• Olympic: Three Parks in One


    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 »

Park Newsletter June 6, 2008

five mules hitched to rail
Hardworking mules take a break during the annual "barn day" stock packing workshop.
NPS Photo by Maggie Tyler
man loading pack onto mule

Backcountry Horseman Larry Baysinger demonstrates how to properly load a mule during a recent workshop.

NPS Photo by Maggie Tyler

Volunteers and Staff Share Stock-Packing Knowledge

A sure sign that summer is here is when pack strings move back into the park. One of the hardest working groups around, stock animals support all aspects of the park’s wilderness operations by packing in supplies for ranger stations, trail repairs and research, and packing out injured people, tools, and supplies at the end of the season. In addition to our human volunteers, the park is grateful for our stock volunteers as well!

At the beginning of each season, volunteer packers gather to review safety procedures, techniques, and tips and tools of the trade to prepare for another safe and enjoyable season of trail work and packing trips.

Several chapters of the Backcountry Horsemen support Olympic National Park by supplementing packing operations. In 2007, the Backcountry Horsemen donated 1,175 hours of packing and volunteer support to the park. Thanks to their efforts again this spring, we are well on our way to another successful year!

-- contributed by Maggie Tyler, Volunteer Coordinator

Did You Know?

star-shaped purple flowers growing in a crack of a rock

That the Piper's bellflower is unique to the Olympic Mountains? Named after an early Olympic peninsula botanist, the Piper's bellflower grows in cracks and crevices of high elevation rock outcrops.