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.
Hurricane Ridge Road Closed to Vehicles Sunday 8/3 (6:00a - noon)
Due to the "Ride the Hurricane" bicycle event, the road to Hurricane Ridge will be closed above the Heart o' the Hills entrance station from 6:00a to noon on Sunday August 3rd.
Timeline of the Elwha Through 1940
25,000-10,000 years ago: The Fraser glaciation occurs and upon receding, the Elwha watershed is created.
Until late 1800's: The Klallam and other tribes inhabit a great deal of the northern Olympic coast and the mouth of the Elwha River, fishing, hunting, clamming and harvesting the lands.
Late 1800's: Port Angeles begins to grow as European-American homesteaders arrive and settle the peninsula.
1910: With financial backing of the Olympic Power Company created by Thomas Aldwell and investors, construction of Elwha Dam begins.
1912: First gravity dam blows as the reservoir fills. Thomas Aldwell receives more funding to rebuild dam.
1913: Elwha Dam becomes operational. Despite an 1890 state law requiring "fish passage wherever food fish are wont to ascend," the dam operates without providing for fish passage.
1915: When Washington State Fish Commissioner Leslie Darwin offers to waive the fish passage requirement, Aldwell constructs a hatchery adjoining the Elwha Dam. It was abandoned by the state in 1922.
1927: Glines Canyon Dam becomes operational. No method of fish passage is provided.
1935: U.S. Representative Monrad C. Wallgren sponsors a bill for the establishment of a national park on the Olympic Peninsula.
1937: President Franklin D. Roosevelt's visit to the area in the fall seals the effort for those pushing for establishment of Olympic National Park.
1938: Congress passes Rep. Wallgren's bill, and with the President's signature, 634,000 acres is designated as Olympic National Park on June 29, 1938.
Did You Know?
Fishers (members of the weasel family, related to minks and otters) were reintroduced to Olympic National Park in 2008-10. They are native to the forests of Washington, including the Olympic Peninsula, but disappeared due to overtrapping in the late 1800s/early 1900s and habitat loss.