Host: Bill Bell
Back by popular demand! This is a beautiful drive that starts in Port Gamble. We'll meet at the General Store in Port Gamble for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by the drivers' meeting at 9:45 a.m. in front of the store. The drive begins at 10 a.m. and we'll travel some twisty roads to our ultimate destination, Hurricane Ridge. Hurricane Ridge is located in the northern half of the Olympic National Park and is the heart of day use activity.
The seventeen-mile long Hurricane Ridge Road starts at Port Angeles along the Puget Sound and snakes its way up the side of the Olympic Mountains to 5,240 feet. With the road sanded and paved by the National Park Service, Hurricane Ridge is a source of year round outdoor adventure. For the first five miles, the road climbs from 400 feet above sea level to just under 2,000 feet at the Heart O The Hills Ranger Station, the only overnight facility at Hurricane Ridge. Over the next twelve miles as you climb up the narrow road and through three different tunnels, the plant life around you goes through a gradual change. Western red cedar, big leaf maples, grand firs, Pacific yew and sword ferns give way to sub-alpine forest and wild flowers.
The road passes by a number of scenic overlooks with the Double Parking Overlook, located about two miles past the third tunnel, being the best. Arriving at the Visitor’s Center, we will be able to enjoy the sigjts. During July, the sub-alpine meadows to the north of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center are awash in a sea of color including snow on the ground and possibly mountain goats and deer in the area.
After our fun time there, we will be on our way back to have lunch. Please bring your hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, coat, binoculars, and boots if you are walking on the snow. There is a $25 fee per car to enter the Olympic National Park, and it is good for seven days. You have free access if you have a National Parks Access Pass Card. The Lifetime Senior Pass is $80 for 62 and older. We will be stopping at the Olympic National Park Visitors Center for a bathroom break and purchasing passes. Please check the links below for additional pass card information.