Wow! What a heat wave we enjoyed this past weekend! As Monday came to a close, I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to the sun rays, especially with a gloomy, rainy forecast ahead for the week. Thus, I made a last minute decision to drive up to Hurricane Ridge and enjoy my first sunset hike of the summer season with Olympic National Park reopening Hurricane Hill.
8:00 PM: Arrival at the Ridge
The evening light was simply breathtaking. I savored each second of the 35 minute drive from Port Angeles and arrived at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center surrounded by 20-30 deer grazing in the grassy fields. After saying hello to quite a few photogenic deer, I proceeded to the Hurricane Hill parking lot/trailhead.
8:15 PM: Arrival at Hurricane Hill Trailhead
As I started along the 1.5 mile paved trail to Hurricane Hill, I was greeted by several more deer along the way. However, my eyes were fixed on the Olympic Mountains as I marched forward with the different shades of sunlight transforming the mountains’ appearance as the sun descended in the western skies. With some light, wispy clouds rolling in overhead, I knew the dynamics were going to be spectacular for a sunset.
9:10 PM: A Remarkable Sunset
I kept walking in 360 degree circles trying to capture what was an absolutely extraordinary sunset. The southern Olympic Mountains glowed, the northern foothills outlined the horizon as silhouettes, the oceans were the perfect blend of pink and orange, and I was simply enjoying every moment of it.
10:00 PM: Return to parking lot and departure
As the sunset glow faded to black, the hike back to the parking lot still was just as scenic. One at a time, individual stars slowly began to appear and twinkle in the sky. For any sunset or night hike, always bring a powerful headlamp and extra layers for that return hike!
Hurricane Hill is an incredible venue day or night! The 35 minute drive to Hurricane Ridge gives your hike a 5,200 foot head start, you have the Olympics on your left, and expansive views of the Olympic Peninsula and Strait of Juan De Fuca on your right. Its well-maintained, paved trails make it a great candidate for sunset hikes and star-gazing night hikes.