dogs on leash
Situated on the Olympic Peninsula, this park ranges from Pacific shoreline with tide pools to temperate rainforests to Mount Olympus. The glaciated Olympic Mountains overlook the Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rain Forest, the wettest area of the continental United States.
I don't give many 5 stars. This is my first experience in Olympic so I might be quick to offer this up but the views are really something else. Quick easy trail just past the visitor center on hurricane ridge that you might find yourself hanging around on for several hours. It is in the rain shadow so a lot drier than coastal or in the cascades.
Views of the eastern ridges and the core of Olympic. I can't say enough how spectacular the views are. Seldom don't get a trail this open and expansive with the minimal effort required. The latter might be the only downfall as there are a lot of people and you will have some trouble with the solitude a place like this requires. All said, though, if you have a couple of hours to spare and just happen to be in the extreme northwest of the US you should do this hike.
As a hiking noob, this trail was extremely difficult. I went for a solo hike starting at the upper trail head. Going up was strenuous especially the rock scrambles and the staircases. At the lower summit I started feeling funny but since I haven't seen any white goats at that point so I continued walking until I saw few goats grazing on the rocks. It was such an amazing experience. I would love to do this hike again but will definitely bring a buddy next time. :)
Steps after steps after steps...which make this climb a balance between a diverse ecological feast for the senses and a sense of being on a climb to the heavens with well laid out stairs. Fir, switchbacks, stone steps, rock scrambling, open face light scree, and did I mention the steps? Great views of Lake Cushman along the way and at the top. Possible to see some magnificent white goat specimens at the summit. Please don't feed them as that reinforces their apparent expectation to get something from hikers.
Just finished it with 4 little girls. Youngest (3 years old) hiked back out unassisted in less than 45min. You can do it, but yes it is steep. You will not be sorry to see the falls and the Lake itself. We did have two of the girls get stung by bees because of a ground nest near the first creek crossing, so be careful in late August- early September.
Wonderful views. There was a group of deer laying down very close to the trail near the top. This was my first time to Hurricane Ridge I am looking forward to hiking more up there someday. The paved / gravel trail is well maintained but I very much prefer a dirt trail.