Mount Angeles - A Signature Experience Near Hurricane Ridge

Road to Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington- 9Z4A1344 © Zilcsak.jpg

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.

 On our ferry boat, a dog behind the weel of a red Cadillac SUV

On our ferry boat, a dog behind the weel of a red Cadillac 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

 View from the Edmond/Kingston ferry

View from the Edmond/Kingston ferry

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:

 Road to Hurricane Ridge viewed from the trail to Mount Angeles

Road to Hurricane Ridge viewed from the trail to Mount Angeles

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.

 Timea and I on the summit of Mount Angeles, Olympic National Park

Timea and I on the summit of Mount Angeles, Olympic National Park

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. 

 Our large group hiking back to Hurricane Ridge, after a successful Mount Angeles Summit

Our large group hiking back to Hurricane Ridge, after a successful Mount Angeles Summit

Toward the end of our day, a marmot, like always, presented its curiosity from a distance:

 A curious marmot on the trail near Hurricane Ridge

A curious marmot on the trail near Hurricane Ridge

 
 Rain drops

Rain drops

 

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 Angeles

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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,