March 15, 2007
Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
With spring break poised to begin around western Washington, Olympic National Park welcomes visitors eager to experience the park’s forests, mountains and coastline, even while crews continue storm damage repairs.
“Our park crews have made tremendous progress in repairing roads and cleaning up after the storms of November and December,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner. “But we ask all of our visitors to plan ahead and be prepared for the lingering effects of these storms, including blocked trails, bumpy roads and fallen trees.”
An overview of park roads, campgrounds and trails is provided below.
Both the North Shore and South Shore Quinault Roads were blocked by downed trees and flood damage, but were reopened by park crews after only 16 days; both remain open.
The North Fork Road was heavily damaged by heavy rain and flooding and reopened in February. The North Fork Campground is scheduled to open by March 30.
Crews are working now to clear and repair the Graves Creek Road. Both this road and the Graves Creek Campground are set to open by March 30.
Many of these roads will remain in rough condition until the road surface dries enough to allow graders to operate.
Kalaloch, Mora, Ozette
The park’s coastal areas, including the Kalaloch, Mora and Ozette campgrounds, are open. The Kalaloch Lodge is open year round. The South Beach Campground will open on May 25.
The Queets Road is open as far as the Matheny Creek bridge and is closed beyond that point due to a landslide. An interim route using existing Washington Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Forest Service roads will be established this summer.
Hoh Rain Forest
The Hoh Rain Forest Road and campground are scheduled to reopen to the public by May 1. Sections of the road will remain unpaved until later in the year and short delays are anticipated at the new one-lane bridge over West Twin Creek.
The Hoh Visitor Center will be open Friday through Sunday beginning on May 1 and will be open daily beginning May 25.
Forks Park and Forest Information Center
This information center, located at the Forks Transit Center, is open Friday through Sunday throughout the winter season and will be open seven days a week beginning on May 25.
The Sol Duc Road was blocked by hundreds of trees after the November and December storms, but is now cleared and is open. The Sol Duc campground is also open for primitive camping (vault toilets and no running water), with full services provided beginning on April 6. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort will open on March 23.
All roads in the Lake Crescent area are open. The Fairholme Campground will open on April 6. Lake Crescent Lodge will open for the season on May 11. Fairholme Store is set to open on May 25 and Log Cabin Resort is also scheduled to open in late May.
The Olympic Hot Springs Road is open to the Glines Canyon Dam and is closed beyond that point due to slumping along the road. This road is scheduled to reopen in mid May, after repairs are completed.
Whiskey Bend Road is closed due to washouts and is scheduled to open in mid to late April, once conditions are dry enough to allow crews to operate graders and other equipment.
The Elwha Campground is open; the Altair Campground will open on May 25.
Hurricane Ridge Road and Heart o’the Hills Campground
Weather permitting, the Hurricane Ridge Road is scheduled to be open Friday through Sunday through April. If conditions allow, the road opens daily beginning in May. The downhill ski area and the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center are both scheduled to be open on weekends through April 1, weather permitting.
The Obstruction Point Road is scheduled to open on July 4, snow permitting.
The Heart o’the Hills campground remains closed because of severe wind damage and fallen trees. A date has not yet been set for reopening this campground.
Olympic National Park Visitor Center and Wilderness Information Center
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center is open Thursday through Monday through April 30 and will be open daily beginning May 3.
The Wilderness Information Center (WIC) is currently open on an intermittent basis and will open daily beginning April 1. Online wilderness information is available at the park’s website or by calling 360-565-3100.
Deer Park Road
The Deer Park Road and campground are scheduled to open June 15, snow permitting.
The Dosewallips Road remains closed due to a washout outside the park boundary.
The access road to Staircase (Forest Service Road 24) is closed outside the park boundary because of unstable rock and landslide hazards created by last summer’s Bear Gulch 2 fire. The situation will be re-evaluated this spring by U.S. Forest Service road engineers.
Most of the park’s trail system is still covered by snow and will not be assessed for damage until late spring or summer. Trail assessments on lowland trails have revealed considerable damage, some of which has already been cleared.
Anyone planning a walk, hike or use stock in the park should check the Olympic National Park website for current trail conditions or call the Wilderness Information Center at 360-565-3100. Anyone planning to hike in Olympic this summer should come prepared for the possibility of blowdowns, washouts and rough conditions throughout the park.
Road Condition Updates
For current information on all Olympic National Park roads, people should call the park’s Road Condition Hotline at 360-565-3131. This recorded hotline is updated each day, or more frequently if conditions change.