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 2022/23, at least 5 recreationists were killed by avalanches in Washington State. Before you go out, take some time to learn more about avalanches, avalanche safety and rescue.

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

Last updated: September 30, 2023

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