• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Madison Falls Trail Closed for Repairs Beginning July 7

    The one-tenth mile Madison Falls Trail and trailhead parking lot located in Elwha Valley will close to public entry beginning on Monday, July 7 while crews make improvements and repairs.

Settlement of the Hoh River Valley

Enormous, old-growth trees, thick, treacherous undergrowth, isolation from markets and other settlements; these were the challenges confronting settlers of the upper Hoh River area. Though land relatively far upstream of the river mouth were settled, the Hoh River Valley within Olympic National Park was never inhabited by Euro-Americans. In addition to regular flooding from 140 or more inches of precipitation per year, the Hoh River was swift, steep, and dangerous to navigate for early settlers.

Though times were tough and few settlers stayed very long, the population in the Hoh River Valley was great enough to warrant two post offices during the turn of the century, one of which was established in 1897, and the other in 1904, further upstream.

Homesteaders and timber claimants slowly trickled out of the area, leaving behind small cabins which deteriorated over time. Now there is little trace of their presence. In fact, as early as 1919, there were few historic structures remaining in the Hoh River Valley, none of which exist today.

Did You Know?

closeup of cow elk face

Olympic National Park protects the largest unmanaged herd of Roosevelt elk in the world. Olympic was almost named "Elk National Park" and was established in part to protect these stately animals.