Hurricane Ridge Hike: Wildflowers, Wildlife and Wild Vistas

“You won’t get lost, it’s paved.” The ranger at the Port Angeles Information Center made the Hurricane Ridge hike seem like a walk in the park.

Hurricane Ridge is the most popular hike in the Olympic National Park. We were there ten years ago, in late April, and the park was semi-closed, partially due to the snowpack, and partially due to the lack of funding to pay the rangers.

In July 2014 this didn’t seem to be a problem. There were lots of rangers. And lots of wildflowers. And lots of wildlife (we saw deer, mountain goats, bears, and marmots).

The hike isn’t as easy as it it sounds. There is an elevation change of 600 feet, a fair rise for a couple of old farts like us. Also the pavement is there for a reason, which is to keep people on the paths, off the fragile ecosystem and allow these stunning summer vistas to exist.

The wildflowers are out in abundance in July. The purple-blue clumps in the background are lupines and in the foreground Cow Parsnip blooms along the edges of the trail. Vista on our Hurricane Ridge HikeMore lupines up close. (I love lupines!) Hurricane Ridge Lupines Indian Paintbrush, another favourite. Indian Paintbrush on Hurricane Ridge, WashingtonAnd a bambi chowing down on these beauties. It appears that wildlife is exempt from the ‘protect the fragile ecosystem’ rules. Deer Grazing on the Grasses at Hurricane Ridge, WashingtonNot sure what this pretty little flower is, there wasn’t anything to identify it nearby. Pale Purple Flowers on Hurricane RidgeWild tigerlily. Orange Tiger Lily on Hurricane Ridge, WashingtonScalloped Onion. This one had a plant identification marker nearby. Scalloped Onion Info Sign Scalloped Onion Wildflower on Hurricane Ridge, Washington “What kind of flower do you think this is?” A woman waved her plant identification book in front of me. “Hmmm, some kind of white lily?” I answered. She thumbed through her book. “Is this it?” “Yup, White Avalanche Lily.” Hey, I got two out of three! White Avalanche Lily on Hurricane Ridge, WashingtonSome over-eager tourist was gored last month by a mama goat protecting her baby so the rangers ran around cautioning everyone from getting too close. It was quite difficult to keep one’s distance as this ‘herd’ of nine goats moved constantly. Someone should make a video of the dance between the tourists, trying to get out of the way, and the goats who are going anywhere they want to and quickly! Hurricane Ridge Mountain Goat Mama mountain goat looks a bit disreputable as she sheds her winter woolies. But her little kid is soooo cute. White Mountain Goats on Hurricane Ridge, WashingtonThe devastation after a blow-down. Hurricane Ridge Snow Pack and Blow DownOne last look at the view! Hurricane Ridge Hike

Hurricane Ridge is part of the Olympic National Park. The fee (in 2014) is $15 per vehicle for seven consecutive days, or $80 for a one year pass to all the National Parks in the US. More on Hurricane Ridge: http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/visiting-hurricane-ridge.htm

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9 responses to “Hurricane Ridge Hike: Wildflowers, Wildlife and Wild Vistas

    • July has lavender fields in nearby Sequim, wildflowers and young animals up on hurricane ridge but also biting flies. June, the bugs are probably worse. August and September should be a lovely time to do this hike as well.

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