Olympic Hot Springs Road Closed
The Elwha Valley's Olympic Hot Springs Road is closed to public entry beyond the Altair Campground during removal of the Glines Canyon Dam. Olympic Hot Springs is not accessible from the Elwha.
As you climb from river valleys toward the peaks you enter the montane zone, where new characters enter the forest stage. Montane forest begins at about 1,500–2,000 feet and transitions into subalpine forests at about 4,000 feet. On the wetter west side of the park, silver fir becomes a major player along side western hemlock. On the drier east side silver fir enters, but only on cooler, north-facing slopes. On sunny, south-facing slopes, Douglas-fir and western hemlock dominate and fire plays an active role in creating a mosaic of different-aged forest.
These forests cover thousands of acres of Olympic National Park’s mountain slopes where growing conditions are more challenging than the lowlands. Montane trees grown more slowly, but many are still centuries old. In fact, a 12-foot wide record Alaska yellow cedar grows in montane forest above the North Fork Quinault River.
Where to See Montane Forest
Did You Know?
Did you know that in 1988, Congress designated 95% of Olympic National Park as Wilderness. The Olympic Wilderness is a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. More...