Field of wildflowers along the Hurricane Ridge at Olympic National Park
(Photo: Catie Leary)

The Pacific Northwest is well-known for its often rainy, overcast climate, and while this dreariness can really get old, locals know it makes the short summer season all the sweeter.

That's because once June and July roll around, the clouds begin to clear and blotches of color begin emerging from the ground.

Deer grazes amongst a field of arctic lupine at Olympic National Park's Hurricane Ridge.
(Photo: Catie Leary)

These cheerful summer wildflowers are found in great numbers throughout the region — from intentional front yard gardens to truly wild growth along the road side — but they are arguably at their most breathtaking when found hugging the subalpine slopes of Mount Rainier or Olympic National Park.

A deer grazes on Hurricane Ridge as the snow-capped Olympic mountain range looms in the distance.
A deer grazes on Hurricane Ridge as the snow-capped Olympic mountain range looms in the distance. (Photo: Catie Leary)

One of the most scenic places to view wildflowers in Olympic National Park is Hurricane Ridge, a gorgeous mountainous area located 17 miles south of Port Angeles that is a popular year-round destination for hiking and skiing.

Hikers walk along a trail surrounded by colorful wildflowers at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, Washington.
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Hiking along the 1.6-mile Hurricane Hill Trail on a clear summer's day, visitors are guaranteed to encounter not only jaw-dropping panoramic views of the expansive Olympic mountain range, but also thick patches of colorful wildflowers buffering their path.

A cheerful patch of wildflowers sway in the wind at Olympic National Park
(Photo: Catie Leary)

You can run across literally thousands of different wildflower species at Hurricane Ridge and the surrounding Olympic mountain range. Continue below for visual tour of some of the most common specimens you might encounter.

Cascade wallflower (Erysimum arenicola)

Cascade wallflower
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

A bee rests on the blooms of a cow parsnip at Olympic National Park's Hurricane Ridge
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Tiger lily (Lilium columbianum)

Columbian lily, also known as a tiger lily, seen at Olympic National Park's Hurricane Ridge trail.
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Arctic lupine (Lupinus arcticus)

Lupinus arcticus wildflower at Olympic National Park
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Olympic onion (Allium crenulatum)

Olympic onion flower at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Spreading phlox (Phlox diffusa)

A bundle of Phlox diffusa blankets a slope at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Biscuitroot (Lomatium nudicaule)

Lomatium nudicaule at Olympic National Park
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Slender Mountain Sandwort (Eremogone capillaris)

Eremogone capillaris at Olympic National Park
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Arctic lupine and Old Man's Whiskers (Geum triflorum)

Lupines and old man's whiskers at Olympic National Park's Hurricane Ridge.
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Thistle at Olympic National Park
(Photo: Catie Leary)

One of many blooms from the Asteraceae family

Daisy wildflower at Olympic National Park
(Photo: Catie Leary)

Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.