Hurricane Hill Nature Trail

Olympic National Park, Washington

Elevation Gain1,331ft
Trailhead Elevation5,079ft
Elevation Min/Max5079/5764ft
Elevation Start/End5079/5079ft

Hurricane Hill Nature Trail

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). This trail connects with the following: Little River Trail.

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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

Hurricane Hill Nature Trail Reviews

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The trail was not very bad at all. It was paved most of the way with a nice view at the top. The road to get to trailhead is pretty narrow at one point and you have to be wary of oncoming traffic.
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Very nice trail, suitable for family hiking with kids and offering georgeous views of Olympic Mtns. without the crowd of Huricane Ridge Visitor Center. Definitely worth it.

Hurricane Hill Nature Trail Photos

Trail Information

Olympic National Park
Nearby City
Olympic National Park
Skill Level
Additional Use
Wildflowers, Views
Olympic National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Hurricane Hill, Elwha; Custom Correct Hurricane Ridge
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018