On June 30th, 2017 Olympic National Park officials announced that the entirety of Obstruction Point Road, an eight mile dirt road from Hurricane Ridge to Obstruction Point has opened to vehicle travel from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center Area. The final five miles opened Friday morning after a few weeks of access to the Waterhole area was granted to visitors of Washington State’s favorite National Park.
Thanks to warm weather and a quick melting snowpack, the road is open to car travel a week later than in 2016. It is open much earlier than 2014’s July 11th opening and slightly later than 2015’s no-snow year. For those unfamiliar with Obstruction Ridge Road, it is a classic. Leading from Hurricane Ridge at 5,242 feet above sea level, the road weaves along tight corners and steep drops toward the final destination of Obstruction Point, which is at 6,150 feet above sea level. Known for wildflowers, majestic views and occasionally insanity by drivers, the road is a prime example of the ruggedness and wildness of Olympic National Park.
Obstruction Point Road should only be taken by those comfortable driving along extremely narrow dirt roads. It is not uncommon to see drivers unable to maneuver due to oncoming traffic on this single lane dirt road with very few turnouts. This is for cars only and should be taken slowly and with safety in mind. Blind corners are common, so error on the side of caution while driving to and from your destination. With drops that appear to be hundreds, if not a thousand feet to the side, experienced drivers are the only ones who should attempt this route.
The views from the parking lot and trails near Obstruction Ridge are out of this world. Panoramic views await that are more memorizing than the brain can handle, and expand out in every direction, making the view from Hurricane Ridge seem pedestrian and commonplace. With wildflowers blooming and some of the least visited hiking trails in Olympic now more easily accessible, the opening of Obstruction Ridge is a grand event that should not be missed.
Order the new Olympic National Park Guidebook by Author Doug Scott. At 335+ pages, with over 78 detailed trail descriptions, hundreds of images of locations, descriptions to lodges, campgrounds and dining, as well as a city guide around the Olympic Peninsula, this guidebook will lead you on the greatest adventure Olympic National Park has to offer.
Released as both an e-book paperback, this is the definitive guide to Olympic National Park and the Olympic Peninsula. The e-book is in full color, while the paperback is currently in black and white to keep printing costs down. If you love Olympic National Park, or interested in exploring the nearly one million acres of wilderness, this guidebook will become a favorite.