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Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge Reopens After Fire

The Olympic National Park in Washington State is set to reopen the Hurricane Ridge area on June 27, following a devastating fire that destroyed the historic Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge on May 7. 

The reopening comes with certain limitations due to the loss of the lodge. Parking spaces will be limited and there will not be any indoor spaces to protect visitors from inclement weather. However, portable toilets will be made available for visitor use.

The Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge Before and After. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Superintendent Sula Jacobs expressed excitement about reopening the area to visitors and committed to restoring permanent visitor services in the future. She also expressed gratitude for the public’s understanding and emphasized that the park’s commitment is to the safety of its visitors. 

Access to Hurricane Ridge Road will be limited from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Due to restroom capacity, the daily limit is set at 315 vehicles with the parking area supporting 175 vehicles at a time. Once capacity is reached for the day, the road will close to private vehicles, as per the news release by the National Park Service.

The park will monitor the entry system and make adjustments as needed, including to daily vehicle capacity. Additional details and future updates can be found on the park’s website. 

Visitors are encouraged to use the Clallam Transit Shuttle to avoid long lines at the Heart O’ the Hills entrance station. The shuttle will operate several runs a day and will continue to operate even if the road closes to private vehicles.

Weather at Hurricane Ridge can be unpredictable. Visitors are advised to check the weather forecast before traveling because indoor warming spaces and drinking water will not be available at the site. Hurricane Hill Road, a 1.5-mile road beyond the Hurricane Ridge parking area, will be open. Portable toilets will be available at Picnic Areas A and B.

Obstruction Point Road will not be fully open on June 27 but is expected to open soon after. Visitors should be prepared for an 8-mile gravel, narrow, winding mountain road, with some steep drop-offs. 

Trails from Obstruction Point Road may still be snow covered. Wilderness users can obtain permits for overnight camping from Obstruction Point via recreation.gov or in-person at the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles.

Cyclists can use Hurricane Ridge Road once it reopens to the public. Portable toilets will be available at mileposts 9 and 12. Additional road closures are likely once the investigation is complete and the clean-up process begins. The exact dates for the full closures will be announced when they are known.

The fire remains under investigation. The day lodge area is fenced and closed to the public for safety. The Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge was a two-story, 12,201 square foot, historic structure built in 1952. 

It was closed to visitors and undergoing an extensive rehabilitation project at the time of the fire. The fire was first reported by a law enforcement ranger on patrol.

The reopening of the Hurricane Ridge area is a significant step towards restoring normalcy in the Olympic National Park after the unfortunate fire incident. 

The park authorities are committed to ensuring the safety of visitors while providing as many services as possible under the circumstances. Visitors are encouraged to check the park’s website for any changes in the status of the road and other facilities.

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CharmByte1237
CharmByte1237
March 15, 2024 4:47 pm

Exciting news – Hurricane Ridge is reopening on June 27 after the fire. It’s a bummer about the lodge, but the views are still breathtaking. Just a heads up, plan ahead for limited amenities. Let’s make the most of our visit to Olympic National Park!

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Olympic National Park's Hurricane Ridge Reopens After Fire! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/washington/olympic-national-parks-hurricane-ridge-reopens-after-fire/