A good news/bad news situation is coming out of Olympic National Park, this time around the popular and scenic Hurricane Hill Trail at Hurricane Ridge. The bad news? The trail is scheduled to be closed for periods of time during the next three summer seasons. The good news? The trail will be closed for only part of the summer, open for weeks at a time. A full schedule can be found below.
With a quick press release late on the night of the 28th of June, 2018, Olympic National Park announced that they are set to begin a rehabilitation project on the ever-popular Hurricane Hill hike at Hurricane Ridge. The project will be starting on Monday, July 2 and isn’t scheduled to be complete until the end of summer, 2020. Over the course of the three summer seasons, construction of masonry retaining walls, drainage improvements, paving to 8 foot width, bench installation, revegetation, and improving the first four tenths of a mile of the trail to federal accessibility standards will all take place. Trail work will supposedly continue through mid to late October, depending on weather conditions.
“This popular trail offers visitors breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca but is badly in need of repair. Although the closures will inconvenience hikers, the result will be a more durable trail that increases accessibility and helps protect the meadows.” ~ Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.
While closures will definitely suck for some who visit the park, the trail isn’t closed all summer. Hurricane Hill Trail will be open on a rotating basis this summer when crews are not working. The Hurricane Hill Trail parking area will be closed to vehicles to accommodate the equipment and materials for the project. Parking and access to the trail for the duration of this year’s work will be via Picnic Area B and a short connecting trail to the Hurricane Hill parking area and trailhead.
The first trail closure will be Monday, July 2 through Tuesday, July 3. The trail will then be open for the July 4 holiday through Tuesday, July 10.
After July 10, a rotating schedule will be in place through the Labor Day holiday weekend. The trail will be closed for eight days while the crew is on duty and then open for six days while the crew is off duty. During the closure periods, the trail will remain closed to access 24 hours a day for visitor and job site safety.
Excerpt from our 52 Hikes Olympic Peninsula Guidebook on Hurricane Hill and Hurricane Ridge: Hurricane Ridge stands at over 5000ft, (600ft higher than the city of Kathmandu!) but is located just mere miles from sea level, showing the sheer power that was needed to create such a rugged terrain. Huge sweeping valleys dive deep along gorges of old growth forests, only to jut back up into the heavens with yet another ridge of mountain peaks. With a new, state of the art lodge, miles of trails, as well as a small ski/ snowboard run (open in the winter), Hurricane Ridge offers the entire family a great wealth of activities to do. Besides the day activities that one can do at Hurricane Ridge, it is also a great place to stand and stare at the impressive vista of the interior of the Olympic National Park. From the lodge, one can see miles in every direction, laying their eyes on peaks that otherwise may be hidden from view from everywhere else on the Olympic Peninsula. The Hurricane Ridge Region allows the imagination to take over, giving the viewer the full force and greatness of nature. From beautiful lakes to exposed ridges, with deer, marmot and mountain goat encounters possible along nearly every trail, Hurricane Ridge gives visitors a chance to explore the wilderness of Olympic National Park with ease.
Discover a Hike a Week through our Olympic National Park Area Guidebook