History

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 the 1930’s 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 ski lodge.”  Now that was hyperbole!  The so-called “good road” was a treacherous, one lane, dirt Forest Service road (uphill before 2PM; down after 3PM) 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.

Written by Roger M. Oakes, Past President, Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club

COVID POLICIES

Due to COVID19, there is no food service or rentals available at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Please plan accordingly. Call 360-565-3130 for specific information from Olympic National Park on snowshoeing at the Ridge.

COVID INFO

Announcements

Olympic National Park plows the parking lot for only 175 vehicles. Once the lot is at capacity the road is metered from the Entrance Station (one car down one car up) which can result in a one to three-hour wait. To ensure yourself a space, plan to be at the Entrance Station gate by 8 am. Call the Road Report at 360-565-3131 and follow ONP Twitter @HRWinterAccess prior to travel.

Road Conditions

The road is well managed by the Olympic National Park for safe winter travel. Chains must be carried in all vehicles traveling to the Ridge including all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles. For road conditions, closures, chain requirements and traffic updates call the Road Report at 360-565-3131 and follow the ONP twitter @HRWinterAccess prior to travel.