|A Grand Day Out: Hurricane Ridge
||[Aug. 27th, 2011|11:38 pm]
Went hiking on the trail up Hurricane Ridge, one of the areas in Olympic National Park. This is a ways west of Seattle but well worth the drive.|
We'd not been up to this area before, having hiked more in the lowland areas. It was stunning. The road winds up to a visitor center and observation area. We had a picnic lunch around there.
Then you got a half mile further to get to the main trailhead that runs along the ridge and out to the hilltop. Well, mountain top. I haven't checked altitude/official names. What I do know is that it's sufficiently high to be impressive.
There are pockets of snow up there almost year-round. We saw several large bowls of snow (at a distance) despite the heat.
For much of the path, the land drops away on one or both sides. It's not a cliff, per se, since there's dirt and meadow grass clinging to it. But it's about as steep as you can get without becoming a cliff. It was a real test of my acrophobia; I spent much of the hike staying decidedly to one side of the path.
It's called Hurricane Ridge because during much of the year, the wind races up the gorges and across the top of it at about 70mph. During the summer, when the weather's clear and still, it should be renamed Mosquito Ridge. All the bugs and delicate flowers come out to take advantage of the lull and delicious hiker flesh.
Still, very beautiful and well worth the trip. (And Timothy did quite well considering the heat and incline, honestly.)
To celebrate our victory over the mountain that we drove 97% of the way up, we headed back and had our homemade rocky road ice cream! Rich chocolate, chopped almonds, and veins of marshmallow Fluff. Squeak!