The Hurricane Ridge Ski Area opened January 1, 1958 with two rope tows relocated from Deer Park on Blue Mountain. These engines are still in use today! A Poma surface lift was added in 1971. Hurricane Ridge remains a small, family-oriented ski and snowboard area, supporting a ski school, ski team, terrain park and tubing area and operated by a non-profit winter sports club with a companion 501(c)3 education foundation.
“I HAVE SKIED IN THE OLYMPICS.”
These words have been printed on Hurricane Ridge lift tickets since 1958
In 1930s Deer Park was Washington’s premier ski area. That may sound like hyperbole, but it’s true. Thanks to the U.S. Forest Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps, there was a road, a lodge and by 1936 a ski tow.
A 1939 Black Ball Line ad in the Washington Motorist promoted “a new, unsurpassed ski field” and a “good road to the ski lodge.” Now that was hyperbole! The so-called “good road” was a treacherous, one lane, dirt Forest Service road (uphill before 2 PM; down after 3 PM), and the “ski lodge” was a CCC crew barracks and cookhouse with dormitory-style bunks (girls upstairs, boys downstairs; bring your own bedding). The ski tow was a very short rope tow powered by a motorcycle engine.
In March 1938, Olympic Ski Club had its first championship meet at Deer Park, a Pacific Northwest Ski Association event. It drew 800 competitors and spectators. The Seattle Mountaineers were well represented at the meet.
The 1950s saw a resurgence of road and facility construction in national parks. In 1956, the National Park Service launched an ambitious program called Mission 66, so named because it was to conclude in 1966, the 50th anniversary of the Park Service. This resulted in a paved, two-lane road to Hurricane Ridge and the ski area was moved from Deer Park.