Benchmark DetailsDate: 04/08/2016Evaluator: Carl KishView Bio

Hurricane Ridge Road
Olympic National Park
Port Angeles, Washington 98363

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Hurricane Ridge
Port Angeles, Washington
17 Miles Surf to Summit

Hurricane Ridge, one of two ski areas in the U.S. who still operate on National Park Land, started in Olympic National Park in 1958. Nearly 60 years later, they have stayed true to their community ski area heritage with the support of locals and volunteers.

In 1993, they started the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Education Foundation nonprofit to keep winter sports “friendly, affordable, and inclusive for all” by providing financial aid for educational programs, athletic scholarships, and training for instructors and coaches. These types of initiatives have also made the ski area a poster child for the Mountain Rider’s Alliance Mountain Playground Program, which strives to support small community ski areas nationwide.

Due to Hurricane Ridge’s low barrier to entry for beginners and its immediate access to some of the best backcountry terrain in the Pacific Northwest, this jewel of the Olympics has become a favorite among families as well as legends of the sport (especially considering the ski area is right in Mervin Manufacturing’s backyard).

While Hurricane Ridge is only open on the weekends, an average annual snowfall of 400 inches means more snow piling up while you’re at the office midweek and untracked, chest-deep pow runs on the weekend.

As the farthest west ski area in the contiguous United States, Hurricane Ridge is only 17 miles from the coast. So, you’re just about 45 minutes from surfing the region’s pristine river mouths if you’re looking to get in the green room after slashing into the white room all day. Which, if you ask us, is probably the coolest and most unique trait to Hurricane Ridge (okay, maybe we’re a little biased).

Hurricane Ridge was benchmarked in April 2016 and is working towards STOKE Certification for the 2017/18 season.