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RIP Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge

Remains of Hurricane Ridge lodge that burned down in May 2023 that shows two brick chimneys, the remains of a brick wall, and exclusion fencing and a trail around the charred remains with the Olympic Mountains looming in the background

A sad footnote in 2023 is that most people didn't realize that they would never see the now extant Day Lodge or if they are regular visitors, the last time they would step foot inside. After this catastrophic structural fire, Hurricane Ridge opened again on June 27 post and the park implemented a quota system for public use. Only a limited number of private vehicles are now allowed to enter each day due to the capacity of the portable toilets. On a positive note, these are very clean portable toilets (and smell better than the bathrooms in the former lodge). 

It appears that all the interpretation signs burned inside the lodge in the fire. These signs were utilized on both the meadow trails near the main parking lot and on Hurricane Hill trail. As of writing, there is no longer interpretation at Hurricane Ridge except for a few interpretive park rangers. This makes hiring a guide for Hurricane Ridge tours even more helpful when visiting this popular but fragile and complex ecosystem.

Both Hurricane Ridge and the Hoh Rainforest suffer from overuse by park visitors.  From a sustainable-use perspective, the quota system and public bus access that has been implemented at Hurricane Ridge is also needed in the Hoh Rainforest. 

In all park locations but especially Hurricane Ridge and the Hoh Rainforest, park visitors should avoid wandering off-trail, feeding wildlife, stepping on or abusing vegetation, or bringing pets. People with physical disabilities or who are mobility-limited might not be able to wander far from parking lots so the absence of nearby lupine flowers and Olympic Marmots at Hurricane Ridge or the dangling curtain moss and Banana Slugs in the Hoh Rainforest is a loss for all these future visitors.  

Photo of the Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge from the road with the snowcapped Olympic Mountains in the background and green meadow