WEEKEND: Hurricane Ridge snack bar, ski shop to open

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — The Hurricane Ridge snack bar and ski shop, with both ski and snowshoe rentals, will be open beginning Saturday.

The facility will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays — Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16 and Washington’s Birthday on Feb. 20 — through March 25.

Unless storms close it, the 17-mile Hurricane Ridge Road from Port Angeles is open daily from 9 a.m. to dusk every day but Christmas Day.

Hurricane Ridge Road and facilities at Hurricane Ridge will be closed Christmas Day but open from the day after Christmas through Jan. 2

The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center — which has restrooms, exhibits, a movie and a warming area — is open when the road is open.

Snowshoe walks

The winter season’s ranger-led snowshoe walks at Hurricane Ridge began last Saturday.

The treks are offered at 2 p.m. Fridays through Sundays and Monday holidays through April 1.

The walks last about 90 minutes and go less than a mile.

People should register at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center information desk 30 minutes before the scheduled walk.

Space is limited. A suggested $5 donation from each participant helps the park repair and replace snowshoes.

Group snowshoe walks are provided Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays at 10:30 a.m. for groups with reservations, available by phoning 360-565-3136.

Skiing, tubing

Weather permitting, the downhill ski and snowboard area will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through April 1.

Tubing and sliding are permitted only for children 8 and younger at the Small Children’s Snowplay Area just west of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.

Opportunities for cross-country skiers and snowshoe walkers range from open, level meadows near the visitor center to extreme terrain in the park’s wilderness backcountry.

Anyone skiing or snowshoeing beyond the immediate Hurricane Ridge area should sign in at the registration box in the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and be prepared for steep terrain and the possibility of avalanches.

Overnight wilderness camping is permitted in the Hurricane Ridge area — at least one-half mile from the parking lot — with advance registration.

All vehicles, including four-wheel-drive vehicles, must carry tire chains when traveling above the Heart O’ the Hills entrance station in the winter.

Van service

All Points Charters & Tours provides twice-daily van service from downtown Port Angeles to Hurricane Ridge from Wednesdays through Sundays.

Shuttle vans leave the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center on Railroad Avenue at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and will pick up passengers at the Vern Burton Community Center at 9:05 a.m. and 1:05 p.m. before the 45-minute drive to Hurricane Ridge.

Vans leave Hurricane Ridge at about 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The round-trip fare is $20 per person. Fares do not include park entrance fees.

To reserve a spot on a van, phone 360-460-7131 or email tours@goallpoints.com.

Park entrance fees are collected at the Heart O’ the Hills entrance station.

Fees are $5 per individual or $15 for a seven-day entrance pass for a vehicle.

The Olympic National Park Annual Pass, good for one year, costs $30.

For more information, phone 360-565-3100 or 360-565-3130, or visit www.hurricaneridge.com.

Road and weather condition updates are posted at www.nps.gov/olym or by phoning the park’s road and weather hotline at 360-565-3131.

People can also follow HRWinterAccess on Twitter to receive road condition updates.

Avalanche risk information is available from the Northwest Avalanche Center on the Web at www.nwac.us or by phoning 206-526-6677.

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