Hurricane Hill is an amazing hike in the Hurricane Ridge area of Olympic National Park. It is easily accessible from Port Angeles. The point of this hike is to climb to a beautiful overlook that will take your breath away. As indicated by the name, it is often windy at the Hurricane Hill Olympic trail.
The hike is moderate because though the distance is reasonable at 3.2 miles roundtrip, the elevation gain is considerable. Over that 1.6 miles to the top, there is an elevation gain of 825 feet, though at times, it does feel like much more than that!
The biggest problem with hiking Hurricane Hill is the parking situation. The trailhead is located 1.5 miles past the Visitor Center, but it is a very small parking lot. Since the traffic on this trail is really high, and the hike takes a considerable amount of time, it is very difficult to find a spot. Many people choose to add 3 miles to the hike and just walk down from the Visitor Center. There is also an overflow parking area at Picnic Area B about 1/2 of a mile away from the trailhead parking area. Arriving early in the morning or later in the afternoon helps with finding a spot. For more info on parking, check out the Olympic National park page.
The Hurricane Hill Trail is actually paved. The first part of the trail is flat and wheels could definitely travel on it, but once it starts to climb, wheels would not be feasible. It is also wide and open which provides beautiful views of the mountains and valleys. Even from the parking lot you can see dozens of miles in most directions. Since the trail is mostly above the treeline, there is no shade or cover, so sunscreen and a hat are appropriate.
The trail starts at a gradual incline as it leads to the base of Hurricane Hill. There is a fair chance of seeing animals along the way. We saw deer in the distance and a grouse with her chick right on the side of the trail. We also saw an Olympic Marmot, which is a species that only lives here on the Olympic peninsula. Since the trail climbs gently at this point, take it easy and enjoy the walk.
Eventually, you reach the bottom of Hurricane Hill. The trail then turns and snakes its way up the side of the hill. This is where it gets steep. At many of the corners, there is a bench to take a brief rest. Keep on chugging, and you will get to the top of the hill!
There are two nice lookout points, and each has a sign that describes the peaks in the distance. As you look north, you can see all the way into Canada including Vancouver Island. Looking south on a clear day, Mount Olympus is easily within view. We spent quite a bit of time at the top of the hill enjoying the wonderful views.
From the end of the trail, there is still an optional climb to the very crest of the hill. Honestly, the view is not much improved from that point, but we were glad that we made it “all the way.” There is a faded sign that marks the peak at 5757 elevation. The climb to the sign is over some rocks and is tricky, so be careful.
The route down the mountain seems much shorter! Hurricane Hill in Olympic National Park is a wonderful hike, but be prepared to arrive early or late, or have an alternate plan if parking is a problem. The views are definitely worth the climb. For more information about Olympic National Park, visit our post about our visit.