"Recreational" Bike Ride To Close Olympic National Park's Hurricane Ridge Road

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.

Comments

Here is a translation of the superintendent's statement from Bureaucratese to English:

“We are frustrated and upset to be forced by the powerful lobbying of the Chamber again this year to demolish the vacation plans of families from far away as we try to accomodate this unique experience for a few in Olympic National Park,” said the Superintendent. “To ensure a safe and enjoyable event for those on two wheels, Hurricane Ridge Road will be closed through the morning to ordinary visitors whose taxes also support our parks as we bend over backwards to pump a few more dollars into select local businesses.”

"Demolish the vacation plans of families from far away" - just because one of a dozen roads leading into Olympic NP will not be open for motorized vehicles before - beware - 12:00 on a single day of the year? This bicycle hate here is getting ridicilous. I'd prefer to have park roads open for bicycles only over park roads open for every oversized RV or ridicilously loud motorbike every day of the year. Bicycling is a clean, green and safe way to enjoy parks. It should be supported, not condamned.

Gila--I agree you that biking is a green, clean way to visit parks. I do not see this, however, as a bike vs. motor vehicle issue. I see this as closing for 7 hours what is arguably one of the most beautiful areas of Olympic to all visitors except those riding bikes. Someway we have to find a way to promote biking without depriving those without bikes the chance to visit the park and visit the Hurricane Ridge Rd. area.

Rick

Effectively, it's more like closing a road for 4 hours. The 5 to 8am closure would only impact a tiny minority of ppl.

I understand why, if they must have this sort of event, that they're closing the road to motor vehicles. I was up there a couple of weeks ago, and the few bike riders on the road really frightened me because of the drop-offs and the tunnels and the lack of shoulders. A lot of the time there's no way to give one bicyclist adequate room while passing him, let alone a whole passel of them.

But that doesn't mean they should close the road to vehicular traffic. It means that it's a lousy place for an event like this.

I don't hate bikes. Until a few years ago I rode regularly myself. But some places are just too dangerous for bicycles, and I believe steep narrow mountain roads are one of them. National parks are full of places that aren't safe places for bicycling. There's nothing wrong or anti-bike with actually admitting that.