Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hurricane Ridge

One of the major highlights of the Olympic National Park is Hurricane Ridge. The road leaves Port Angeles at sea level, and about 17 miles later you're at 5,000 in the heart of the Olympic Mountains. What's amazing is that it's a good road without bad curves. Here's the view back down to the Strait of San Juan de Fuca and Port Angeles.

When you turn around and look towards the South and West, you can see the beautiful peaks and glaciers of the Olympic range.

It's called Hurricane Ridge because of the extreme weather at the top. At any time of year you can experience 75-85 mile per hour winds. In the winter, the snowfall averages 30 feet. Needless to say the summer season is short. We visited the ridge in the middle of July and there was still some snow on the ground. Of course Lois and Linda had to play. Some women never grow up-and that's a good thing.

There's a visitor center, gift shop and snack bar. Linda packed us a delicious lunch and we ate outside on the deck of the visitor center. At the same time a ranger was giving a talk on the area, so we even had entertainment during the lunch.

It's a beautiful setting and we learned a lot about how the mountains were formed, the animals that lived in the areas, and the weather conditions. If you would like to check out the current conditions at the ridge, they have a webcam with a nice view of the mountains. Just click on the link
As I sit here writing this, there is cloud cover at the campground, but the webcam shows blue sky up on the ridge.

The ridge is open year round and there's a lot of trails for hiking there, plus in the winter they have cross country skiing and snowshoeing. If you would like to see all of the pictures of our day on Hurricane Ridge, please click on this link:

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