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ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

Seattle, Washington
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ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

hi, just checking to make sure i get the usual wildflowers blooming season correct for ONP. is it typically in early July? when do you expect to happen this year, considering snow/rain seems to come later for us (in seattle area at least) this year.

i believe for mt rainier NP is early-mid august for flowers, but i want to make sure i also get the ONP blooming season right

i know this is all dictate by mother nature. but just looking for general ballpark, bc i visited ONP last year but didnt get the timing right - the whole Hurricane Ridge was foggy and i could barely see 10ft in front of me. visited in May - memorial weekend 2013 and was drenched most of the time :)) still fun times however seeing the rugged coast and tidal pools)

so now want to make sure i go at right time and also hit the wildflower season correct!

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Hurricane Ridge
Hurricane Ridge
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Olympic National Park, WA
Port Angeles, WA
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1. Re: ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

Well, you should be in prime alpine flower season in early July. The very earliest wave of avalanche lilies and glacier lilies may have passed by then, but the lupines should be at or near their peak. The higher you go, the more alpine phlox you should see (and smell; it's one of the loveliest perfumes in nature). As your trip approaches, write in again, and I will give you bulletins from the front. I also know some special spots for wildflower viewing that may, or may not, be free of snow by your visit.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

thank you kaleberg

Quote: "The very earliest wave of avalanche lilies and glacier lilies may have passed by then, but the lupines should be at or near their peak. The higher you go, the more alpine phlox you should see (and smell; it's one of the loveliest perfumes in nature)"

when does this avalanche lilies and glacier lilies start to bloom?

i guess i should be clearer with my questions - generally, from when to when does the wildflower bloom in hurricane ridge? june to july? what do you see at each interval/month?

since i am based close enough, i can adjust my scheduled. however, it's still quite a drive from seattle area, so still need to somewhat plan in advance to ensure i can book a decent-priced place to stay

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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3. Re: ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

Early June is a good time on Obstruction Point Road for Avalanche Lilies. Latter at Rainier, which has a much larger display.

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Rainier
Rainier
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Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

thanks! but i believe obstruction point road is only open starting mid-late july, correct? i believe you access it from hurricane ridge, and not from deer park?

(based on what i can deduce from ONP park map)

can a normal sedan (honda civic) safely navigate obstruction point road, which i believe is gravel?

Port Angeles, WA
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5. Re: ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

Obstruction Point Road will not be open anytime in June. Glaciermeadows, I am surprised at you! The road usually opens in late July to early August. Same with Deer Park Road. Yes, I own a Honda Civic and often take Obstruction Point Road. It is gravel, but my car has no trouble at all. Just drive friendly and use the turnouts.

Now about the flowers. I am only going into this level of detail because Travelmolecule has clearly done his research. Avalanche lilies and glacier lilies bloom right next to melting snow. They are the very first alpine flowers to bloom, and usually show up in early June along the verges of Hurricane Hill Road. They are beautiful and exciting to see as harbingers of spring, but they have no scent. As the snows melts, the pink, white, and pale blue alpine phlox shows up. This exquisite flower paints the rocks in swathes of color from about the second week in June to the first or second week of July. The perfume is unforgettable. I look forward all year to those glorious weeks when the phlox scents the mountain air. By late June the lupines and rock larkspur are out, in all their blue and indigo glory. They have a long, beautiful season that lasts into August. If you know the right places to look, you can also find pink paintbrush, pasque flower, and corn lilies from early July to mid-August. Alas, after mid-August, only the pleasant but uninspiring yarrows, thistles, cow parsley, and asters remain, unless you are willing to go up into the true high country. I know where the lupines and pink paintbrush linger until the end of August, but you must climb to see them. In fact, two years ago, there were trilliums in August up at Lake Angeles.

I haven't even talked about the fritillaries, Turks cap lilies, and dirty sock plant (please don't sniff, for your own sake), but they are up there, too.

As I said, if you, Travelmolecule, if you want to post later, I will send out realtime bulletins from the wildflower front.

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Deer Park Road
Deer Park Road
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Olympic National Park, WA
Poulsbo, Washington
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6. Re: ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

Kaleberg I easily walked Obstruction Point RoAd last June to photograph avalanche lilies. I would be happy to post the photos if you would like me to. There were all of four of us on the road. Easy walk and the three groups had the road to ourselves. What are you surprised about?

Port Angeles, WA
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7. Re: ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

Sorry, I thought you meant that Obstruction Point Road would be open to traffic in June. The first few miles of the road are not really the best places to see glacier and avalanche lilies, though. The big, open fields towards the end of the road are just full of lilies opening up as the snow melts. Most years, they bloom up there into August.

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

thank you so much all

i will def follow-up on this thread again as we get closer to the dates

kaleberg - from your description , sounds like i should reserve the month of june for part #1 wildflowers bloom, and for the part #2, it seems like it extends till august, which give me some leeway to visit.

additional question - is deer park road also gravel? is it also safe to drive on it using a honda civic? or do you need SUV?

Poulsbo, Washington
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9. Re: ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

Deer Park is deffinately gravel. I have been up there many times with my cars over the years. All nothing more than a sedan. Be very careful though. Drive slow and watch for idiots driving too fast comming down. There are dropoffs. It is a little harrier than Obstruction Point. Both roads get very dusty in Summer. I much prefer going up there in the Fall when there are less pickups up there. For those not used to driving on gravel mountain roads I just advise you to take your time and watch for the other guy.

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Deer Park
Deer Park
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Seattle, Washington
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10. Re: ONP - Hurricane Ridge wildflowers season

yes, it looks like gravel to me based on the photo visitors posted on TA.

is it a steep drop-off down to a cliff/gorge/valley on the gravel, or is there shoulder buffer?

is it a single lane or two lane gravel? are there sufficient turn-outs when you see oncoming vehicle?

i believe the car heading uphill should always yield to the downhill traffic (i think)?