Olympic National Park is now my favorite national park. It’s basically three national parks in one. There are three sections including rain forests, coastlines and mountains.
The mountainous region in accessed through Port Angeles. We drove up Deer Park Road, which is one heck of a drive. The road is very narrow with steep drop-offs and no guardrails. We got up to the ranger station, got out to take some pictures and walked around a tiny bit up there. However, we didn’t do any of the hikes up there. If you’re pressed for time and are just looking for a great view, I wouldn’t recommend this, but I can’t vouch for whether or not the trails up there are amazing. Maybe someday I will be able to go back and take those hikes.
We drove up to Hurricane Ridge, passed the Visitor’s Center, and took the road back to the Hurricane Ridge Trailhead. The drive up from the park entrance to the Ridge was absolutely stunning with mountains surrounding you every direction that you look. The whole area is spotted with pink, blue, white and yellow wild flowers, and as you drive you keep going up and up until you become almost level with these massive, snow-capped mountains.
The Hurricane Ridge Trail is a little over three miles round trip, and worth every step of it. Deer are all over this trail, and are so accustomed to human interaction that as you’re hiking they will walk right in front of, or behind you. As a Missourian, where it has been in the upper 90’s to low 100’s in July and August, it was really strange to be walking through huge snow-patches. When you reach the top of the trail, if it’s a clear day, you can see not only the ocean, but the San Juan Islands, and Victoria, British Colombia. You also get a pretty spectacular panoramic view of the mountains.
There are a lot more trails through the mountains with great backpacking opportunities, and I can only imagine how spectacular these hikes are.
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