Located in old growth forest, this is the closest park campground to Hurricane Ridge and Port Angeles. It has over 100 sites.
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Once entering one of the most iconic areas of Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge, you are are welcomed with open arms to the Heart O’ The Hills Campground, a beautiful primitive camp nestled only a few short miles from the ridge itself.
The first taste of Olympic from this direction, the campground is the perfect retreat for a day or even a week for those wanting to explore the many trails and features within a short driving distance of the northern entrance.
I had the privilege of visiting this location on my lengthy trip to the Pacific Northwest and as a Ranger For the Dyrt was given the unique opportunity to share not only my experience but also a special product by Banner and Oak which made my adventures within the park even better.
Heart O’ The Hills is a quiet location just south of the Port Angeles area and a few miles within the entrance gate. There are no reservations available for this unique campground so early arrival is suggested on weekends, especially during peak season.
I visited on a weekday in late fall and noticed there were numerous spots available to choose from. Empty sites are easily located by visiting the pay kiosk near the main restrooms of camp, here there is a paper slip system of making occupied spaces, very similar to that of the ones they use by the National Seashores.
Pricing for this camp is very reasonable at only$20 per night, or for those with the Senior Interagency Pass only $10. Unlike many kiosks which accept only cash you can make payment at this location by check as well which allows you an additional option. However keep in mind there are no credit card payments accepted!!
When I explored the camp I noticed two main styles of camping were available, smaller sites which catered to single vehicles and tent campers and larger sites which could easily accommodate larger rigs or double occupancy car groups. While there is a limit of 8 people per site, these larger sites would not feel crowded with 8-12 people in most instances.
Sites are equipped with standard amenities of picnic tables and fire rings. Throughout camp there are bear boxes with shared access for many sites. Additionally, I found that while this is considered to be a primitive campground there are water spigots located every few sites for shared usage. There is no electrical hook ups and at the time of my visit the restrooms were closed temporarily, with port-a-pottys instead located at this area.
Unfortunately by the closure of the restrooms I was unable to determine if there were electrical outlets or even showers at the this campground which did weigh heavily on my mind when staying here. I really wish I would have known, because those two features could take the stay from a great one to an extraordinary stay.
Just beyond the C loop of camp the Heart O’ The Hills Forest Trail can be found. The first of many trails you will want to explore at the park, this trail allows you a glimpse at the beautiful forest around you. Though this trail is nor ADA for those able to walk on slightly uneven ground this trail is one you will not want to miss.
Taking a walk down this trail it was so peaceful and I easily could have lost track of time just discovering the larger than life mushrooms, the massive ferns and the trickling streams around me, a far different setting than my native Texas home.
- Firewood is available at this location only seasonably. Should you arrive at camp and wood not be available you can return to the community of Port Angeles and pick some up for a reasonable price point.
- If you are going to be staying in this area and are not prepared for bear country, stop at the visitor’s stop when you come into the park and ask about their bear cans.
- In an effort to conserve paper, the park is working toward going paperless when it comes to maps, if you happen to be visiting this area download the online maps to your smart phone before visiting or take a photo when stopping at one of the visitor centers.
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I am often given the unique opportunity to try products in the field which might add value to the camping and exploring experience as a whole. I was very fortunate to be able to evaluate some of the many items from the Banner& Oak Company along this adventure.
For this adventure I took the Pike solid back panel construction hat for a trip around the campground. I personally love hats and find them to be a travel must for men and women for a variety of reasons. On cool days they allow you to keep your body heat from escaping through your head, which is the area of our bodies which allows the most to escape. On a sunny day, a hat can keep you from getting to much glare or help with sunburn on your sensitive scalp region. A hat is a must for all travel.
The Pike is a hat which was named from the infamous Pike’s Peak in Colorado. It’s sturdy construction allows for comfort and coverage while allowing adjustability through a snapback.
On a more personal level, I found the hat to have great overall feel to it. The material used was perfect for the slight chill in the air and being able to secure the hat through adjustments came in handy as I moved from the calm of camp to the winds of the Hurricane Ridge. The olive color fit my personal style well, and while they do have other color options in the Pink including charcoal and maroon, the green tone feels very outdoorsy.
- Do not be afraid to shop both the mens and women’s sections for different designs. When doing so make sure you check the sizing but keep in mind some styles might suit your style more from your not standard shopping section.
- Hats are one of the more essential travel items so finding a hat which is comfortable in all situations is important. I suggest solid back panels for cooler months and vented or mesh backs for summer.
We were able to find several options at this first-come, first-serve campground on July 4 this summer. The sites are fairly close together but our neighbors were quiet. It was a short walk between sites to reach the bathhouse and water spigots. Overall very clean and nice campground.
Unfortunately, I only got to stay here one night, but I would definitely have liked to stay longer. I arrived pretty late the Friday before Labor Day, and had no problems finding a site. The atmosphere was beautiful, the bathrooms were clean, and it has a great location for seeing the sites of Port Angeles and Hurricane Ridge.
The campsite has different sections and all of them have restroom, water, fire pit ready, and picnic table. It is easy to accessible and it is perfect for people with disabilities. You can set up with tent or hammock. It has many tress around! My friends and I stayed there for a weekend. Unfortunately it was raining one day but it has other different activities at Olympic National Park. You can go to the top of mountain and see the beautiful Mountain View. It has a lodge there and trails. Some of they are accessible which is great! There is also other place that you can go to Lake crescent. That place is unbelievable and beautiful lake! It has lodge with cabins plus restaurant and gift shop. Not only that, it has water activities too! And other part of Olympic National Park is Ruby Beach and beaches are so beautiful and it is worth trip to check these places!
Camped here as a base for visiting Hurricane Ridge/Lake Crescent. The campground is 100% first-come-first-served so since it was July, we decided to head up early Friday morning to play it safe. We arrived around 9am and there were a decent amount of sites to choose from. The first thing I noticed was that a majority of the sites here are really small and many don't have much privacy. We lucked out and found a site with a decent amount of privacy but was still small. Since we just had one tent on this trip it worked out okay, but keep in mind that most sites won't accomodate more than one tent, or two smallish tents. The bathrooms were standard flush and were very well maintained. Based on old photos it looked like firewood used to be available for purchase in the campground, but it was not available on our trip so we bought some at a store in Port Angeles down the road. There is not a whole lot to see in the vicinity of the campground (other than a nature trail through the forest), but Hurricane Ridge is only about 20 minutes up the road, and Lake Crescent is about 40 minutes away, both of which were the main highlights of my trip. Overall I enjoyed camping here and could not get enough of the old growth forest.
This site is phenomenal. I visited it in June and there was still a ton of snow on the ground. Plenty of well marked trails and great areas to explore. There is a ski lodge that wasn't operating at the time I visited and a great visitor center with very clean facilities and a gift shop. This area had the most beautiful views you could imagine of all the mountain tops in the area. I highly recommend you visit.
A must do for Olympic national park. Cold at night because of elevation and be sure to have a rain fly, but you're surrounded by magnificent old growth trees. Head up to the lookout and take a short walk about to see marvelous view of the north cascades and Victoria on a clear day.
Nice campground close to Hurricane Ridge which is really what makes this campground rock!! Only been during the week and it was easy to secure a first come, first serve site. Flush toilets, water available. $20/night. Always a nice overnight if I want to head out to Hurricane ridge and not drive back to the city.
Nice sites. Fairly level and not too rocky. We had enough room for our two 2-man tents, but not much more. Many of the sites are small, but there are also bigger ones which were already taken. Each site has a picnic table. In mid-August, on a Saturday, we were able to get a site at 1pm and there were plenty of small sites left. It did fill up by the end of the day though. I didn't see any bear-bins, so I think they expect that you have a car to put food in. They do have a dishwashing area at each bathroom, which was nice. Good location on the way up to Hurricane Ridge, which is definitely worthwhile!
We have stayed here many times. This campground has everything you need for a nice getaway. The sites are somewhat private, the bathrooms are sufficient, and there are trails to explore close by. The campground IS in the National Park, so make sure you have your Access Park Pass or you must pay the entrance fee to the park. Also keep in mind that National Park rules apply to dogs. So you will want to keep your pet leashed at all times, or risk a hefty fine.