Winter 2019-2020 Bugler newspaper

A lake surrounded by snowy mountains.

Grant Longenbaugh

Embrace the Wonders of Winter

Did you come all the way to Olympic National Park with one dream in your heart—to enjoy the scenic winter wonderland at Hurricane Ridge? Perhaps you made plans to go cross-country skiing, join a ranger-led snowshoe walk, or check out the views from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. But oh no, how can it be? You just learned that Hurricane Ridge is closed for the day due to a blizzard. What’s a winter visitor to do?

A lot, actually! Olympic is an unpredictable land that thwarts the rigid planner and rewards the flexible traveler. Stormy beaches and snowy forests offer the unexpected splash or whoosh of elusive wildlife. Quiet, frigid riverside viewpoints showcase a kaleidoscope of colors, from blues and greens to the crimson glow of distant horizons. And yes, another bonus—popular lowland trails and campgrounds are less visited in the off-season, affording more solitude in this wilderness park.

Of course, winter in the Olympics is often unpredictable. Storms blow down trees and power lines. Rivers jump their banks and drag off chunks of road. Snow closes access roads. And there is no getting around it, the days are shorter, cooler and wetter. But don’t let these scenarios deter you. Challenging or unpredictable situations may lead to unique, memorable adventures.

The indigenous people of the Olympic Peninsula have embraced this stormy season for millennia, and while each tribe has its own historic traditions, there are many common themes. In the warmer months people traveled widely to hunt, fish, meet up and gather supplies, but the rainy winter called for families to gather together in permanent winter settlements. This was the time for woodworking, basketry, mat weaving, and making nets for fishing.

These traditions have echoes in another region, also known for its dark, cold winters. The Danish practice called “hygge” prioritizes all things cozy and comfortable, calling for fireplaces, hot drinks, meals shared with friends, walks in the woods, and thick socks and sweaters. Winter in Olympic National Park lends itself beautifully to hygge—drives through the rain, cups of tea at Lake Crescent Lodge, a mystery novel by a crackling fire, or a snowy hike to a frosty waterfall. What about spending an evening admiring the power of the Pacific Ocean, watching the breakers pound the coast from a cabin at Kalaloch Lodge, or looking for spawning salmon in the streams of the Hoh or Quinault rain forests? Perhaps you will even spot an otter or bobcat fishing for dinner.

When you visit Olympic National Park in winter, plan first! Plan to be surprised. Plan to ask a park ranger for helpful tips. And finally, plan to let the forces of nature dazzle you. In a place as endlessly lovely and complex as Olympic, you can always encounter something magical.
 
 
 
 
 
A building covered in snow with snowy mountains in the background.

What's Open at Hurricane Ridge Today?

Remember, all the dates below are weather permitting! When snow, ice, or avalanche conditions make it unsafe to open the road, the gate will remain locked and no facilities or services will open at Hurricane Ridge that day. We make these decisions based on the conditions each morning, so once you've checked this calendar, make sure to also call 360-565-3131 or check the @HRWinterAccess twitter. And if the Hurricane Ridge road is open, remember that all vehicles must carry tire chains - yes, even those with 4-wheel drive!


What's open, what's not - WEATHER PERMITTING of course!

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Dec. 1
Road open
Visitor Center 10-4
Dec. 2
Closed
Dec. 3
Closed
Dec. 4
Closed
Dec. 5
Closed
Dec. 6
Road open
Visitor Center 10-4
Dec. 7
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe, rental shop and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 8
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 9
Closed
Dec. 10
Closed
Dec. 11
Closed
Dec. 12
Closed
Dec. 13
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Dec. 14
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 15
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 16
Closed
Dec. 17
Closed
Dec. 18
Closed
Dec. 19
Closed
Dec. 20
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Dec. 21
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 22
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 23
Closed.
Dec. 24
Closed
Dec. 25
Closed
Dec. 26
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 27
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 28
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 29
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 30
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Dec. 31
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 1
Road open
Visitor center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 2
Closed
Jan. 3
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Jan. 4
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 5
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 6
Closed
Jan. 7
Closed
Jan. 8
Closed
Jan. 9
Closed
Jan. 10
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Jan. 11
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 12
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 13
Closed
Jan. 14
Closed
Jan. 15
Closed
Jan. 16
Closed
Jan. 17
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Jan. 18
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 19
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 20
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 21
Closed
Jan. 22
Closed
Jan. 23
Closed
Jan. 24
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Jan. 25
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 26
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Jan. 27
Closed
Jan. 28
Closed
Jan. 29
Closed
Jan 30
Closed
Jan. 31
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Feb. 1
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Feb. 2
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Feb. 3
Closed
Feb. 4
Closed
Feb. 5
Closed
Feb. 6
Closed
Feb. 7
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Feb. 8
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Feb. 9
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Feb. 10
Closed
Feb. 11
Closed
Feb. 12
Closed
Feb. 13
Closed
Feb. 14
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Feb. 15
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Feb. 16
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Feb. 17
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Feb. 18
Closed
Feb. 19
Closed
Feb. 20
Closed
Feb. 21
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Feb. 22
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Feb. 23
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Feb. 24
Closed
Feb. 25
Closed
Feb. 26
Closed
Feb. 27
Closed
Feb. 28
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Mar. 1
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Mar. 2
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Mar. 3
Closed
Mar. 4
Closed
Mar. 5
Closed
Mar. 6
Closed
Mar. 7
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
cross country ski and
snowshoe rental shop open 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Mar. 8
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Mar. 9
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Mar. 10
Closed
Mar. 11
Closed
Mar. 12
Closed
Mar. 13
Closed
Mar. 14
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Mar. 15
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Mar. 16
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Mar. 17
Closed
Mar. 18
Closed
Mar. 19
Closed
Mar. 20
Closed
Mar. 21
Road open
Visitor Center 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Mar. 22
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Mar. 23
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Mar. 24
Closed
Mar. 25
Closed
Mar. 26
Closed
Mar. 27
Closed
Mar. 28
Road open
Visitor Center 10-4.
Ski hill closed.
Mar. 29
Road open
Visitor Center, cafe,
rental shop, and ski hill open 10-4
Mar. 30
Road open
Visitor Center open 10-4
After March 30, the road and visitor center may be open as weather and staffing permit. The cafe and gift shop will be closed March 30 - April 23, reopening weekends 10-6 in May and daily starting May 22. By early May the road is usually open 24 hours a day, and the visitor center staffed weekends. Cafe and gift shop open daily starting May 22.

Last updated: December 5, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362

Phone:

(360) 565-3130

Contact Us