• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

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  • Olympic Hot Springs Road Closed

    The Elwha Valley's Olympic Hot Springs Road is closed to public entry beyond the Altair Campground. Olympic Hot Springs is not accessible from the Elwha. The road is expected to re-open by Summer 2015.

  • 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 »

Historic Anadromous Fish Runs in the Elwha

The Elwha River

After restoration of the Elwha River is complete, the pristine waters have the potential of supplying optimum habitat for the thousands of salmonids that return each year. 

Scott Church

Historical Range:
Before construction of the dams, native fish used the Elwha River and its diverse habitats for spawning. The inaccessibility created by the dams has seriously diminished all 10 native Elwha River anadromous fish runs, including all five types of Pacific salmon, as well as native char (bull trout and dolly varden), winter and summer-run steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat trout. In addition, sediment has been caught behind the dams, preventing gravel and debris from entering the lower 5 miles of the river, and thus rendering the available reaches practically unsuitable for the spawning of particular populations of native fish.

Historic Range Diagrams:
Bull trout
Chinook Salmon
Chum Salmon
Coho Salmon
Pink Salmon
Sockeye Salmon
Steelhead

Other Useful Links:
Map of the Elwha River Watershed
Potential Range after dam removal

 
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This webpage was made possible in part by a grant from Washington's National Park Fund.

Did You Know?

dam with water flowing

Removal of two dams on the Elwha River is the second largest ecosystem restoration project in the National Park System.