DIRECTIONS: Take Highway 101 to Port Angeles. Turn on the Olympic National Park Highway to Hurricane Ridge and follow this road for about 29 km to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Note that this is in a National Park and a pass is needed to enter the park. create
SUMMARY: The trailhead is at the east end of the Hurricane Ridge Parking lot. It starts as a paved road but turn into a gravel path after the first kilometer. Go right at the first intersection and follow the undulating trail along Sunrise Ridge. Go right again at the intersection with small viewpoint. When the trail turns east under Mount Angeles, leave it and follow a faint trail up steep slopes to a rocky meadow. When you get to the bottom of a big scree slope, look for a cairn on your left. Don't go up the scree slope unless you want to do a stiff class 4-5 scramble! Instead contour the base of the scree slope to the left. There is a nice and easy trail to follow all the way up to the summit on its west slopes. The last part is on a scree gully that leads to a notch, southwest of the summit. Go on the right and make the final push is a short scramble on rocks.
Mount Angeles is the highest summit between Hurricane Ridge and the Straight of Juan de Fuca and views are amazing, both towards the Olympic Peninsula and the Ocean! create
From Appelton Pass follow the trail down to Sol Duc creek. After 4 km turn east as you reach the creek towards Sol Duc Ranger Station. Cross the creek and follow the trail climbing up to Heart lake, which is a great spot for a short dip.
From Heart Lake climb of further until you reach the turn off to Cat basin. Follow the cat basin trail for about 2km to the second turn off to (first turn off leads to a campsite). Turn left on this smaller trail that leads up towards the High Divide ridge. For the next 5km the trail runs along the south side of ridge. You have to cross several boulder fields and sometimes the trail is hard to follow. After this 5 km, the trail crosses the ridge and from now on you can see Appelton pass. Follow the trail for another 5 km on the north side of the ridge to back to Appelton pass.
The loop took us about 9 hours to complete including a longer break at Hear lake. It offers fantastic views of many peaks in the park and above all the last 10 km along the ridge are just fantastic.