• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Olympic Hot Springs Road Closed

    The Elwha Valley's Olympic Hot Springs Road is closed to public entry beyond the Altair Campground. Olympic Hot Springs is not accessible from the Elwha. The road is expected to re-open by Summer 2015.

  • Safety Advisory: Mountain Goats

    NPS has received reports of aggressive mountain goats near trails at Hurricane Ridge, Royal Basin, Seven Lakes Basin, Lake of the Angeles, & Grand Pass. Visitors are required to maintain a distance of at least 50 yards from all wildlife. More »

Avalanche Safety

Skier headed into potential avalanche terrain.
Cross-country skier headed into avalanche terrain
Bryan Bell, National Park Service
 

The terrain and weather in the Olympic mountains can create ideal conditions for avalanches. Influenced by wind, temperature, snow, rain slope and aspect, the risk of avalanche can vary daily or even hourly.

If you are headed to Hurricane Ridge or elsewhere in the high-country of the Olympics, always check current avalanche forecasts on the Northwest Avalanche Center website. Always check in at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center or Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center for current local conditions.

During the winter of 2007/2008, at least 9 recreationists were killed by avalanches in Washington State. Before you go out, take some time to learn more about avalanches, avalanche safety and rescue.

Have you checked your Avalanche Safety Checklist?

Avalanche Video Resources

 
An avalanche near Hurricane Ridge

An avalanche near Hurricane Ridge

Avalanches like this one can occur in the Hurricane Ridge area. If venturing outside of the designated ski area or parking lot, always check with a ranger or the ski patrol for the latest avalanche warnings and forecasts.
 
Rangers, snow plow drivers, ski patrollers, mountain rescue volunteers analize the snowpack at Hurricane Ridge
Avalanche Training at Hurricane Ridge
Mike Danisiewicz, NPS

Did You Know?

Mossy trees in the Hoh Rainforest

...that one criterion for the determination of a temperate rain forest is that the amount of moss and other epiphytes exceeds the weight of all the foliage (leaves and needles) per acre by at least two times.