Hurricane Ridge Meadow
Loop Trails (ONP)
In Port Angeles on US 101, turn south onto Race Street. Follow 1
mi to Heart O' the Hills Parkway. Follow 5 mi to entrance station
and continue on Hurricane Ridge Rd 12 mi to Hurricane Ridge Visitor
Big Meadow Trail and Cirque Rim Trail are
paved, looped meadow trails approximately 1/2 mile long that are
relatively flat and accessible with assistance. The trails begin
near Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center providing excellent views of
the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca on clear days.
Wander through sub alpine forests and meadows filled with wildflowers
in the summer. This is a good area for seeing black-tailed deer
and marmots. See the Map.
The Visitor Center at Hurricane
Ridge provides a topographical relief map of Olympic National Park,
a theater, exhibits, emergency first aid, potable water, accessible
restrooms and a small restaurant. In the summer a wide variety of
interpretive ranger programs are available. An elevator and ramp
provide access to lower level terrace with picnic tables, gift shop,
and snack bar.
Hurricane Ridge and Visitors Center
from Big Meadow Trail.
East and West views on Big Meadow
Aug 12, 2002 - Wow! Great trail: Both the
Big Meadow Loop and Cirque Rim Trail are wheelchair accessible
The Big Meadow trail has interpretive signs
along the way with outstanding views of the Olympic Mountains.
Although the panorama vista was magnificent, my favorite part
of both these trails was the snags and weathered, downed trees,
twisted by the wind and snow.
It was hot the day we were there (by Olympic
Peninsula standards) and a black tail deer was avoiding the
hot sun by laying under some alpine shrubs near the trail.
A high percentage of folks that visit, never
take the Cirque trail and do not see the views from the other
side of the ridge clear across the Strait of Juan de Fuca
to the mountains of Vancouver Island, Canada. This trail has
several benches for resting and an overlook.
My scooter had no problems taking either
trail although the beginning of the Big Meadow trail is a
long incline. I took it slow, keeping an eye on my battery
meter to make sure I wouldn't pop a circuit. I got off the
scooter on one small incline on the Cirque Rim trail although
I probably could have made it up that one. Several places
on the Cirque Rim trail have drop offs nearby and I took it
really easy (1 light from turtle for you Pride scooter folks)
going down the inclines. One in particular has a turn at the
bottom. One has to trust that the breaks will indeed work
if you take your hand off the throttle. The faint of heart
may not like that, but just take it nice and easy and you'll
reap the rewards of great scenery.
A park ranger, named Karen I think, was
very helpful and concerned about our views on accessiblity.
She also showed us where the elevator was in the visitor center
even though she was very busy.
Cirque Rim trail
Hurricane Ridge Trail (ONP)
Past the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center
the Hurricane Hill Road continues along the ridge. The last 1-3/10
of a mile is not for the faint of heart. The road is extremely narrow
and comes right to the edge of the ridge, the absence of a guardrail
is sure to raise your pulse.
Hill is a great introduction to the high country. This trail runs
along a ridge with spectacular views on either side. The climb to
Hurricane Hill is about 650' above the parking lot, but along the
way you will find meadows full of wild flowers, alpine forest and
views, views, views. The 1.5 mi paved trail climbs through mountain
meadows to the top of Hurricane Hill with mountain peak vistas and
views of Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Wildflowers
are numerous in early summer. Wheelchair accessible first .5 mile
only. This portion is paved but with steep drop-offs and no guardrail.
the way, before the road finally ends at the Hurricane Hill Trailhead,
there are two beautiful picnic areas. Paved trails that are accessible
with assistance lead to picnic tables (some with extensions) overlooking
the Olympic Mountains; however, the restrooms are not accessible.