Obstruction Point Road
Olympic National Park, Washington
Jump ahead to the video
When I visited Olympic National Park in 2004, I had planned to drive Obstruction Point Road. But, during my visit to the Hurricane Ridge area of the park, I couldn't find it. This time, I did a little more research ahead of time, and discovered that yes, indeed, Obstruction Point Road does actually exist -- but it's well hidden. For those who find it, though, the rewards are great.
Obstruction Point Road begins at the start of the parking area for the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. If you've just driven up from Port Angeles, you'd need to make a sharp U-turn to the left, as you enter the parking area. It's scary -- because the road drops off so suddenly, you can't even see that it's there. Instead, you must turn off the pavement and plunge over a hillside, purely on faith that there is, indeed, a road below.
And that's just the first thrill that Obstruction Point Road provides. After you've driven a couple of miles through trees, the road opens up, and you're driving along a ridge, with sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains out your windows.
Heck, with a view like that, I really should have been driving a Jeep, huh?
I made numerous stops along the road. There are some wide places that accommodate parking, but you'll probably be okay stopping almost anywhere, since there's not a lot of traffic -- just make sure you're visible, or in other words, don't stop on a curve.
Yes, that is snow over there. In August. But in most places, the snow had disappeared and wildflowers had sprung up. The only problem was, with those flowers, there were bugs. I'm not sure if they were of the stinging variety, or just big flies, but they were pesky. And, they were so thick in places, you can see them on the Drivelapse video, at the bottom of the page.
Views like this never stop...
... as the road makes a dramatic pass along the tops of the hills, headed out to Obstruction Point.
There's no reason you can't drive this road. Although it's dirt, it's well-maintained, and smooth.
And oh yes, did I mention the wildflowers?
Obstruction Point Road comes to an end at a small parking area, which serves as the trailhead for several paths. We'll talk about your options, on the next page. Of course, the road itself is worth experiencing, even if you choose to turn around and head back, instead of hiking.
|Outbound on Obstruction Point Road|
... and from the end of the road, back to the Visitor Center:
|Return Trip, Obstruction Point Road|
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