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 between Upper Lake Mills Trail to Altair Campground.
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.
Return of the Kings
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?
Olympic National Park protects the largest unmanaged herd of Roosevelt elk in the world. Olympic was almost named "Elk National Park" and was established in part to protect these stately animals.