Hurricane Ridge’s Obstruction Point Road

If you have visited Hurricane Ridge you are probably aware of the Obstruction Point road that has its beginning at the east end of the parking lot on the Ridge.  Few who drive it are also unaware of how this narrow, dirt-gravel road came into existence.

The Obstruction Point road has an interesting history.  In the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC’s, between 1933 and 1939, out of work young men were given the opportunity to work in the outdoors, particularly in national parks.  Their major function was to improve and construct varied facilities such as roads, buildings, bridges.

Two camps were established in the Hurricane Ridge area.  One was located on the Elwah River and the other on Blue Mountain at Deer Park.  One major project the two camps worked on was to construct a road from one camp to the other.  The road that they constructed from the Elwah camp is the present day Whiskey Bend road, starting at the Elwah valley road and paralleling the river to where it becomes the Elwah River trail.  At that point the road was constructed up the south slope of Hurricane Ridge to the top of the Ridge.  That portion of the road is now abandoned, overgrown and used as a trail, the Wolf Creek Trail.

At the top of the Ridge, the rather primative road turned west along the Ridge to the summit of Hurricane Hill to supply a fire lookout that was established there.  With the intention of connecting to Deer Park, the road building continued east and then southeast along Hurricane Ridge to Obstruction Point.  Here the ambitious road builders encountered a steep, unstable slope which they found impossible to cross.  One can see what faced those hoped to connect with Deer Park by driving out to Obstruction Point and walking the short distance along what remains of the the road beyond the parking area.

While the Elwah camp contingent laboriously worked their way up and along Hurricane Ridge, the Deer Park camp began building their section of the road westward along Elk Ridge with the intention of connecting to the on-coming Hurricane Ridge section.  They stopped construction when they learned that the Elwah camp had to stop construction.  The Deer Park section of the proposed loop road, which begins in the vicinity of the ranger station, has become somewhat overgrown but is still quite visible.

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