View from Hurricane Ridge. Credit: Bala Sivakumar/Flickr CC
Distance: 3 miles round trip, 950 feet of elevation gain
Check conditions: Olympic National Park, 360-565-3100
Directions: Drive to Port Angeles via U.S. 101 and turn south onto Race Street, driving 1.2 miles to Hurricane Ridge Road. Drive another 19 miles to the trailhead parking lot. Note: You’ll need to pay an admission fee to enter the national park, and it’s close to a 4-hour trek (each way) from Seattle, with a ferry crossing on the Seattle–Bainbridge route or Edmonds–Kingston route. Find more information on the WTA website. (Note that dogs are not allowed in national parks.)
Description: Want to feel like you’re walking on top of the world? The paved and gentle path leading to Hurricane Hill is the ultimate autumn stroll for young children, even those in strollers. There’s no huffing or puffing required to immerse yourself in colorful alpine meadows of orange and gold, or see marmots and deer frolic nearby. Panoramic views on a clear day include the likes of Mount Baker, Vancouver Island and Olympic peaks so close you can almost touch them. Once you reach the hill (and the end of the pavement), just turn around and walk back. While this walk is a very long drive from the Seattle area, if you’re on the peninsula, the views are epic.
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