Olympic National Park officials expect to have Hurricane Ridge Road open this weekend (Dec. 9-11) despite a fire taking out one of its snow plows last Friday.
This will be the first weekend that the Hurricane Ridge Snowboard and Ski Area will be open this season.
The cause of last week’s snow plow fire in Olympic National Park’s maintenance yard remained under investigation on Dec. 6.
The 6 p.m. fire severely damaged one of the park’s snow plows and the road remained closed over the weekend because it could not be plowed, the park said in a Facebook post.
Meagan Huff, public affairs specialist for ONP, said the park has a backup snow plow it plans to use for this weekend.
“If we are unable to clear the road this weekend, we will update our social media pages and website to let the public know,” Huff said.
Port Angeles Fire Department firefighters extinguished the blaze Friday night after finding a two-story building engulfed in heavy smoke and a snow plow on fire inside the building.
The fire halted plans to have the road open last weekend.
The Waterhole Snotel site reports 23 inches of snow at Hurricane Ridge.
The park anticipates it will get 5-7 inches of snow over the course of the next week.
Weather permitting, Hurricane Ridge Road will be open Friday through Sunday, except for Christmas Day, through March 26.
In addition, the road is scheduled to be open daily from Dec. 26-Jan. 2, and the holiday Mondays of Jan. 16 and Feb. 20.
Hurricane Ridge Road typically opens at 9 a.m., although times can vary. Depending on weather and road conditions, the road may open as late as noon, or not open at all.
The road closes to uphill traffic at 4 p.m., and all vehicles must exit the Heart O’ the Hills entrance station by 5 p.m.
All vehicles, including four-wheel drive, are required to carry tire chains or approved traction control devices when traveling above the Heart O’ the Hills entrance station during the winter season.
Winter storms can close or delay opening of Hurricane Ridge Road; high winds and blizzard conditions are not uncommon.
Road and weather condition updates are available on the Road and Weather line at 360-565-3131 and by following @HRWinterAccess on Twitter.