The Olympic Mountains rise a mile or so straight out of the Pacific Ocean, and the National Park Service constructed an epic road that climbs to an overlook ~5200 feet above the Pacific. From the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center you can see the highest points of the Olympic range to the south and to the coast from just a short ways away. We were so far north that my cell phone thought we were in Canada.
After scoping out the visitor center, Jessica and I embarked on the 3 mile Hurricane Hill hike. The trail follows a ridge line as it climbs ~800 feet to a summit with 360 degree views of the Olympic Range and coast.
This hike had a ton of bang for its bucks. The views of the Olympic Range were incredible, there were wildflowers galore, and we saw tons of wildlife. The most incredible part of the hike was spotting a mountain goat!
Seeing a mountain goat was high up on my Animals-I-Want-To-See-Naturally-In-The-Wild-Bucket-List and this one did not disappoint. We spotted him from a distance on our way up the hill, but he was quite shy. He quickly clambered through some trees and out of sight. On our way back down, however, the mountain goat was ready for his close up.
He had set himself up about 10 feet from the trail munching on some organic wild grasses. As we approached he moved a little ways away, but seemed unconcerned. Then, realizing he was in a serious photo-shoot, he climbed up to the edge of the ridge and posed in front of the dramatic clouds. He knew what was up.
Hurricane Hill was unanimously (just 2 votes, but still!) one of our favorite hikes of the trip. It was just the right length for half of a day, and the wildlife, views, and wildflowers were epic. Olympic NP was one of our ‘maybe’ locations, but I am sure glad we decided to make the trip. The coastline, rain forest, and mountains were all incredible and we definitely want to visit again some day.