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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge winter schedule has been announced for the 2006 – 2007 season. The winter plowing operation will begin on Thursday, November 16 and will continue through the end of April 2007.
“We’re looking forward to a safe and fun winter season,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner. “We urge our visitors to plan ahead for any winter trip into the park – good planning is an essential first step towards a safe visit.”
Details about the Hurricane Ridge winter season are provided below.
Hurricane Ridge Road
Barring heavy snows or winter storms, the Hurricane Ridge Road is scheduled to be open 9 a.m. to dusk, Friday through Sunday, November 17, 2006 through April 1, 2007. The road will be closed Monday through Thursday during this time.
Weather permitting, the road is scheduled to be open daily from December 22 through January 1, except for Monday, December 25, when the road will be closed.
The road is also scheduled to be open on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 15) and Presidents Day (Monday, February 19).
Winter conditions such as storms, drifting snow, or avalanche danger may delay or prohibit the road from opening or may force an early closure.
Human safety is the most important consideration.
The Hurricane Ridge Road may also close temporarily if the parking lot becomes completely full. All vehicles must park within the Hurricane Ridge parking lot; overflow parking will no longer be allowed along the roadside at the east end of Hurricane Ridge. (Roadside parking will still be permitted at the Sunrise Snowplay Area.)
Recorded information about Hurricane Ridge Road and weather conditions is available 24 hours a day at (360) 565-3131 or 530 AM in Port Angeles.
Entrance fees are collected at the Heart O’the Hills entrance station whenever the road is open. Olympic’s seven-day entrance pass, which allows a private vehicle to enter any of the park’s roadways, costs $15. The Olympic National Park Annual Pass, good for one year after the purchase date, costs $30.
Hurricane Ridge Snow Bus
SNOW BUS CANCELLED THIS YEAR
The Snow Bus, formerly offered through a partnership with the Hurricane Ridge Ski Club, has been cancelled this season because of a lack of qualified drivers.
Olympic National Park Visitor Center
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center, at the base of Hurricane Ridge Road, is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday through Monday and closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Visitor Center will also be closed on Thursday, November 23 and Monday, December 25.
During the winter season, the visitor center will open one hour earlier on weekends, keeping the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and Ski Shop
The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center will be open with restrooms and a warm seating area whenever the road is open. Beginning on December 30, the information desk will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through April 1, along with the Monday holidays of New Year’s Day (January 1), Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 16) and Presidents Day (February 10).
The snack bar and ski shop, with ski and snowshoe rentals will be open on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays December 16 through April 1, and daily from Tuesday, December 26 through Monday, January 1.
Snowshoe walks for individuals and families will be offered at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays, beginning on Saturday, December 30 through April 1. Snowshoe walks will also be offered daily from Tuesday, December 26 through Monday, January 1. The walks last 90 minutes and are less than one mile in length. Space on walks is limited, so people should register at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center information desk 30 minutes before the scheduled walk.
A $5 donation from each snowshoe walk participant helps the park provide snowshoe walks and repair and replace snowshoes.
Organized groups such as youth or school groups must make advance reservations for snowshoe walks. Group walks are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and last 90minutes. Space is limited, so groups should call Olympic National Park at (360) 565-3136 for reservations and more information.
Tubing and Sliding
Because of the potential for serious injury, tubing and sliding are only permitted at two designated areas. Each area will be managed and monitored for safe use. The Sunrise Family Snowplay Area is located about one mile north of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and is managed for use by children and families. The Small Children’s Snowplay Area at Hurricane Ridge is designated and managed for children eight years of age and younger.
If at any time during the winter season, conditions become too dangerous for sliding or if adequate staffing is unavailable, one or both of the tubing areas will be closed to all use. In coming years, continuation of this activity will depend on both this season's safety record and future funding.
Weather permitting, the downhill ski tows will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from December 16 through April 1. The ski tows will also be open on Monday, January 1 (New Years Day), Monday,January 15, (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) and Monday, February 19 (Presidents Day). The ski area will be closed on Monday,December 25. For more information about downhill skiing at Hurricane Ridge, people may call457-2879 orvisit www.hurricaneridge.com on the web.
Overnight Wilderness Camping
Overnight camping is permitted in the Hurricane Ridge area on Friday and Saturday nights, and on Sunday nights before a Monday holiday. Winter camps must be at least one mile from the Hurricane Ridge parking area. Overnight parking is not permitted at Hurricane Ridge; parking and shuttle options are explained at the time of registration.
Anyone planning a winter camping trip on Hurricane Ridge must first register at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center to obtain a wilderness camping permit and must also check in and out with a ranger at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.
Up-to-date information about weather and avalanche risk is available from the Northwest Avalanche Center on the web or by calling 206-526-6677. Anyone planning to venture beyond the maintained downhill ski area or the immediate Hurricane Ridge area urged to check with the Northwest Avalanche Center or with a ranger for current weather and snow conditions.
Hurricane Ridge Webcam and Weather Station
Computer users can check current Hurricane Ridge weather conditions by going online to the park’s webcam page. The webcam image is updated every 15 minutes; weather station information is provided hourly.