• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Enchanted Valley Temporarily Closed to Camping September 1-14

    To protect contractor and visitor safety, Enchanted Valley will be temporarily closed to all public camping during the relocation of Enchanted Valley Chalet. Hikers and stock users may continue to travel through the valley, must be escorted by park staff. More »

  • Spruce Railroad Trail Improvements to Begin August 5

    Spruce Railroad Trail will be closed 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 »

  • Safety Advisory: Rabies

    Rabies has been detected in a single bat in the Lake Crescent area of the park. Rabies exposure is extremely rare, but fatal if untreated. Anyone observing unusual or aggressive behavior among park wildlife should inform a park ranger as soon as possible. More »

Visiting the Elwha

The Elwha River after a fresh snowfall

The Elwha River after a fresh snowfall in December of 2008.

Ken and Mary Campbell

Overview:

The Elwha is the Olympic Peninsula's largest watershed and prior to the construction of two dams in the early 1900s, was known for its impressive salmon returns.

The Elwha Valley is located in the central northern area of Olympic National Park. Located 11 miles west of Port Angeles, the Elwha Valley is reached by the Olympic Hot Springs Road, off of Highway 101 (directions).

Today, the Elwha River is the site of one of the largest ecosystem restoration projects in National Park Service history. With its sparkling river surrounded by mountains, the Elwha Valley is a popular destination for all.

General information about the Elwha Valley, facilities, trails, camping, and regulations can be found on the Elwha brochure (pdf).

Map and description of locations where you can learn more and Experience Elwha River Restoration.

 

Places to Stay:

The Elwha Valley has two campgrounds, Elwha campground with 30 sites (open all year) and Altair campground with 40 sites (open during summer.) Nearby lodging can be found in Port Angeles or within the park at Lake Crescent.

Recreation:

The Olympic Hot Springs Road and Whiskey Bend Road offer sightseeing opportunities through the valley's lowland and montane forests, as well as access to two picnic areas and a number of hiking trails.

Popular dayhikes in the area include the Boulder Creek trail and the Humes Ranch Loop.

Fishing in the Elwha is catch and release only. Make sure to check out fishing regulations for Olympic National Park before you come.

Official park concessioner Olympic Raft & Kayak, located at 123 Lake Aldwell Road off of Highway 101, offers guided whitewater rafting trips on the Elwha River, as well as areas outside of Olympic National Park including the Hoh and Sol Duc rivers.

Nearby Areas:

The Olympic National Park Visitor Center, Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, and the Sol Duc Valley are all within a one-hour drive of the Elwha Valley.

 
Two friends in the Elwha
A number of trails in the Elwha are great for day hikes.
Henry Meyer
 

Did You Know?

Mossy trees in the Hoh Rainforest

...that one criterion for the determination of a temperate rain forest is that the amount of moss and other epiphytes exceeds the weight of all the foliage (leaves and needles) per acre by at least two times.