By the Numbers
R. and I had a three-day, two-night trip planned from Obstruction Point and through Grand Valley with two nights at Upper Cameron, an area of the Park I’ve never seen. Unfortunately we were hit with the double-whammy of an excessive heat warning and an air quality alert from forest fire smoke. We talked it over with a few Rangers at the WIC in Port Angeles and ultimately decided, after a few re-routing discussions, to cancel the trip and try another time when the conditions improved.
From the morning drive onwards it was clear smoke was here to stay for the day.
Not wanting the day to be a complete bust, we decided to drive to the top of Hurricane Ridge and do a short hike on a trail new to both of us. There are a few trails but the one I was most curious about was the trail to the Switchback trail. There’s no loop option and we knew wouldn’t hike very long in the conditions so it was a simple out-and-back.
I’ve ridden the Hurricane Ridge road twice and am familiar with the long climb. It was super cool to see it snake it’s way up the mountain and through the trees even with the smoke layers.
The trail itself was pleasant though exposed and dusty. More often than not I’m either on the bike or snowshoes when I come to Hurricane Ridge so it was quite the alternative on this hot, smoky, and dry day.
After a few miles of walking we decided to turn around, head down the hill, and enjoy an espresso in Port Angeles. Not the day we planned by fun nonetheless.