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.
Spruce Railroad Trail Improvements to Begin August 5
Spruce Railroad Trail will be closed from the Lyre River TH to approximately 0.25 miles east of Devil’s Punchbowl. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October. The remainder of the trail will be accessible from the Camp David Jr. Road TH. More »
Safety Advisory: Mountain Goats
NPS has received reports of aggressive mountain goats near trails at Hurricane Ridge, Royal Basin, Seven Lakes Basin, Lake of the Angeles, & Grand Pass. Visitors are required to maintain a distance of at least 50 yards from all wildlife. More »
Safety Advisory: Rabies
Rabies has been detected in a single bat in the Lake Crescent area of the park. Rabies exposure is extremely rare, but fatal if untreated. Anyone observing unusual or aggressive behavior among park wildlife should inform a park ranger as soon as possible. More »
Flooding is a relatively common occurance along the Elwha River. While the dams do not provide flood protection, they do hold back sediments. Once the dams are removed, sand, gravel and other sediments will again move downstream. As this occurs, sediments will accumulate along the river bed, raising its level and increasing slightly the risk of flood. In accordance with the Elwha Act, flood protection is being provided for downstream landowners.
Although the two dams were never operated for flood protection, the riverbed below the dams will rise as accumulated sediment is released from the reservoirs and the river's natural sediment transport regime is restored. The river has been mapped and areas at risk of aggradation following dam removal have been identified. Depending on location, the river bed may rise from as little as six inches in some areas to as much as 2.5 feet near the river mouth. Providing flood protection to the areas at risk ensures the safety of property and property holders on the lower Elwha River.
Proposed Action for Flood Protection:
A series of other small-scale flood protection measures have been carried out in order to protect private homes. These include raising wellheads, dikes, roads, and property where necessary, based on discussions with each affected home owner. A more detailed description of these mitigations can be found in the Elwha River Ecosystem Restoration Implementation Final SEIS (PDF).
This webpage was made possible in part by a grant from Washington’s National Park Fund.
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.