Mount Angeles - A Signature Experience Near Hurricane Ridge
Mount Angeles is a signature experience of the Hurricane Ridge area of the Olympic National Park. Easy to get to, not a hard scramble, and offering 360 degree views of the majestic Olympic mountains.
The day of our trip however, we saw a different side of it; we experienced the ugliest, wettest, windiest, and most miserable weather that mountain could throw at us! Okay, I'm exaggerating, but it was close.
Getting to Hurricane Ridge
We took the ferry early in the morning to get to the Port Angeles Olympic National Park's visitor center. On the boat across Puget Sound, I saw this most unusual driver, truly enjoying being at the wheel of this SUV.
Right around this point I realized I had forgotten to charge my camera battery, or to grab a spare. I had about 1/4 left (maybe less). Thanks to one of the other photographers on this trip, Mike, who brought and extra and was so kind to give it to me when I ran out
The ferry dropped us off in Kingston, an hour and fifteen minutes away from Port Angeles and almost two hours away from Hurricane Ridge.
On The Trail to Mount Angeles
Once we got to the trailhead we realized that the weather was not going to be any better, with clouds covering most of the landscape around us. We carried on anyway.
For the first part, the trail offered some nice views of the winding road we had left behind:
After about a mile and a half though, we left behind all signs of civilization, taking a boot path straight up the hill, and we entered an area that was infested with deer. Mike kindly offered to share something yet again, this time his 400 mm lens, and, to my enjoyment, I was able to get some nice photos of these gentile mammals, completely untroubled by the pouring rain.
Slideshow: Deer on Mount Angeles, Olympic National Park
The Final Scramble
We had a blast with the deer, but it was time to move on up. The final piece was a scramble to reach the summit. The rock was a little slippery at the very top where we reached a section that was too dangerous to take straight on, but, through the determination of our group leader, we approached again from the northwest and made it safely to the summit.
Despite the lack of views, making it to the summit added something special to this experience.
On the way back the weather turned even worse, but we were heading out and we didn't mind it at all. The large group marched quietly tired from a long day on the trail.
Toward the end of our day, a marmot, like always, presented its curiosity from a distance:
In the end, bad weather did not break us! We came back with a summit in our pocket, and some nice memories. We're now looking to get back, to see the views that the cloud hid away from us.
P.S. Mike, thanks for letting me borrow your battery and that sweet lens. And thanks for the memories! :-)
Mount AngelesDay Hike • Washington / Olympic Peninsula
Distance: 6.25 miles roundtrip
Elevation: 1254' gain, 6454' high point
Permit: National Park Day or Yearly Pass
Location: 47.984, -123.4525
Map: Green Trails Elwha North Hurricane Ridge 134S, WTA Guide