High Ridge - Cirque Rim Nature Loop, Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, Olympic National Park, Washington
High Ridge - Cirque Rim Nature Loop - 1.5 miles
Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center
|Round-Trip Length:||1.5 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||5,245' - 5,245' (5,475' max elevation at Sunrise Point)|
|Elevation Change:||+0' net elevation change (+310' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
High Ridge - Cirque Rim Nature Loop - 1.5 Miles Round-Trip
Hurricane Ridge is one of the most popular areas of Olympic National Park. Visitors enjoy easy access to spectacular alpine territory which surrounds the highly visited Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.
Hurricane Ridge is an excellent family destination and its adjacent nature trails offer a unique, experiential opportunity to learn more about the fragile alpine ecosystem.
From the Cirque Rim Trailhead at the east end of the Hurricane Ridge parking area, the paved trail heads up through an alpine meadow filled with beautiful Broadleaf lupine in tall grass.
The trail quickly reaches the High Ridge Trail split (.35 miles : 5,425'). Bear right and the trail begins a short but steep ascent towards Sunrise Point.
Views to the south and west are jaw-dropping as the trail reaches the top of Sunrise Point (.5 miles : 5,475').
The trail drops from Sunrise Point and intersects back with the Cirque Rim Trail (.75 miles : 5,275'). Bear right onto the Cirque Rim Trail which descends along the back side of Hurricane Ridge exposing great views of Hurricane Hill, Mount Angeles as well as the Cascade Mountain Range to the east.
The Cirque Rim Trail works its way back down to the west end of the Hurricane Ridge Parking area (1.2 miles 5,230') and a short walk leads back to the original Cirque Rim - High Ridge Trailhead (1.5 miles : 5,245').
- N47 58.204 W123 29.700 — 0.0 miles: High Ridge - Cirque Rim Trailhead
- N47 58.350 W123 29.513 — 0.35 miles: Bear right on High Ridge Trail
- N47 58.448 W123 29.462 — 0.5 miles: Sunrise Point - 5,475'
- N47 58.264 W123 29.618 — 0.5 miles: Bear right on Cirque Rim Trail - 5,270'
- N47 58.175 W123 30.005 — 1.2 miles: Reach Hurricane RIdge Parking lot
- Hurricane Ridge is the most popular area in all of Olympic National Park seeing enormous vehicle and pedestrian traffic during the summer. Arrive early to secure parking and avoid crowds.
- The nearby Hurricane Hill Trail is one of the most popular trails in the entire park. For those seeking a longer trail, try Hurricane Hill.
- Keep an eye out for Mountain Goat, Olympic Marmot and Black Tailed Deer - all of which frequent the Hurricane Ridge area. Black Bear are also spotted from time to time in the alpine meadows beneath Hurricane Hill and the Visitor Center.
- Bring a hat, sunscreen and water - the Hurricane Ridge Nature Trails are exposed to the elements at times.
- In winter - Rangers lead guided snowshoe walks on the weekends - call to inquire.
Camping and Backpacking Information
The nearest campground is the Heart O The Hills Campground located 12 miles north of Hurricane Ridge. There are 105 campsites at the Heart O The Hills Campground and it is open year-round.
There is no suitable fishing on the Hurricane Ridge nature trails.
Rules and Regulations
- Pets are not permitted on nature trails - and leaving pets unattended in vehicles or tied to trees / posts will result in serious legal consequences.
- Mountain Goats, Black Tailed Deer and Olympic Marmot frequent Hurricane Ridge. Do not disturb wildlife as it is illegal and will result in severe fines and legal action.
- It is illegal to remove or disturb any ancient artifacts or natural features.
- A National Parks Pass is required to enter Hurricane Ridge. Passes can be obtained at the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles and day use passes can be purchased at the Hurricane Ridge Entrance Kiosk on Hurricane Ridge Road.
- Obey the speed limits on Hurricane Ridge Road - the road is very windy and drops off in multiple places. Pay attention to the road and drive safely.
Directions to Trailhead
From Port Angeles: Take Race Street south from the Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in Port Angeles and bear right onto Hurricane Ridge Road. Take Hurrican Ridge Road 17.5 miles to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and parking area. The trailhead is located on the right hand side of the lot near its entry point and before you reach the Visitor Center complex.
Hurricane Ridge Road is road is open throughout summer. During the winter season, the road is scheduled to be open from 9:00 a.m. until dusk, Friday through Sunday, holiday Mondays, and additional days during the Christmas holiday, weather and road conditions permitting. All vehicles must carry tire chains during the winter season. Make sure to check the status of the road before coming.