Directions to Hurricane Ridge, Washington

I have written many newsletters about Olympic National Park and the Olympic Peninsula, but I neglected to give directions. Here are simple and easy directions to Hurricane Ridge via the Little River.

Finding the Little River 

There is a trail that leads into Olympic National Park called the Little River. The trail-head is small and easy to miss if you are moving too fast and carelessly along the roadway. A small, faded wooden sign and a slight cut of the trees, marks the opening into the forest. If you have drifted too far or have become distracted for too long, step into the wilderness of the Olympic Peninsula to find yourself again. Floating and drifting aimlessly across the liquid plane of the planet, bring yourself to solid ground by following these simple and easy directions to the Little River Trail.

Forty-eight degrees arcs across the northern, deep blue Pacific and will pull you into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. When the sea is angry, take shelter in the small harbor of Port Angeles. The curve of the rocky spit will reach for you and take you in amongst the black turnstones and polished pebbles. If the darkness hides your way, move slow and hold fast to the lights of the city shore. Drop anchor alongside the massive tankers and cargo ships whose towers are high above the sight-line of the horizon. The pounding thunder of their enormous anchor chains falling and grinding to the bottom will make you feel irrelevant and small. Listen for the water falling as the ships empty the ballast holds; salty water back to the salty sea. Glaucous-winged gulls, posted and guarding, will scream and laugh at you as you try to find your way. Look west, the huffing and puffing pulp mill whistles and blows with ghostly steam that reveals the course of wind that carried and keeps you here.

Logs are everywhere; floating in the harbor, stacked on the land. Loaded trucks with pup trailers in tow, haul logs down the gravel mountain roads, giving way to the rusted yellow lift trucks and jammers rounding the stacks to be piled high, while diesel engines growl. The smell of cedar, pine and mud, drifts on the wind as the stripped bark and shredded coats of the trees reveals a core of inner strength. Bulker and reefer ships float in the harbor, waiting for the next load that will lower them down the waterline, giving force against the resisting waves. The sea dogs gather en masse on the sorted and chained logs floating in the sheltered bay. They snort and bark at the day and through the night, belching and groaning to be heard. At the tip of the hook of land, which makes the rocky promontory, sit the bright orange and rescue readied boats and helicopters of the Coast Guard and the neighboring house of ship pilots waiting for their next run of maneuvering freighters through Puget Sound. Keep an eye alert and you might catch a glimpse of the hard, gray steel underwater predators of the navy. Find your way to the marina waterfront of fishing and pleasure boats and the north edge of the Olympic Peninsula. This is the port of Port Angeles; where tall, corrugated steel buildings house the boats and their builders who work to restore what the sea has taken and repair what has broken for those who have faltered.

Board your dingy, paddle ashore and take to the land following the route of the Black Diamond. The wet, dark pavement will take you away from the edge of the cityscape and through a small band of rural scenery where you will find the lovely gardens of homesteaders and small wineries. At the edge of this countryside, the vast Olympic Wilderness of nearly two and a half million acres begins and so too begins the Little River trail. Step onto this mountain path and find yourself in a thick, glistening rainforest of big trees and big ferns. The understory is a blanket of soft, spongy moss and forest debris. The color green is everywhere with infinite hues you never knew. Don’t expect to swiftly cover much distance with your boots on the ground, for around every bend is another moment that slows your stride with one more big breath of wonderment.

Small Pacific wrens will alert the forest of your arrival; they are brown, plain and very small, but their chirps are decisive and loud and direct all to hear as they dart and hide beneath the fallen trees and broken branches on the forest floor. The regeneration and persistence of life never pauses; no sooner does a branch or tree fall, when a new life starts to grow on what has fallen. The trail follows alongside the Little River with numerous waterfalls and cascades that bubble and roil out loud as you find your way through the cool, misty world of rain and forest. There is a lot of distance that can be traveled on this trail. The beginning of the trail is an easy slope that meanders alongside the river, but the trail will begin to climb and if you choose, you can continue up the trail for eight miles and rise four thousand feet through the trees to find yourself on the summit of the bent and crumbling horseshoe of Hurricane Ridge. Climbing to the heights of the wind-swept cumulus clouds, you are soaring on top on the world and looking down on the reflecting sea below. Look to the southwest and you can see the bright glaciers, coursing and crushing down the mountain ranges, one after another. Standing tall atop this precious alpine vista and amongst the little, colorful wildflowers at your feet, your discovery and your treasure will be the time that was spent on this small patch of earth that gave you those lasting thoughts of love and beauty that surrounded and held you for those short moments.  Kaiyote Snow, May 2020

Now is the time to to visit beautiful and diverse Washington and see what you can find!
Glaciers, Volcanoes and the Alpine
Arid and Desert Habitats
Pacific Coast and Marine Life
Temperate Rainforest
Washington Diversity Tour
10-Day Tour with Cabins
Tour starts in the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula and down the Pacific Coast. From the coast we travel east along the Columbia River and cross the Cascades just south of Mount Rainier. In eastern Washington, we visit sites along the Columbia River Basin. From the rainforest to arid eastern Washington, on this tour you will experience the bio-diversity of Washington state and visit habitats and life zones as diverse as the lowland rainforest, pacific coast, inland lakes, alpine, estuaries and river sloughs.

10-Day Tour with Car Camping
Tour starts with pick-up at the Bainbridge ferry terminal across from Seattle and ends at the Bremerton ferry on your way back to Seattle. You can choose lodging in cabins or tent camping at state parks with nice facilities. Camping is always best because you will be closer to nature. Our tents are very comfortable with lots of thick floor mats and bedding. You will see more birds and wildlife if you choose camping. Web Link
Olympic Peninsula Tour
5-Day Tour with Cabins
The 5-day tour starts with pick-up at the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal, which is easily accessible from the Seattle. From there the tour will travel the entire 350 mile loop of the Olympic Peninsula Highway stopping at all significant wildlife sites including Olympic National Park.

5-Day Tour with Car Camping
You can choose lodging in cabins or tent camping at state parks with nice facilities. Camping is best because you will be closer to nature. Our tents are very comfortable and cozy with lots of thick floor mats and bedding. You will see more birds and wildlife if you choose camping. Web Link
Olympic National Park Fun

Winter Snow Fun
We have a lot of beautiful snow every winter and the snow pack usually lasts through late spring.

Backpacking season starts early in Olympic National Park. There will be snow at higher elevations through early summer, but at sea-level the temperatures stay moderate and starting in March there are many great locations available for over-night trips. Check our website for a list of camping locations for any season.

Nature Tours: We have great birding and wildlife viewing year-round on the Olympic Peninsula; with over 300 different species of birds identified on the peninsula and over 500 in Washington state. We have both northern and southern migratory birds. Come visit anytime!

Hiking: Olympic National Park has over 600 miles of maintained trails and nearly 70 miles of stunning Pacific Coastline. Choose your hike and habitat; rainforest, mountains or coastal routes.

Whether you enjoy an afternoon of fishing along the river, a day on Lake Crescent or including fly-fishing with your over-night backpacking trip to an alpine lake, we will have a tour for you. Check our website for more info.


You can explore the beauty of the Copalis River and the Ghost Forest and choose between a paddle-board, single kayak, or tandem kayak.

Family Reunions and Corporate Retreats

Plan your group getaway and stay at beautiful houses and hotels on the beach.

You can find out more and see all our great photos on social media
Check our new website for dates, details and pricing
Call us at 970-556-6103
Winter is a great time to visit Olympic for Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. We always have good snow through the end of April. Winter and spring is also one of the best times for birding. Give us a call anytime, we are here!
Come see the Big and Beautiful Trees!
International Travel Tours
New Tours
  • Sarawak and Northern Borneo: Birding and wildlife viewing, including orangutans
  • Sri Lanka: The best and most relaxing bird tour you will ever experience
  • Nepal: Birding the fantastic Himalayas and a great cultural experience
  • Mongolia: Birding the high steppes and staying in traditional "Gers" for lodging
  • Korea: Winter birding to view cranes and migrants
  • India: Birding for vegetarians, great culture and great food
  • Tallinn, Estonia for Winter Birding and New Year's Eve
  • Panama, Birding the Darien for Harpy Eagles

Still on the Schedule
  • Iceland: Great tours in May, the best New Year's Eve trip ever, and a special winter tour
  • Sweden: Christmas tour, Southwest Sweden and the Åland Islands for mid-summers'
  • Nicaragua: Our all time favorite place for birding and traveling anytime of year
  • El Salvador: Birding the best National Parks and Pacific Coast
  • Taiwan: A very special place for birding and one of our favorites
  • Colombia: Birding the Andes and Amazon, and having a lot of fun
  • Argentina: Birds and butterflies, more than you can count
  • Brittany, France: Birding the coast, great food and culture

In the United States
  • Santa Fe Birding and Opera Festival
  • Chicago Fun and Urban Birding
Check our website for dates, details and pricing
Call us at 970-556-6103
Your Travel and Adventure Guides: Kaiyote & Ed
Photo: Here we are along the Olympic Peninsula Coast of Washington State. We look forward to showing you all the great birds, wildlife and adventures that can be found around the world, the United States and in Washington state. Call us anytime! See you soon!
Kaiyote Tours +1 970-556-6103