LETTER: Why can’t Hurricane Ridge winter schedule extend into April?

It appears that once again, Olympic National Park is closed for business during the month of April.

Hurricane Ridge has to be the top tourist destination within ONP.

Listening to the recorded message lately, the cheerful voice will give you the current weather, vista and road conditions on the Ridge only to tell you that it’s closed and that it can only be open if weather, road and staffing permit and to call back “daily” to see if they decide to open the road.

For the most part, the road has been bare pavement since the last few weeks of March.

During the “scheduled” winter season, there are usually two if not three folks taking entrance fees from the single line of cars waiting entry to the park, and I usually see two armed law enforcement rangers during the day keeping us safe.

Why can’t just some of these folks be scheduled in April?

The park’s past excuses have been the budget or that the snowplow guys all leave for other work at the end of March.

Well, if the road doesn’t need plowing, why not let visitors up to enjoy the vistas?

The lodge need not be fully opened and staffed; there is a bathroom and “emergency” phone in the foyer that can be left open should they be needed.

Weather should be the only limiting factor to access; the park’s unwillingness to staff appropriately shouldn’t be one of them.

Joe Swordmaker,

Port Angeles