Sunday, July 27, 2014

Double Visits to Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge, which is named for frequent strong winds there, is the most beautiful place within Olympic National Park on any clear days.

When we entered Olympic National Park from port Angeles, we drove straight to Hurricane Ridge despite the cloudy sky. As we got off the car at Hurricane Ridge, the sky was grey, the wind was blasting, and it was freezing cold. We had to retreat into the car and put on jacket or heavy sweater  - we were prepared for this.

The weather changed so fast that when we arrived at Hurricane Hill trail head, the cloud broke a bit, and the Olympus Glaciers were revealed partially. The Glaciated Peaks were still covered by dark clouds, but the Sun shone on Hurricane Hill trail, which is an easy trail with a lot of flowers along its path. We saw a marmot far away in the valley, and a deer near a puddle and by pine trees - quite a picturesque view.

As we were approaching the peak of Hurricane Hill, it started drizzling and drizzle turned into light rain - we were prepared for this as well - we put on raincoat and marched on. When we reached the peak, we were in the clouds! We could barely see anything 50 yards way, but we were greeted by two marmots by the snow on the northern slope.

The first visit to Hurricane Ridge was interesting and pleasant but with disappointment since we did not see the real beauty of Olympus Glaciers.

subalpine flower
Slope by Hurricane Ridge

A deer in the valley by Hurricane Hill
Marmots at the top of Hurricane Hill
Our last full day at Olympic National Park was a gloriously beautiful day! We decided to visit Hurricane Ridge for the second time first thing in the morning before going to the coast.

The snow covered Olympus mountain range, blue sky, green trees, bushes and light breeze - how  beautiful and pleasant it was. After days of hiking, we took it easy this day to enjoy the vista, walking leisurely on the meadow loop trails by the visitor center. 

Hurricane Ridge is surrounded by glaciers from southwest, to south and to southeast, Port Angeles and Strait of Juan De Fuca to the north. Come and go white clouds, a family of deer mulching on the southern slope of Hurricane Ridge, wild flowers around the meadow and on the slops along the trails, ... we lingered, mused and immersed in this wilderness paradise. A planned couple hour visit prolonged into a full morning enjoyment.
Olympus Glacier
on Hurricane Ridge's meadow loop trails
View of Glaciers from High Ridge
Mom and Baby Deers

Glacier Lily
Clouds moving in from northwest
Connection to Heaven

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