Over the weekend, three residents of Ohio were making their way up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. For 16 miles, their Chrysler Town & Country mini-van bobbed and weaved up this incredible road, gaining 5,000 feet of elevation as they neared the panoramic wonderland of Hurricane Ridge and the Olympic Mountains. With every foot of elevation gained and every mile driven, the road becomes more beautiful, living up to the reputation of having one of the best views in America. As the car full of Ohioans rounded a corner, the driver got distracted by the stunning view.
Ohio, for those curious, is a relatively flat state. The lowest point is 455 feet above sea level, while their highest point is the towering Campbell Hill, standing at 1,550 feet.
Distracted by the near mile-high views, the driver steered the mini-van right off the road. As the car plunged, it rolled one and half times before coming to a rest. According to reports by KONP, two of the three passengers were trapped in the car for 30 minutes as Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue and Rangers arrived on the scene. Initial reports say that everyone is fine, which is why I decided to write this up.
Hurricane Ridge is beautiful, and one of the crown jewels of Olympic National Park. The road up from Port Angeles to the parking area near the visitor center is one of the most scenic in the world. With views into the Olympic Interior and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, this stunning 17 mile road gets you above lush forests and seemingly at eye level with glaciers of Mount Olympus. The road is windy, narrow and often times has no guard rails, making it quite distracting for even seasoned drivers. Accidents do happen, but this one is unique.
Luckily, the visitors from Ohio were ok, and can hopefully salvage a good vacation despite this accident. Being distracted by a stunning view is understandable, and I am glad they able to walk away from this. The way up to Hurricane Ridge is beautiful, but please remember to watch the road. The views are even better when you are safely in the parking lot. Last year, 115,189 people made it up and down this road without major incident, so let us use this accident as a reminder to stay safe and alert on the road. Please remember to observe the posted speed limit, keep your eyes on the road, and pull off if you are slowing down a line of cars.