The 17-mile Hurricane Ridge Road in Olympic National Park is closed indefinitely just below the Heart O’the Hills entrance station, approximately five miles south of Port Angeles.
A slope below the roadway slid Sunday afternoon, destroying both lanes along a 100-foot long section of road. The slide is just beyond the Lake Dawn Road intersection; access to Lake Dawn is unaffected.
A timeline for reopening the road has not yet been developed, although early estimates suggest that repairs may take at least a month to six weeks to complete.
The road closure applies to all entry, including bicycle, foot, stock and vehicle. The slide area is still active, and soil is continuing to move down slope, undercutting the remaining narrow strip of asphalt, said a park news release.
Park staff first saw signs of damage to the road late on Saturday afternoon, when members of the road crew noticed cracks and slight slumping in the road’s downhill lane just north of Heart O’the Hills. A safety inspection early on Sunday confirmed the initial reports and travel was reduced to one lane only, using the uphill lane of the road. Immediate repair action was taken as road crew members filled the cracks and spread
gravel to alleviate the uneven road surface.
The road was closed Monday due to high winds and white-out conditions at Hurricane Ridge. Meanwhile, road crew members cut and removed a number of small trees on the slope beneath the road in an effort to protect and preserve the road, and had hoped to open the road later in the day. Less than an hour later, however, the slope failed and slid downhill, taking most of the road with it. The soils that make up the slope are completely saturated from recent heavy rains.
For information about alternative destinations within Olympic National Park, people may consult the park’s website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the Olympic National Park Visitor Center at 360-565-3130. The recorded Road and Weather Hotline is updated throughout the day with changes and can be reached by calling 360-565-3131.