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Day trip

Austin, Texas
1 post
Day trip

Hi, we are planning a day trip to Hurricane Ridge on July 8. We have two girls 7 and 5. My girls love animals, and I hear that there is plenty of wildlife along the roads. I have two questions: Are there hiking trails appropriate for kids this age? Is there a place for horseback riding that I could do with my 7 year old?

3 replies to this topic
Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,718 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: Day trip

It is not true that there are lots of animals along the roads in Olympic National Park. If you go to Hurricane Ridge there is a good chance that they will see deer along the Ridge or around the picnic areas past the Ridge. There are Mountain Goats at higher elevations that on occasion can be seen, but they require hiking that is not appropriate for children that young. There are paved paths among the Meadows by the Visitors Center. Deer often can be seen there.

If you do not mind driving by mammals in an Animal Park there is the Olympic Game Farm Farm nearby in Sequim where they can see Buffalo, Zebra and Grizzly from the safety of your car.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,770 posts
20 reviews
2. Re: Day trip

July 8 is a Sunday. Be prepared for a long wait at the entry station to Hurricane Ridge. If you can get there before 9:00 am, you should be able to avoid the wait. As Glaciermeadows says, you will almost certainly see deer, both along the road and possibly at the meadow across from the parking lot. Hurricane Ridge is possibly the best easily accessed area in the park in which to spot animals, but there is a caveat. You have to get away from the parking area and out on the trails to see them.

The best easy to moderate trail is the Hurricane Hill Trail. There are many Olympic Golden Marmots up there, and I have also seen black bear, deer, of course; completely brazen coyotes trotting right on the trail, mountain goats (soon to be removed from the park as they are an introduced and destructive species, and Olympic Blue Grouse. However, Hurricane Hill Trail has a total elevation gain of 700 feet, and several stretches of the trail are quite steep. The whole roundtrip takes 90 minutes. It is a lovely, lovely trail, and very safe, but you will have to decide if your younger child can do it. I have seen many six or seven year olds do it; I can't be certain that I have seen a five year old up there.

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,718 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Day trip

I was going to add that by all means just start out on the Hurricane Hill Trail. Walk as far as your kids feel comfortable. Personally if I was going to the trouble to visit Hurricane Ridge I would include a visit to Marrymere and Madison Falls just before and along beautiful Lake Crescent. This would give all of you an opportunity to do an easy walk through some beautiful Old Growth Forest not far from Port Angeles. I often take visitors there when they are visiting for the day. It would be worth the time.

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