• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • 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 »

River Otter

A river otter lying on a rock and eating a fish in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

A river otter feasts on a fish near the northern coast of the peninsula.

Ken and Mary Campbell

River Otter - Lutra canadensis

Identification:
River otters are common along the Pacific coastal section of the park, where they are often mistaken for sea otters. Much smaller than sea otters, the weigh about 30 pounds. They have small ears, plenty of whiskers, and are generally brown with silvery bellies. Their webbed feet allow them to be the excellent swimmers that they are.

Habitat:
River otters are often found on lakeshores, riverbanks, and the outer coast of the peninsula. They are commonly seen in intertidal areas close to shore where they forage for food. River otters spend much less time in the water than sea otters do.

Diet:
River otters feed mainly on crayfish, fish, and small rodents.

Back to Terrestrial Mammal Species List
Back to Marine Mammal Species List

Did You Know?

Mossy trees in the Hoh Rainforest

...that one criterion for the determination of a temperate rain forest is that the amount of moss and other epiphytes exceeds the weight of all the foliage (leaves and needles) per acre by at least two times.