Aspen, John and I woke up at 4:20AM, so we could drive from the Sol Duc Campground (see Olympic National Park 3) to where there was cell coverage by 5:25AM, so we could check Aspen into his Southwest Airline flight for the next day. What a hassle! But it worked; he was able to get into the “A” group!
Hurricane Ridge Road is right off of Route 101 in the city of Port Angeles. As we drove up the road, views of the mountains got more and more spectacular.
Once at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, we were lucky enough to see two deer feeding in the grass. We watched them for a while before doing some of the small hikes right from the center’s parking lot: the Big Meadow Loop, the Cirque Rim Trail and part of the High Ridge Trail. On the path next to the parking lot was a marmot. There were actually lots of marmots around; I had never seen so many marmots before. Little did I know that there would be a lot more in the near future.
Once done with the small trails, we checked out the exhibits in the visitor center and watched an educational video. We all dozed a bit during the movie, so we took a nap in the car.
After the snooze we drove over to the switchback trail from Hurricane Ridge Road. We gained 1,600 feet in 1.5 miles to Klahhane Ridge, then hiked the three miles to the junction with Lake Angeles Trail before heading back the way we came.
On the descent via the switchbacks we encountered a buck who was happily munching away and didn’t seem much interested in us. I talked to him in a calm way until we passed by, and he kept on eating.
Except for a brief stop at the Port Angeles Visitor Center and the Long House for sandwiches, we got to our hotel in the SeaTac area with enough time for showers and laundry before meeting John’s parents for a final dinner. (They and Aspen were taking different flights the following day to return to the east.) John and I would soon be back on our own for the next adventure in North Cascades National Park.
More posts you might like:
- North Cascades National Park 1
- Rainier National Park 1
- Glacier National Park 1