Every so often I come across somewhere that is so beautiful it’s hard to put into words. This summer, that place was Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. Coen visited with his parents in October 2016 and showed me several stunning photos, including one of my all-time favourites of him! Coen really wanted to show it to me and we thought about visiting in March but the 17 mile drive up from Port Angeles can be dicey in the winter so we decided against it. When he suggested we go a few weeks ago I was all for it.
As we began the drive into the Park raindrops appeared on the windshield. “Are you kidding me!?!” I thought. The summer had been ridiculously dry and THIS was going to be the day it rained? REALLY!?! Thankfully it didn’t amount to anything as we kept driving. It was pretty gloomy (you actually want some clouds for a more dramatic feel but the nice fluffy ones) but we stopped at a couple lookouts anyway.
When we arrived at the Visitors Centre parking lot I put a hoodie on for the first time in I didn’t know how long. Ugh. It was super cloudy, misty and pretty drab looking.
We heard an announcement about a guided walk along the Cirque Rim Trail with a Park Ranger and figured we may as well do that in hopes that the weather would clear up while we were on that. The walk was excellent and we learned about the FBI! Fauna, bacteria and insects, of course! At one point there is a gorgeous view of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. You can even see a bit of Vancouver Island! Sadly my pictures don’t do it justice.
Lo and behold the weather improved throughout the duration of the walk! Much of the cloud coverage had blown away, the sun was shining and my hoodie came off pretty quickly! Before we had started the walk Coen pointed at Sunrise Point which is at the top of the High Ridge Trail and said we would go there after. Every so often I would look at it and say, “You really expect me to hike up there?” or “I’ll never make it.” Now according to the website it’s actually only a 0.5 mile loop with a 0.1 mile dead end spur trail to Sunrise Point, with a 220 ft elevation change which sounds pretty manageable. However, I’m an expert at getting all into my head and psyching myself out. Thankfully, Coen often challenges me to do things I don’t think I can do. This was one of them. So, off we went, with him encouraging me one step at a time (it really wasn’t that bad.) I was rewarded with some pretty great views from Sunrise Point and along the trail.
When we got back to the Visitors Centre the view was so much better than earlier. I found it absolutely gorgeous. Quite breathtaking really.
The gift shop has all kinds of things. Coen bought me a benchmark key chain to commemorate our visit! He also surprised me with a certificate when we got home. So cute!
I highly recommend visiting! I’m so thankful we did and wouldn’t hesitate to go again.
I asked Coen if he wanted to add anything. He said, “I like Hurricane Ridge because you can see over the mountains. It’s pretty and good for a nice walk or tour.”
Check out https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/visiting-hurricane-ridge.htm for info!