Olympic National Park officials have approved a "recreational" bike ride that could attract 700 cyclists and temporarily close the Hurricane Ridge Road for seven hours on August 4.
The "Ride the Hurricane" ride is sponsored by the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce with support from local businesses.
“We are excited to partner with the Chamber again this year to provide this unique experience in Olympic National Park,” said Olympic Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “To ensure a safe and enjoyable event, Hurricane Ridge Road will be closed to vehicle traffic through the morning.”
Participants will have the option to start their ride at one of two locations; the Heart O’ The Hills entrance gate for a 24-mile round trip or from Peninsula College, five miles north of the entrance gate, for a 36-mile round trip. Registration for either ride option opens at 6 a.m. at the Peninsula College parking lot.
Participants opting to ride the longer route from Peninsula College may start as early as 6 a.m. From the Heart O’ the Hills entrance gate, riders will climb 12 miles and more than 4,000 feet to Hurricane Ridge, which stands 5,242 feet above sea level. After completing their summit, riders will be allowed to descend at their own pace.
To provide a safe experience for the event, the road will be closed to all vehicle traffic between the Heart O’ the Hills entrance station and Hurricane Ridge, starting at 5 a.m. and ending at noon, the park announced in a release. This applies to both uphill and downhill travel. The road will open to traffic at noon, when the event is finished.
Olympic National Park will waive entrance fees at the Heart O’ the Hills entrance station for the rest of the day on August 4. Access to the Lake Angeles-Heather Park trailhead and Heart O’ the Hills campground will remain open throughout the day.
To register to ride, visit the Port Angeles Chamber website. The registration cost is $35.