• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

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  • Roadway Ditch Maintenance Along Park Roads: Motorists May Encounter Delays

    Motorists may encounter delays along Sol Duc Road (9/30 - 10/1), Whiskey Bend Road (10/2), Deer Park Road (10/7-10/8), and Hurricane Ridge Road (10/9 - 10/10) between Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 due to routine maintenance to clean roadway drainage ditches.

  • Spruce Railroad Trail Closed from Lyre River Trailhead to Devil’s Punchbowl

    The trail will be closed for improvements 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 »

Return of the Kings

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Date: August 20, 2012
Contact: Rainey McKenna, 360-565-2985

August 20, 2012 - Today, less than five months after the removal of the Elwha Dam, adult Chinook (king) salmon were observed in Olympic National Park.These are the first observed Elwha River salmon to naturally migrate into the park.When the Elwha Dam became operational in 1913, twenty-five years before the establishment of the park, over 70 miles of habitat were blocked to fish passage.

The Chinook were observed approximately two miles upstream from the boundary of the park by Phil Kennedy, Lead Fisheries Technician for the park, "We knew this was going to happen and as I saw the fish roll, my heart jumped!"

The Fisheries Crew has been conducting weekly surveys along the Elwha River since the start of August in search of Elwha River Chinook salmon in the park.

The return of the salmon marks an important milestone in the restoration of the Elwha River ecosystem and a historic moment in the history of the park.

"This has been an extremely exciting summer," said Acting Superintendent Todd Suess."First we see a renewal of a culture with the uncovering of the creation site of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and now we see the renewal of the legendary Chinook in Olympic National Park."

This milestone will be one of the many achievements shared during the Elwha River Science Symposium this week, when scientists will come together to discuss what has been learned during the first year of the Elwha River Restoration project.

"Observation of these Chinook in Olympic National Park is a wonderful addition to the naturally returning steelhead recently observed by NOAA Fisheries and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe downstream of the park boundary," said Olympic National Park Fisheries Biologist, Sam Brenkman."We can now say that restoration of anadromous salmon in Olympic National Park is underway."

Did You Know?

Mt. Olympus in winter

That Mount Olympus receives over 200 inches of precipitation each year and most of that falls as snow? At 7,980 feet, Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Olympic National Park and has the third largest glacial system in the contiguous U.S.