General InformationThis popular 1 mile hike with a 200+ elevation gain starts just above the Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center and though paved for much of the steep, uphill segment it is a short but spectacular way to view many of the better known high peaks of the Olympic Range as well as the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The trail follows Hurricane Ridge past flowers and stunted firs then climbs upward to overlook the Visitors Center and winding park road.
At the top of the loop a spur to Sunrise Point leads to 360 degree views if the day is clear – a 50/50 bet at best! The loop meets other trails here and continues down a moderate path through the woods past Olympic National Park’s ski lift before ending at a rise with another jaw-dropping view of the high peaks.
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My HikeIn August of 2009 we spent five days in Olympic National Park and did the standard visits to Hurricane Ridge, Hoh Rainforest and Crescent Lake and we also visited Deer Park in the clouds! My favorite times in the park though were my hikes especially the High Ridge Loop and Hurricane Ridge with their views of the "royalty" as I grew to call them: Mt. Ferry, Stephen Peak, East Peak, Middle Peak, Mt. Olympus, Blue Glacier, West Peak, and Mt. Carrie.
High Ridge Loop may be rather short in length and small in elevation change but it is a steep hike up with very rewarding views. If you visit on a weekday you may miss some of the crowds. Carry your own water and linger on the way to enjoy every view! I know I did!
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