For Olympic Peninsula residents, hitting the ski slopes doesn’t require a ferry ride or a passport and checking weather conditions is as easy as looking in their own backyard.
Hurricane Ridge, the furthest-west ski area in the contiguous United States and one of only three remaining ski areas located in a U.S. National Park, offers skiers, snowboarders, sledders, snowshoers and other snow-based recreation lovers plenty of reasons to stay on the peninsula this winter.
One Poma lift and two rope tows offer users some groomed areas, but avid local skiers and snowboarders often hike a bit to find powdery, untouched bowls and glades in the ridge’s marked ski areas.
Operating through mid-March, Hurricane Ridge offers downhill, cross country and snowshoe rentals, as well as food and beverage concessions and restroom access at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. The area also offers tubing or snowshoeing in designated areas.
Hurricane Ridge operates a special five-week ski and snowboard school with toddler, group and private lessons. An alpine ski team trains at Hurricane Ridge and sends athletes to compete regionally.
In March, the ridge offers ski, snowboard and snow-skate races, as well as a “Special Day in the Olympics” for special needs ridge users.
The Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club and the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Education Foundation, a charitable 501(c)(3) corporation, are in charge of operations on the ridge.
See www.hurricaneridge.com and www.nps.gov/olym for road conditions and ski lift/tubing area status.
To get to Hurricane Ridge, take U.S. Highway 101 west toward Port Angeles. Turn south onto Race Street, watch for the sign, and make a slight right onto the Hurricane Ridge Parkway.
Weather dependent, the road generally opens to uphill traffic at 9 a.m. and closes to uphill traffic at 4 p.m.
Start your trip by checking weather and road conditions at www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/hurricane-ridge-current-conditions.htm.
CLICK HERE for larger Hurricane Ridge snow area map.