Hurricane Hill Nature Trail is a hiking trail in Clallam County, Washington. It is within Olympic National Park. It is 1.7 miles long and begins at 5,079 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,331 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. The trail ends near Hurricane Hill (elevation 5,764 feet).
Hurricane Hill Nature Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"It’s not called “Hurricane Hill” for nothing! Wind gusts of over 75 miles per hour have been clocked at the visitor center on nearby Hurricane Ridge. Winters can bring 30 to 35 feet of snow, with drifts lingering on into summer. Is it any wonder the trees not sheltered by the lee side of the mountain are stunted and show signs of having been blasted and broken? With such a stark environment, it’s surprising that over 125 different species of plants have been found up here! You’ll see lots of familiar “faces” on Hurricane Hill, but they will all be shaped by the dangerous world they must live in."
--Peter Stekel, Best Wildflower Hikes Western Washington (Falcon Guides).
"This is a high-payoff run in many ways. The views are incredible, the trail is well maintained, and the route is almost entirely runnable. Hurricane Hill seems to be at the top of the world, putting you face to face with the highest peaks in the Olympics. You can see from Canada, just across the water to the north, to the mountain peaks of Oregon to the south, and the wildflowers bloom continuously from spring through summer. This is a trail with options for family members. The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center has more than a mile of groomed trail. The first mile of this run is also on a paved “tourist” trail. Your family or friends can come up to Hurricane Hill with you, do the trails across from the visitor center, then meet you at the Elwha Ranger Station. Please note that the Olympic National Forest is a wilderness and there is always the possibility of encountering bears, cougars, and other wildlife."
--Cheri Pompeo Gillis, 50 Trail Runs in Washington (The Mountaineers Books).
"A stroll through flower fields on a gently graded asphalt path to the site of a former Forest Service lookout enables families to gaze at 360 degrees of glorious views. To the south lie the great chasm of the Elwha River and the peaks of the Central Olympics. Below is Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Beyond the Strait is Vancouver Island. If the day is cloudless, look east for the San Juans and Mount Baker."
--Joan Burton, Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades (The Mountaineers Books).
"Don’t expect to be alone amid the scenery that led the United Nations to designate Olympic National Park a World Heritage Park. good weather, throngs of Nordic skiers swarm the unplowed road from Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Once the road ends, backcountry skiers continue cross-country to the summit of Hurricane Hill for more views and glorious telemark descents of the steep bowls. In Avalanche potential: moderate."
--Vicky Spring & Tom Kirkendall, 100 Best Cross-Country Ski Trails in Washington (The Mountaineers Books).
"This trail offers a scenic walk to a grassy summit at the western end of Hurricane Ridge. Most tourists never get farther than the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center; if you take the extra drive out to Hurricane Hill, you can enjoy the same beautiful meadows, mountain wildlife, and spectacular vistas without the crowds. This route follows a paved nature trail with interpretive plaques, and though it does have some ups and downs, it is wheelchair accessible for the first half mile."
--Erik Molvar, Best Easy Day Hikes Olympic National Park (Falcon Guides).
"This trail is an old forest service road that provided access to the Hurricane Hill lookout when it was in use. The paved trail is wide and easy to follow, staying level for the first 1.2 mile. It is another easy mile to the summit, with moderate elevation gain—but carry water. The trail does not cross any streams. The trail offers great views the entire way. Mount Angeles (east) and Mount Olympus, with its multiple summits, are hard to miss on a clear day. In less than 1.4 mile the Little River trail descends steeply (right). There are good views of the Bailey Range across the valley."
--Art Kruckeberg with Karen Sykes & Craig Romano, Best Wildflower Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books).
"A paved path leads to an emerald knoll with horizon-spanning views from snowy Olympus and Mount Baker to the azure waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Clogged in the sunny summer months with sauntering tourists, Hurricane Hill has helped introduce folks young and old, local and foreign, to the wonders and delights of the Olympic high country.
But when winter spreads its white coat upon these open slopes, it’s a whole different adventure—a chance to snowshoe on high in the Olympic Mountains.
This guide outlines the route for this trail during the summer, and another route for the winter. Dogs are prohibited."
--Craig Romano, Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula - 2nd Edition (The Mountaineers Books).
"You certainly won’t be lonesome on this heavily used trail, but the crowds are there for a good reason: an easily accessible trail to a mountain overlook with few equals in the park. The solitude-seeking hiker, however, should not avoid this path because a steep but amazingly quiet side trail departs from near the summit of Hurricane Hill and takes you to a lonesome meadow viewpoint on the ridge to the west. Here, the vistas are just as grand as those from the busy main objective, but even on a nice summer weekend, you’ll probably have them all to yourself."
--Douglas Lorain, Top Trails: Olympic National Park and Vicinity (Wilderness Press).
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