I often get questions about day trip ideas, especially in the Pacific Northwest, and things to do that involve little hiking to none. So today, want to share more day trip ideas for those who are into road trips and outdoor adventures.
Summary: In this post, you will learn about road access to Hurricane Ridge, driving Obstruction Point Road, and hiking from Obstruction Point into the heart of Olympic Range. There’s no strenuous hiking require, but in fact, there are tons of kids and family-friendly trails at the Hurricane Ridge visitor center. If you can, do plan to watch the sunset at Hurrican Ridge visitor center. On clear days with some clouds, it is incredible!
From Seattle, there are a few ways to get to Hurricane Ridge. I’ve driven 3-hour (about 160 mi.) all the way there via Tacoma and taken the ferry and driving option via Seattle-Bainbridge ferry or edmonds-Kingston ferry located north of Seattle.
Obstruction Point Road drive is a tricky one. The 8-mile dirt road is pretty narrow and mostly one-way with pull-outs, so use plenty of precautions and be patient. Note that the road is not suitable for trailers or motorhomes. Stop if you need to yield for other cars to pass.
To access, you’d need to drive to Hurricane Ridge visitor center. From there, the Obstruction Point Road begins at the very end of the parking lot, and you should see the gate open and sign for it. Make sure to check for road conditions as most of the time it is closed due to snow.
Obstruction Point trailhead starts at a small parking lot at the end of the Obstruction Point Road. There are two ways in which you can start this hike: left turn will take you to Badger Valley (0.3 mi) and Deer Park (7.5 mi) and the right turn leads to Grand Lake (3.7 mi), Moose Lake (4.2 mi), and Grand Pass (5.9 mi).
We arrived at the Obstruction Point quite late in the day, so we took the right route and hiked for a total of 2 hours and headed back to our car before the sunset. My advice is to pick a clear day and wear appropriate sun protection because you’re going to be pretty high up in elevation (at about 6000 ft).
We did this hike on August 16, 2020, and there were still some patches of snow and even meadows of avalanche lilies, paintbrush, and lupine at some parts of the trail. Most of the time it felt like I was hiking on Mars or someplace far away. Even though it was such a short hike, I loved every second of it!
Once the wind started blowing harder and sun was coming down, we made a U-turn and made it back to the parking lot near 8 pm. The drive back up to Hurricane Ridge visitor center with mountains on our left side, hazy and dreamy sunset lighting was incredible. I did stop to capture a bunch of photos, and good thing our car has a sun/moon roof.
We made it back up to Hurricane Ridge visitor center and witnessed the most incredible sunset throughout the drive, peak at around 8:22 pm. It lasted for only a few minutes short, and the sky view was just INCREDIBLE! I think it’s the best sunset I have yet to witness in my entire life.
I hope this blog post inspires you to make a visit to Olympic National Park and explore more of what Washington has to offer. Please travel safely, wear a mask, and wash your hands often.