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01/17/12 - Hurricane Ridge

Shortly before the recent storms, we drove up to Hurricane Ridge and did some snowshoeing. The snow was crunchy having been compacted, melted and refrozen, but it was easy enough going with our steel foot claws, our snowshoes.

It was a cloudy day, so we managed to capture some of the strange color that the mountain sky gets when the air is unsettled. It was a good workout, and, now that the storms have settled, we're hoping to get back up there.

Some of the strange sky

A bit of blue sky - There were colors for every mood.

The mountains and a pale gray sky

Vancouver Island across the strait

More strange and angry sky

Hurricane Hill in the distance

The trail itself

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, snowshoeing

07/01/11 - Hurricane Ridge to Hurricane Hill

We've fallen behind updating our web page. That's because we've been busy. We've been into Seattle a bit - more on that soon - and we've been getting up to the high country. The road between the lodge at Hurricane Ridge and the Hurricane Hill trailhead has been plowed, but not yet opened to traffic, so we've been walking it and a tiny bit of the Hurricane Hill trail. It's rather hypnotic, and the flowers are already in bloom.

The avalanche and glacier lilies are among the first, but it is the scent of the phlox that is the real sign of alpine summer. In fact, it seems that everything is blooming at once. Everything is late, but everything is there. We aren't sure when the park will open the road, but until then, we'll use it as a trail. Spring has come to the mountains.

The snow is melting.

Phlox is back.

As are these little violets.

And more phlox

Early lupines

Indian paintbrush

Melting snow on the Hurricane Hill trail

Avalanche lilies

A high country mushroom

A glacier lily

And the mountains

Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, spring, summer

05/20/11 - Hurricane Ridge, Hurrah!

They say on the west coast, one drives to the weather one wants, unlike the east coast, where the weather comes to you, wanted or not. Well, this year we took our first drive up to winter at Hurricane Ridge. Granted, it is late May, maybe a month from the start of summer at sea level, but at Hurricane Ridge, winter holds sway.

There snow is well over ten feet deep, so we broke out our snowshoes. We didn't get far. There is a gap in those ramparts that kept us from the Hurricane Hill Trail. Besides, we were a bit out of shape for the steep climb back. Instead, we made our way over to the avalanche danger signs for a view of Port Angeles, the Strait and points north. The view to the south was pretty impressive too.

So, if you just haven't had enough winter, and are hoping, perhaps, for a bit more skiing, sledding or just trudging through the snow, take a drive up Hurricane Ridge Road for a little taste of winter. Then drive back down again.

The view to the south - mountains and valleys and snow

The ramparts

Still plenty of snow for trekking around on

Mount Angeles and the north

The ski patrol is still at the ready.

Keywords: hurricane ridge, weather, winter

10/26/10 - Speaking of Winter

We were just talking about winter on Hurricane Ridge, and its seems the snows have followed. The webcam at the ridge has been a bit hard to decipher lately with rain drops and white outs, but now things have settled enough to make out the fallen snow. There's quite a bit. The Hurricane Ridge weather station says that there's been about 20 inches which looks about right.

The first snow on Hurricane Ridge

Keywords: hurricane ridge, weather, winter

10/23/10 - Wild Sky at Hurricane Hill

Winter is teasing Hurricane Ridge even now. There's already a touch of snow on the lodge roof and a fair bit more fresh on the distant mountain tops. There's still a lot of autumn color, but now that is starting to fade. We started our latest hike with the mountains shrouded in white cloud and a light sleet, but the clouds parted and swirled. The sky was gray, nearly black, then white, then gray again, then blue. It was quite a show. It made up for the lack of marmots, now sensibly drowsing, we presume. It won't be long before the dominant shade is white, and getting to Hurricane Hill will require skis or snowshoes, so this might be a good time to say goodbye to autumn.

An unprepossessing sky

Autumn colors

Light and mist

Quickly moving shadows

Harvest gold - it looks better here than on one's refrigerator

Early snow

More autumn color

More wild sky

The glow of the sun

Keywords: autumn, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, marmots, winter

08/28/10 - Hurricane Ridge

We were up at Hurricane Ridge and couldn't help but notice that autumn is coming.

Autumn is coming

Keywords: autumn, hurricane ridge

05/20/10 - Hurricane Ridge Update

The snow melts apace up at Hurricane Ridge, but there is still lots to go. We're still getting a fresh fall now and then. The webcam has been down lately, but you can watch the snow melt thanks to the snow sensor.

Right now, the little shop at the lodge is open on weekends, but it will be open all week starting on May 29th.

A wall of snow in the Hurricane Ridge parking lot - that looks like more than 78"

Keywords: hurricane ridge, weather

04/30/10 - Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge is still open, so if you want some late season skiing or sledding, head on up. There were signs of spring though. That snow geyser, was just the spew from one of the snow removal machines making its way towards the road to Hurricane Hill. The park folks are getting ready to open the road, maybe in a month or two. In the meantime, there is lots of snow to enjoy.

Old Faithful - the original snow geyser, a major attraction in Olympic National Park


More mountains

Snow covered trees

The view from the roda

Keywords: hurricane ridge

03/06/10 - Snowshoeing Again

Now that the road is open again, we went up to Hurricane Ridge for some snowshoeing. The temperature was in the mid-40s, and the sun was shining brightly. The snow was a bit crunchy, but that's more a problem for skiers than snowshoers.

Of course, the parking lot was pretty full when we arrived before noon, but there were still a lot of spots. The little kids were all over the little sledding area at the west end of the lot, and the ski slope was full of skiers. It was great seeing so many people out and trudging around on the trail. We should add our thanks to the team that managed to get the road reopened before the snow melted. (That includes all you taxpayers out there.)

We weren't the only ones.

The mountains were as amazing as ever.

You can see the snow melt.

Keywords: hurricane ridge, snowshoeing, weather

01/20/10 - It Was Fun While It Lasted

These are some photos from our last snowshoeing trip up to Hurricane Ridge. As you may know, Hurricane Ridge Road is closed until early March, so this may have been our last snowshoeing trip of the season. We suppose it is a rule of the high country, carpe diem - seize the day.

Keywords: high country, hurricane ridge, snowshoeing

01/01/10 - Snowshoeing at Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge has been open for snowshoeing on its usual on and off schedule. We made it up there on Boxing Day, but we've been lazy about posting our photos. Our report:
  • The trail is great.
  • The scenery spectacular.
  • Come early or you might not get a parking spot.

Keywords: hurricane ridge, snowshoeing

10/05/09 - Webcam Moon

It gets awfully dark up in the mountains so the Hurricane Ridge webcam is pretty much black all night, except now and then. For example, when the moon broke through the clouds early in the morning on the 29th of September.

The moon over the mountains

Keywords: hurricane ridge

09/29/09 - First Snow at Hurricane Ridge

We checked the webcam at Hurricane Ridge this morning, and look, there's the first dusting of snow. The seasons are changing.

Webcam photo of the first snow at Hurricane Ridge

Keywords: hurricane ridge, winter

09/23/09 - The Elderberry Bushes of Hurricane Ridge Road

There are two elderberry bushes along Hurricane Ridge Road, just past the twelve mile marker. They can be tricky to spot, but right now they are in bloom. That means they are covered with grape-like pale blue berries. They are easiest to spot on the way back down from the ridge, but there is an awful lot of distracting scenery. We look for them every year, and this year they are in top form.

Keywords: hurricane ridge, autumn

06/06/09 - Hurricane Hill

We haven't made it all the way up Hurricane Hill, but we have been making progress. The road from the lodge at Hurricane Ridge to the trailhead for the Hurricane Hill hike is still closed, though most of the snow has melted. The road isn't in very good shape, so the park service may be reluctant to use their heavy plows on it. So, we hiked from the lodge the to the trailhead and then a fair ways uphill.

Our efforts were well rewarded. The high country flowers are coming out in spades. The trail is lined with phlox, lupine spikes, glacier and avalanche lilies, paintbrush and a host of other flowers we haven't bothered to look up yet. Even with a stuffed nose, we couldn't miss the sweet scent of the phlox. We usually aren't big on sneak previews, but this year looks like a great year for the flowers on the Hurricane Hill trail.

Phlox in the rock garden

We aren't sure of what this plant is, but that butterfly seemed to like it.

Lupines and paintbrush

Some deer in silhouette

This is where we turned around. This is usually the last part of the trail to melt, so if we had pushed on we could have made it to the summit.

Glacier lilies - Look closely and you'll see a small blue butterfly.

An avalanche lily

Mushrooms seem to be doing well this year.

The view - The mountains seem to have made it through another winter.

Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, spring

05/30/09 - Winter's Passing On Hurricane Ridge

Winter is passing on Hurricane Ridge. We had one last snowshoe the other day. There was still a fair bit of snow, but it was getting thin and slushy. We made our way down Hurricane Hill Road which as of yesterday still had a foot or two of snow on it. The snow was melting furiously, and had vanished in patches. The park service will probably plow the road soon, and the Hurricane Hill trail will be open from the parking lot.

There is still plenty of snow on the mountains.

It's a bit slushy, but good enough for snow shoes.

The Hurricane Hill trail should be open soon.

Another pretty view

More mountains

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, spring

05/27/09 - Melt on the Ridge

We hadn't been looking much at the Hurricane Ridge webcam, but yesterday we noticed a big change. The snow is melting. Didn't the park service recording at 360 565 3131 just say there was ninety inches of snow at the stake, or was that three or four weeks ago? It may be a while before we get up to Klahane Ridge, but the high country beckons.

If you want to check out the webcam image yourself, try the official page first. If that doesn't work, try going directly to the image. The latter is sometimes more reliable.

Hey, where's the snow?

Keywords: hurricane ridge, spring

05/09/09 - Beautiful Sunset At Hurricane Ridge

There's a beautiful sunset up at Hurricane Ridge. We haven't used very many webcam photos lately, partly because the webcam has been up and down. If you a bigger picture, use the park service link.

Keywords: hurricane ridge

02/20/09 - Quick Update On Hurricane Ridge

The mountains are still standing. They are still covered with snow, though the surface is packed and a bit slick for cross country skiiing. The road is clear but for a few stretches of well sanded ice. The sun still shines. We were up there snowshoeing on the trail from Hurricane Ridge to the Hurricane Hill trailhead. A lot of people were just hiking the trail in boots or hiking shoes. Did we mention that the mountains are still standing?

The mountains are still standing.

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, snowshoeing

11/23/08 - Snowshoe Season Is Here

There is not a whole lot of snow, but there is enough for us to strap on our snowshoes and tromp our way from the Hurricane Ridge parking lot to the Hurricane Hill Trail trailhead. The mountains were in a good mood today, and the scenery was spectacular.

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, winter

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