• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

Park Newsletter March 21, 2008

Park Prepares for Spring Opening
The series of images below illustrates some of the progress that's been made towards reopening flood and storm-damaged roads in Olympic National Park.

A massive Pacific storm hit western Washington on December 2 and 3, bringing an onslaught of heavy rain, flooding and windspeeds over 100 miles per hour. Thousands of trees were toppled, rivers flooded, electrical lines went out and on December 3, all park roads were closed, as was the Olympic Peninsula's transportation lifeline, U.S. Highway 101. Read December 4 news release.

Since then, park staff, volunteers and contractors have been clearing logs and debris and repairing flood-damaged roads and campgrounds. Opening dates have now been established for park roads and facilities. Read March 21 news release.

 
damage to Quinault South Shore Road

South Shore Quinault Road, December 2007

Heavy rain and flooding along the Quinault River took their toll on the South Shore Road.

Note the large rock that juts into river, visible in all three photos.

 
heavy equipment working on gravel road

Repairs underway in March 2008.

Emergency repairs to the South Shore Road are nearing completion and will provide access for the upcoming visitor season.

Plans for permanent repairs that will provide more sustainable access are under development and will be described in an environmental assessment to be released later this spring.

 
completed repairs to Quinault South Shore Road

Newly completed repairs to South Shore Quinault Road.

The Quinault Loop Road, which includes this newly-rebuilt stretch of the South Shore Road, will reopen on April 1, 2008.

Other roads in the Quinault Valley and around the park are also scheduled to open soon.

 
yellow flowers in bloom
Skunk cabbage is one of the earliest blooming wildflowers in the Olympic lowlands.  Look for their bright bursts of yellow in wetlands over the coming few weeks.
 
 

Did You Know?

DYK fisher release

Fishers (members of the weasel family, related to minks and otters) were reintroduced to Olympic National Park in 2008-10. They are native to the forests of Washington, including the Olympic Peninsula, but disappeared due to overtrapping in the late 1800s/early 1900s and habitat loss.