Hurricane Ridge! Hurricane Ridge! Hurricane Ridge! We couldn’t stop hearing about this place since we arrived in Washington, so we had to check it out. Truth be told, the second we laid eyes on a photo of Hurricane Ridge, we knew we had to get there ASAP. So on the second day of our little two-day trek around Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, we made the pilgrimage for a good ol’ Hurricane Ridge elopement location scouting session.
Hurricane Ridge Elopement Scouting Part 1: Afternoon
After setting up camp in Heart of the Hills campground, which is just inside Olympic National Park on your way up to Hurricane Ridge, we drove up to check out the fabled Hurricane Ridge for the first time. When you pull into the first large parking lot at Hurricane Ridge, you’re hit with the first of many breathtaking views of the Olympic mountains. The ground slopes steeply down into a huge valley from the lot, rising to glacier-covered peaks in the distance. In the winter, this whole area is covered in feet of snow. But in the summer, it’s all melted except for on the highest of peaks.
Located in Olympic National Park, high up in the mountains that loom behind Port Angeles, Washington, Hurricane Ridge is surprisingly accessible. This is part of what makes it such an amazing elopement destination. We’re all for packing the suite and wedding dress and backpacking into the wilderness for a wild and remote elopement or adventure session, don’t get us wrong. But there’s something to be said about being able to walk out a few steps from the car and find yourself in an epic wilderness location. It’s a good compromise for couples who may not live and breath adventure, but like a little taste of it. But if you do want to hike a bit, there are plenty of trails to explore.
We drove back to a hiking trail that takes you to Hurricane Hill, and hiked in a little ways. We decided this was definitely a spot to remember for future elopements and adventure sessions. To one side, you see the Ocean and Port Angeles, far below. And to the other, the white-capped mountains of the Olympics. After snapping off a few shots and cringing at Aiko’s distant barking back in the car (buddies aren’t allowed on trails in national parks, super unfortunately), we hiked back to the car to check out a few more spots. Each location was as stunning, if not more, than the previous. Olympic National Park is huge and full of gorgeous elopement destinations, but Hurricane Ridge might take the cake.
Check out our Ruby Beach elopement scouting post for more Olympic Peninsula beauty.
Hurricane Ridge Elopement Scouting Part 2: Sunrise
The next morning, we woke up at the crack of pre-dawn (not really our thing but we’ll do it for epic sunrises) and drove back up to Hurricane Ridge for sunrise. Wow, sooooo glad we did too. Sunrise was possibly even more glorious than sunset, and we were fortunate enough to get a crystal clear morning. We hiked up to Sunrise Point, because that seemed to be the logical place to go. From here, you get water views to the east out over the Puget Sound. As the sun rises, it lights up the sky and mountain tops with a warm pink glow, creating one of nature’s most incredible gradients of color.
We snapped a bunch of pictures, occasionally taking breaks to just enjoy the scene before us. And to warm our hands. We even managed to get a self-portrait shot that has become one of our all time favs. Seriously, a sunrise elopement up would be insane here! Or an adventure session. Either, really. We hardly need an excuse to come back here and take photos, it’s just so epic.
After about 30 minutes, we thought the best light had come and gone, so we started to pack up. But just as we were starting down the hill, the sun peeked over the mountain top. It was yet another irresistible photo op we had to capture, so we stuck around for a few more minutes. It’s not easy to leave Hurricane Ridge. It sucks you in with its incredible beauty and pristine alpine wilderness. Sure, it’s pretty hyped up. But after visiting, we’d say the hype is fully justified. Oh, and please excuse the dirty faces and greasy hair – that’s what a few days of car camping will do to you 😛
Want to see more Washington mountain epicness? Check out this Tipsoo Lake, Mt Rainier National Park adventure session.
The Foxes are Brandon and Gabi Fox, an adventurous husband and wife wedding and elopement photography team living full-time in their DIY renovated 1972 Airstream. They are loosely based in the Pacific Northwest, but travel for work and play throughout the western states. Their work is best described as candid photography that captures couples as they are, where they are, blending images of love and natural beauty in the great outdoors.