OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — Park visitors can play in the snow at 5,242 feet today, weather permitting, and then drop down to Lake Crescent on Saturday to see the lodge set ablaze with holiday lights.
Hurricane Ridge Road begins operating on a winter schedule today after being closed Thanksgiving Day.
Weather permitting, the 17-mile road from Port Angeles will be open Fridays through Sundays and on holiday Mondays through March 26.
The ridge had 9 inches of snow as of Wednesday, with more expected later in the week. Winter storms can close or delay the opening of Hurricane Ridge Road, but if all is well, the road will open at 9 a.m. and close to uphill traffic at 4 p.m.
All vehicles must exit the Heart o’ the Hills entrance station by 5 p.m.
All vehicles, including four-wheel-drive, are required to carry tire chains when traveling above the Heart o’ the Hills entrance station between today and the last weekend of March.
Visitors can purchase a $50 annual pass into the park or pay $25 for a carload.
The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. when the road is open. The information desk will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. whenever the visitor center is open.
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center at the base of Hurricane Ridge Road at 3002 Mount Angeles Road is open daily throughout the winter from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the road is closed. The road will be open daily from Monday, Dec. 26, through Monday, Jan. 2.
Road and weather condition updates are available on the park’s Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131 or @HRWinter Access on Twitter.
On Saturday, the lodge at Lake Crescent will come ablaze with holiday lights.
The free festivities will go on from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with carolers, a visit from Santa and holiday drinks.
Visitors are urged to bring toys or food donations to support Toys for Tots or the Port Angeles Food Bank.
For more information, call the lodge at 360-928-3211.