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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge winter schedule has been announced for the 2007 – 2008 season.
“We’re looking forward to a safe and fun winter season, and urge all winter visitors to plan ahead for winter conditions,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner. “Good planning and careful preparation are essential to 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 23, 2004 through March 30, 2008. With the exception of winter holidays, the road will be closed Monday through Thursday during the winter seasons.
During the holiday period, the road is also scheduled to be open daily from Thursday, December 20 through Sunday, December 23 and Wednesday, December 26 through Tuesday, January 1, 2008. The road will be closed on Monday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 25.
The road is also scheduled to be open on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 21) and Presidents Day (Monday, February 18).
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; roadside parking is only permitted at the Sunrise Snowplay Area.
To make best use of the available parking spaces, park staff urges Hurricane Ridge visitors to carpool whenever possible and pay extra attention to making the best use of parking spaces.
We ask our winter visitors to help conserve the limited parking spaces at Hurricane Ridge,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner. “Ride-sharing and carpooling will help a great deal, and parking close together will save space for additional cars.”
“However, it is important to realize that parking is limited, and despite our best efforts, the road will still need to close if and when the parking lot fills,” Laitner added.
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.
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 22. During the holiday period, the Visitor Center will be open two extra days – Wednesday, December 26 and Tuesday, January 1.
On weekends during the winter season, the Visitor Center will open one hour earlier, 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 28, the information desk will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through March 30. During the holiday period, the information desk will also be staffed from Wednesday, December 26 through Tuesday, January 1. The desk will be staffed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 21) and Presidents Day (February 18) as well.
The snack bar and ski shop, with ski and snowshoe rentals will be open on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays December 15 through March 30, along with Friday, December 27 and Tuesday, January 1.
Snowshoe walks for individuals and families will be offered at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays, beginning on Friday, December 28 through March 30. Snowshoe walks will also be offered daily at 2:00 p.m. from Friday, December 28 through Tuesday, 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 90 minutes. 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.
Weather permitting, the downhill ski tows will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from December 15 through March 30. The ski tows will also be open daily from Thursday, December 27 through Sunday, December 30, along with New Years Day, Tuesday, January1. The ski area will also be open for the Monday holidays of January 21, (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) and February 18 (Presidents Day). For more information about downhill skiing at Hurricane Ridge, people may call 360-457-2879 or visit 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 or by calling 206-526-6677. Anyone planning to venture beyond the maintained downhill ski area or the immediate Hurricane Ridge area should always check with the Northwest Avalanche Center or a ranger for current weather and snow conditions.
Hurricane Ridge Webcam and Weather StationHurricane Ridge weather conditions are available online. The webcam image is updated every 15 minutes (although severe weather can cause webcam outages); weather station information is provided hourly.