Reaching the top of a mountain is one of the most empowering moments of hiking. After sweating and pushing yourself for hours, it's sheer joy knowing that nothing more than your own two feet brought you to the summit. Hiking to Klahhane Ridge in Olympic National Park will push your limits, but it’s also breathtaking and you’ll feel on top of the world!

When you're exploring Hurricane Ridge, you should definitely hike to Klahhane Ridge!

A mountaintop ridge trail on the hike to Klahhane Ridge from Hurriacne Ridge.
Jacob from Explore the Map hikes along the mountainside. The Olympic Mountains disappear into the distance.
The trail to Klahhane Ridge follows ridge tops and goes through forests.

Hiking to Klahhane Ridge

Klahhane Ridge is located in Olympic National Park and is a well-known crest trail that's not for the faint of heart. The trail winds its way along alpine mountain ridges, dips into forested ravines, and climbs steep, barren mountains for a once-in-a-lifetime hike. The views from the top are unparalleled and offer panoramic views of the Olympic Mountain Range, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Vancouver Island. There are two trailheads for Klahhane Ridge: the Switchback Trail and the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.

Switchback Trail

The Switchback Trail is the most common and direct route to Klahhane Ridge. It’s a 3-mile (4.8 km) return trip and rapidly ascends 1,421 feet in 1.5 miles. The trail head is located on Hurricane Ridge Road and there’s a small parking lot on the side of the road which is 16.5 miles from Port Angeles.

Hurricane Ridge Trail

From the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, the hike to Klahhane Ridge is a 7.2-mile (11.5 km) round trip. This trail, which is known as the Hurricane Ridge to Switchback Trail, is a great option if you’re wanting to see more of the picturesque panoramas the area is famous for and walk along beautiful alpine ridge tops. While this trail is much longer than the Switchback Trail, it has little elevation gain and is a very scenic route.

This article is about hiking to Klahhane Ridge via the Hurricane Ridge to Switchback trail.

The green hiking trails around Hurricane Ridge.
View from the Hurricane Ridge parking lot looking towards the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center with snow-capped mountains in the background.
The parking lot at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Overlooks the gorgeous Olympic Mountain range.

Accessing Klahhane Ridge

The Hurricane Ridge to Switchback Trail is accessible from the parking lot at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is just over 19 miles (30.5 km) from Port Angeles. The paved road is well maintained and easily accessible. The drive up is spectacular! With every twist of the road, you’ll see countless mountains with snow-capped peaks reaching to the heavens. While the drive up is beautiful, it has nothing on what you’ll experience hiking to Klahhane Ridge.

From the parking lot at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, go to Sunrise Point and take the trail that branches off into the distance. The trail will lead you over the exposed side of Sunrise Point before climbing to the top of new ridges. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the high alpine meadows in every direction.

If it’s a sunny day, the sun will beat relentlessly on the exposed trail and the wind will trick you into forgetting the heat. There's little tree cover, so you’ll be sweating in no time. Make sure to pack the 10 hiking essentials and know how to stay hydrated in the hot weather

Pricing + parking

Klahhane Ridge is located within Olympic National Park. You'll need a pass to enter the national park which you can buy online ahead of time.

There's a large parking lot at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. You shouldn't have any trouble finding parking here. If you want to hike the shorter Switchback Trail to Klahhane Ridge, there's a small parking lot on the side of the road.

Sam from Explore the Map on the trail to Klahhane Ridge from Hurricane Ridge. The mountainsides are green and the mountains in the background are snowcapped.
Wildflowers on the trail to Klahhane Ridge.
Dead trees mixed into the forests on the trail to Klahhane Ridge.

What to expect on your hike

On the first half of the Hurricane Ridge to Switchback Trail, you’ll hike along a beautiful ridgetop trail. You’ll have a spectacular view in all directions and the elevation change isn’t too taxing. Even if you don’t plan to go all the way to Klahhane Ridge, this section of the trail is a must-do. However, there isn’t much tree cover and the trail is exposed to the sun for most of your hike.

Halfway along the trail, you’ll come to a ravine and a plunging set of steep switchbacks. The ravine is densely forested and is a welcome relief from the direct sun. After you climb back out, you’ll leave behind the ridge tops and instead hike along the side of the mountain.

Near the end of the hike and when the dirt turns red, the Hurricane Ridge to Switchback Trail merges with the Switchback Trail. Prepare for your final ascent to Klahhane Ridge!

Looking back towards Sunrise Point and Hurricane Ridge from the Klahhane Ridge trail.
The ridge trail to Klahanne Ridge. The mountainside is very green and the mountain tops are covered in snow.
Klahhane Ridge is visible in the far distance.

Ascending via the Switchback Trail

The final leg to Klahhane Ridge can be rough. Thanks to the switchbacks, you’ll gain roughly 820 feet (250 m) in a little over one mile (1.5 km). It’s a very tiring section and most of the trail is entirely exposed to the sun. Remember to drink lots of water and don't be afraid to take breaks.

Thankfully, though, once you reach the top of the switchbacks you’ve reach Klahhane Ridge.

The Plants + Animals of the Area

In mid-summer, the slopes are adorned with alpine wildflowers and you’ll see plants like paintbrush, Jacob's ladder, lupine, and bistort. The trees are small but provide plenty of shade – when you find them.

Butterflies are in abundance and larger animals like black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, mountain goats, marmots, and deer wander freely. Always pack bear spray and practice bear safety, just in case.

The basin of Klahhane Ridge. Port Angeles and Vancouver Island can be seen distantly in the background.
Jacob from Explore the Map sips water at the top of basin on Klahhane Ridge.
Sam from Explore the Map sitting at the basin top at Klahhane Ridge.

Breathtaking views from Klahhane Ridge

From the summit, you'll be rewarded with almost uninterrupted 360° views! The Strait of Juan de Fuca, Vancouver Island, and the Olympic Mountains lay before you. The water sparkles far below and mountain after mountain disappears into a blue haze. From here, you can even see Canada!

Klahhane Ridge connects Mount Angeles and Rocky Peak and creates a large basin. The basin is mostly rocky and devoid of plant life, but you’ll likely see a few small patches of snow, even in the middle of summer! Olympic Mountain Range often receives more than 30 feet of snow in the winter and, because of the high altitudes, it doesn't often entirely melt.

Klahhane Ridge Trail continues on to Lake Angeles and various other trails crisscross the mountain.

The trail to the summit of Klahhane Ridge. The basin is just hidden behind a small hill.
A sign at the fork of the Switchback Trail and the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center trail.
A steep mountainside covered in grass and thick forest.

Recommended gear

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Information + notes

Klahhane Ridge via the Hurricane Ridge to Switchback Trail is a semi-challenging hike that requires proper planning for an enjoyable experience. It offers stunning views the entire 7.2 miles and truly rewards you for your hard work.

You should also check out the hiking trails at Hurricane Ridge. They're pretty awesome, too!

Distance~11.5 km (7.2 mi)
Duration~4 hrs
DifficultyModerately difficult
PricingYou'll need an Olympic National Park pass. There are various options available online.
NotesBring plenty of water, sturdy footwear, and first-aid equipment.
Klahhane Ridge is located in Olympic National Park, Washington and offers truly breathtaking, panoramic views of the Olympic Mountain Range, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Vancouver Island. The Hurricane Ridge to Switchback Trail is a long, moderately challenging hike that brings you through alpine meadows, ravines, and mountain ridge tops. This fun hike is a great way to spend your day exploring! #klahhaneridge #olympicnationalpark #pacificnorthwest #explore #pnw #hike