• 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 during removal of the Glines Canyon Dam. Olympic Hot Springs is not accessible from the Elwha.

The Elwha Watershed

The Elwha Watershed:
With 321 square miles of drainage and 70 miles of river and tributaries, the Elwha River is the largest watershed in the peninsula. A large amount, 83%, is located within Olympic National Park, sheltering it and making it a particularly pristine river habitat.

The Elwha dam is located at river mile 4.9, behind which is Lake Aldwell. Glines Canyon dam is downstream at river mile 17, holding back Lake Mills. The Lower Elwha Klallam tribe reservation is located around the mouth of the river on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Just east of this sits the city of Port Angeles.

 
Map of Elwha watershed and dams
Map of the Elwha watershed and its surroundings

Did You Know?

marmot

Although related to other marmots and groundhogs of North America, the Olympic marmot is unique. An endemic species, it is found only in the Olympic Mountains. Visitors to the high country of Olympic National Park may be lucky enough to encounter a marmot sunning itself near its burrow.