Winter weather at Hurricane Ridge runs the gamut from bluebird days to blizzards! In such a changeable landscape, it's not possible to guarantee the road can always open on schedule. It’s frustrating, but it’s for everyone’s safety—the same high elevation that gives us a winter wonderland on “good” days also creates slick roads, hurricane-force winds, whiteouts and avalanches. Have a backup plan, or two, ready so you can make the most of your trip, no matter what curveballs nature throws.
Top Ten Ranger Tips for Visiting Hurricane Ridge
Carry tire chains and know how to use them. It's the law!
Check twitter.com/HRWinterAccess to see if the road is currently open.
Wear warm layers and bring along extra clothing and emergency supplies like food, water and first aid gear. You may want something dry to change into after playing in the snow.
Check below to see what services are open and when.
You might have to wait in your car at the entrance station if the parking lot is full. Bring a blanket to stay cozy and a book or podcast to pass the time.
Winter driving basics: Take it slow. Brake slowly, turn slowly, accelerate slowly, drive slowly.
Leave your dog at home. Pets aren’t allowed in buildings or on snow trails at Hurricane Ridge, and they'll get very cold waiting in your car.
Don’t feed the Canada jays, even if they ask you to. Just don’t. Let them be wild.
Always HAVE A BACKUP PLAN. Olympic is a big and diverse park, so if you don't get to visit the Ridge, you can still enjoy rivers, forests, lakes, and the beautiful Pacific coast.
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!
Hurricane Ridge Road: Open weather permitting typically* 9:00 am-4:00 pm Friday-Sunday, November 25-March 26. Exceptions: Closed December 25; open daily December 26-January 2; open holiday Mondays January 16 and February 20. During this winter plowing schedule, the road closes to uphill traffic at 4:00 pm and all vehicles must be below the Heart O’ the Hills gate by 5:00 p.m. After March 26 the road may be open as weather, staffing and road conditions allow. By early May the road is usually open 24 hours a day.
*Depending on weather and road conditions, the road may open as early as 8:00 a.m., as late as noon, or not open at all.
Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center: Ranger-staffed information desk open, weather permitting, 10-4 Friday-Sunday, November 25-March 26. Exceptions: Closed December 25; open daily December 26-January 2; open holiday Mondays January 16 and February 20. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing route information is posted at the visitor center and available in the Winter Bugler park newspaper. NOTE: Indoor warming or dining area may not be available this winter due to operational priorities, pandemic impacts and/or prevailing CDC guidance. Restrooms are available.
Hurricane Ridge Cafe, Gift Shop & Ski/Snowshoe Rental Shop: Operated by Aramark, an Authorized Concessioner. The facilities are open 10-4 Friday-Sunday, December 9-February 20. Exceptions: Closed December 25; open daily December 26-January 2; open holiday Mondays January 16 and February 20. Cafe is takeout food service only. Visit the Aramark website for more details.
Ski, Snowboard, and Tubing Area: Operates 10-4 weekends from December 4, 2022 through March 26, 2023. Exceptions: Closed December 24 and 25; open daily December 26-January 2; open holiday Mondays January 16 and February 20. Only tubes furnished by the ski area will be permitted in this tube park. Visit the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club website for all the details.
Snowshoe with a Ranger: Snow permitting, ranger-guided snowshoe walks will be offered at 1:30 pm on Saturdays from December 31 through March 25. Walks last 1.5 hours and cover less than a mile. Walks are free, but limited to 20 participants. Sign-up starts at the Hurricane Ridge information desk at 1:00 pm. Snowshoes and instruction provided. Participants should prepare for cold, snow, wind or even rain. Dress in layers, wear warm, waterproof boots and bring hats, mittens, sunscreen and sunglasses. If the road is closed, walks are cancelled.
If the road is closed, walks are cancelled.