Snowboarders flocked to Hurricane Ridge for beautiful snow. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Snowboarders flocked to Hurricane Ridge for beautiful snow. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Snow for the holidays: Hurricane Ridge offers skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoe walks

HURRICANE RIDGE — Once the gifts are open and everyone has eaten a big holiday dinner, family members are sure to look for something else to do.

One possibility for entertainment this holiday weekend is some deep-powder skiing at the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Area.

It will be open today, Saturday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Both the Olympic National Park Visitor Center on Mount Angeles Road and the Hurricane Ridge Road will be closed for Christmas, according to the park website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-HurricaneRidge.

Hurricane Ridge Road — a 17-mile journey from close to sea level to 5,242 feet — will be open for daily use starting Monday through Jan. 2.

The Hurricane Ridge Sports Area is operated by the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club. The area started full season operation Dec. 4 and has two rope tows and a Poma lift for beginner to advanced skiers.

Passes — both season passes and reduced cost tickets for just the bunny lift, the intermediate and bunny lifts or the Poma and all lifts — are outlined on the club’s website at www.hurricaneridge.com.

There is also a dedicated tubing run.

The club is offering free lift tickets to fourth- and fifth-graders for the 2016-17 season.

Parents/guardians should bring proof of enrollment to the ticket window to receive a free ticket. Homeschoolers can bring proof of age.

Funding for the free lift tickets comes from the Hurricane Ridge Education Foundation.

For more information, phone 848-667-7669 or email skischool@hurricane ridge.com.

None of the ski area passes or tickets includes entrance to Olympic National Park.

As of Wednesday, 62 inches of snow — more than 5 feet — had settled on the Ridge, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center.

There’s a 50 percent chance of snow today and a 30 percent chance for more Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures are forecast to be 25 to 27 degrees during the day.

All vehicles, including those equipped with four-wheel drive, must carry snow chains to proceed up Hurricane Ridge Road beyond the Heart o’ the Hills toll station.

Entering the park at the Heart o’ the Hills station requires a daily or yearly pass.

A single-visit pass is $25 per vehicle or $10 per person. The Olympic National Park annual pass is $50.

According to the park service, Hurricane Ridge Road opens at 9 a.m. but times might vary depending on weather and road conditions.

The road closes to uphill traffic at 4 p.m. All vehicles must be off the Ridge and below the toll station by 5 p.m. The park service encourages visitors to call 360-565-3131 for a 24-hour recording of current road and weather conditions. Visitors can also check the park’s Twitter feed at @HRWinterAccess.

Authorized businesses provide shuttle service to Hurricane Ridge. For information, inquire at the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center by calling 360-452-2363 or go to www.portangeles.org.

Private lessons

Private ski and snowboard lessons are available at the Ridge.

To book a private lesson, phone 848-667-7669 or email skischool@hurricaneridge.com. Families also can join a ranger-guided snowshoe walk. Walks are offered at 2 p.m. on weekends and holiday Mondays. The walk lasts 1½ hours and covers less than a mile. Snowshoes and instructions are provided.

Sign-up for the walk, which carries a small fee, begins at the Hurricane Ridge information desk 30 minutes before the walk. Reservations for school or community groups must be made in advance by calling 360-565-3136.

GNU Snowboards team rider Temple Cummins snowboards at Hurricane Ridge on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

GNU Snowboards team rider Temple Cummins snowboards at Hurricane Ridge on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Celia Thompson of Port Angeles leads a group of cross-country skiers at Hurricane Ridge on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Celia Thompson of Port Angeles leads a group of cross-country skiers at Hurricane Ridge on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Colby Mackley of Port Angeles watches on as his 4-year-old daughter, Rio, skis at Hurricane Ridge on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Colby Mackley of Port Angeles watches on as his 4-year-old daughter, Rio, skis at Hurricane Ridge on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

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