“Rise from the Elwha River to the stunning panoramic slopes of Hurricane Hill.
— Doug Scott
This trail will be extremely difficult to navigate in the snowy months.
This is a beast of a leg burner, and winter and spring storms may result in serious downfall on the trail. It can be run in the late summer months without many detours or snowfields, but watch for roots, rocks, and coming across mountain goats.
Best traveled from the Elwha to the summit of Hurricane Hill, this trail shows off the varying terrain and intense elevation gain of the Olympic Mountain Range. The trail from the Elwha River is not a journey for everyone, and should only be undertaken by those used to navigating with serious elevation gain. Starting at just over 1,000 feet above sea level, this often-strenuous trail climbs from the banks of the Elwha to the exposed summit of Hurricane Hill. This journey is steep, but not insanely so, with may locals calling it a gentle elevation gain. The main obstacle adding to the difficulty of this trail is that it is often unmaintained and can have numerous areas of downfall.
While difficult, this outing will give views that few ever take the time to see. While you could technically take this route down from Hurricane Hill to the Elwha, climbing up the steep slopes to finally gain a view of one of the best panoramas in America make this a classic run for those needing a slow and steady leg burning trip.
Starting out in the forest and working your way up to the one of the best views in America takes work, and this trail will work your legs and your spirit, as the steady incline tires out mind, body, and soul. However, once the first glimpse of the Olympic interior expands to the horizon, your legs will feel more fresh, and most visitors find that they have a new resolve to reach the top of this trail.
With a combination of switchbacks, steep sections, areas that could leave your feet damp if you arent wearing waterproof shoes, and gorgeous meadows with deer and marmots, the run up the backside of Hurricane Hill has a bit of everything. Snow will often linger late into the summer, giving you a place to cool down before continuing to climb in elevation. While steep, this trail does give breaks in the climb, often enough to make this a quite enjoyable, downright amazing outing. It isnt every park that gives you the chance to see a river with salmon near the trailhead and ends with views of glaciated peaks of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, but this trail gives you that and more.
For those looking for a unique adventure, this is the trail that could give you the perfect wilderness experiences.
Wildflowers in late spring and early summer make this a must see, even with the elevation gain. Watch for marmots, mountain goats, and deer during the summer months.