two larger ones at 3900', and one on the north slope around the low spot on the ridgecrest around 4700'. The trail's in good shape, although getting a little overgrown at the bottom and in a few spots higher up.
  The first snow patch is at the highest downed tree. Solid snow cover starts around 5400'. Hurricane Hill trail is mostly bare, with just an assortment of snow patches and the one long stretch of packed snow on the long west slope. Road is open, with the summer hordes beginning.
  Partial snow cover alongside the road to the Wolf Creek trailhead.
  Wolf Creek trail is mostly bare, but some snow patches all the way down to 3600' There's a fair bit of snow on the north facing switchbacks at 4000'. Trail is in good shape, but salal is getting thick near the bottom. There are two trees down across the long sidehill stretch at the bottom.

  From Whiskey Bend I biked down to the Upper Lake Mills trail, then back to my car. "Upper Lake Mills" has changed much more dramatically than I expected in the last 3 months. Lots of sediment has been moved downstream, and the river level where the trail comes out has dropped at least 8'. I had thought the river there was close to its "natural" level. You can't easily get as far down-lake as you could earlier, as river channels now run along the bedrock cliffs. But you can get at least a mile downstream by crossing a channel on a couple very conveniently located big logs. Interesting to see the layering of the original subsoil, stumps, lake silt, and delta sediment.
  The trail has dried out, and someone dumped some gravel on the uppermost part of the slippery clay trail.

    Lots of flowers blooming this time, from starflower at the bottom to yellow lilies at the top. Quite a variety of things blooming. Lots of vanilla leaf, Disporum, and a few lilies and Calypso orchids in the woods on the way up; Geum, penstemon, Douglasia, Lomatium (several species) and LOTS of larkspurs on ridge before Hurricane Hill; Ranunculus, saxifrages, Sedums, Drabas, twayblade, phlox, coralroots, candystick, indian pipes, Frittilaria, Erythronium oregonum and grandiflorum, a couple of waterleafs, paintbrush, several violets, Anemone lyalli(?), some lupine and some peas.
  "Lake" Mills had a couple of Mimulus, including one lewisii, a couple kinds of Epilobium, and various weedy things.
 
  As for animals, birds include lots of juncos and robins, wood peewee, grouse (only heard), flickers, and a couple of woodpeckers. Several noisy killdeer that must be nesting on the lakebed, and some sparrows there. Saw about 7 marmots on and around Hurricane Hill. And about 10 deer scattered here and there.
 
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P9186117_small.jpg
View of the Olympics from the Hurricane Hill trail. Photo by Susan Elderkin.
Location
Hurricane Hill (#72)
Olympics -- North
Olympic National Park
Statistics
Roundtrip 3.0 miles
Elevation Gain 950 ft
Highest Point 5757 ft
Features
Wildflowers/Meadows
Mountain views
Summits
Wildlife
Ridges/passes
User info
Good for kids
Dogs not allowed
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails Elwha North-Hurricane Ridge No. 134S
Custom Correct Hurricane Ridge

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerHurricane Hill
47.9765666667 -123.517816667
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