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.
Elwha River Closures
Boating is prohibited on the Elwha River from Upper Lake Mills Trail downstream to the Highway 112 bridge, except for the stretch between Altair Campground and the Highway 101 bridge.
Changes to Visitor Services Due to Sequestration
Due to mandatory, across the board budget cuts, some visitor services at Olympic National Park have changed. See the Plan Your Visit section for more information.
December Fish Runs Wind Down on Elwha; Dam Demolition to Begin Again December 19
Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
An interagency team of biologists closely monitoring the returns of fish to the Elwha River have determined that the late fall runs of chum salmon have trickled to a end, allowing contractors to begin dam removal work two weeks earlier than projected. A planned stoppage of sediment-releasing dam removal work has been in place since November 1 to protect fish runs in the river. There are three such work stoppages, also known as "fish windows" throughout the year.
Adult chum salmon were collected and transferred to the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe's fish hatchery, which is acting as a clear-water refuge during the dam removal period when extensive sediment is being released into the river. Offspring of the collected chum will be released into the river this spring.
Dam removal contractor Barnard Construction, Inc. has adjusted their work schedule and will be ready on Monday, December 19 to begin dam demolition again.
Plans for next week at Elwha Dam include diverting the river back into the right channel (looking downstream) and beginning another reservoir drawdown, increasing flows by approximately 150 cubic feet per second (cfs.)
At Glines Canyon Dam, crews will reassemble the barge and excavator-mounted hydraulic hammer and complete modifications to the onsite crane, with dam demolition work scheduled to begin on December 27.
Although access to the actual demolition sites is not allowed, options exist for interested people to watch the process of dam removal.
Webcams provide updated images throughout daylight hours.
Viewing Elwha Dam Removal
Viewing Glines Canyon Dam Removal
Did You Know?
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.