From the Olypmic mountain range to the Hoh Rain Forest, the Olypmic National Park in northwest Washington is a wildlife region spanning approximately 1 million acres of grandeur. It’s a must-do vacation if you’re in the Seattle, Washington area.
The Hurrican Ridge area is the center of this article. We chose to hire a tour to take us on this excursion because we flew into Seattle. Our tour began with a brief ride on Seattle’s Link system, which brought us to our pickup location in downtown Seattle. We took one of the several ferries that go throughout the bay and water system to the various islands from there.
Looking toward downtown Seattle from the back of the Bainbridge Ferry
We didn’t arrive at Hurricane Ridge until the very end of the journey. We parked at the Visitor’s Center and had access to a number of hiking paths from there. To get to Sunrise Point, we traveled the High Ridge Trail. The top of the ridge is buffeted by wind gusts of up to 75 miles per hour, giving it its name.
You’re likely to spot wildlife when walking the trail. The black-tailed deer is a regular sight in the area, and we saw numerous during our climb and while driving around.
A black bear was one thing we weren’t expecting to witness up near and personal. This one came dangerously close to the trail, but was thankfully more interested in the blackberry bushes in front of him than the folks nearby.
The weather in Seattle in mid-July is pleasant, with low 70s in the late afternoon and early evening. It was a tad colder and windier up here at this elevation. My hooded Chicago Bulls sweatshirt came in useful. On the same day, you’ll need to dress in layers to accommodate the various situations.
As I previously stated, we paid over $500 for my husband and me to go on this tour with a professional business. Ferry tickets, a light breakfast, a picnic lunch, snacks and drinks, van transportation to the park, and a professional guide were all included. After the fact, I’d say that if you’re self-sufficient and don’t mind venturing out on your own, this price was not worth what you got.
Rent a car for the day (it’ll set you back roughly $150 these days!) and do some online research on where to go in the park. You can get there using mapping programs, and you can do everything we did on your own! Pack a bag with some clothes, beverages, and snacks and go exploring at your own pace. The trails are well indicated, and our “professional guide” didn’t do anything to enrich the experience or lead us somewhere we couldn’t have gone on our own.
Seattle has proven to be a fantastic city to visit, and I’m glad we added the Olypmic National Forest in our itinerary. The scenery is spectacular, and the effort is definitely worth it.
My Samsung S21 was used to take all of the images.