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.
Changes in Winter Activity Schedule Announced
Budget uncertainties lead to changes in visitor services this winter. More »
Wilderness Food Storage
Please do your part to protect park wildlife and yourself by properly securing your food.
Food Storage Tips
"Bear Canisters" (Animal Resistant Food Containers)
Bear canisters are available for loan from the WIC and some park ranger stations. A suggested $3 per canister donation helps to perpetuate the program and provide education materials.
With a little planning, it is amazing how much food you can fit into a bear can. If you choose the right foods and repackage them, you can maximize space. It takes a little effort and time but the results are rewarding.
Remember, all food, garbage, and scented items must be stored in your bear cans including canned food, dehydrated food, toothpaste, sunscreen, wrappers, etc.
Choose the right foods
Repackage your food
Plan your menu
Benefits of Using a Canister
Are you tired of spending hours hanging your food or walking to and from bear wires? Try a bear canister. These containers are lightweight, cylindrical canisters specifically designed to be animal proof.
Bear canisters are the best method for securing food, garbage and other scented items from bears and other wildlife. They are lightweight, fit in most backpacks and will also help keep food like crackers, bread and other fragile foods from getting squished or broken.
Always carry a bear resistant food container when camping in the subalpine zone above 4,500 ft. in elevation or in other areas where trees are not large enough to hang your food.
Where to Get Bear Canisters
In winter, bear canisters are available at the park visitor center in Port Angeles and at Wild Birds Unlimited on Highway 101 east of Sequim (360) 797-7100.
Multiple bags can be placed on each clip. If bear wires are not available, food should be stored in a bear resistant food container.
Bear Wire Locations (check with the WIC for an updated list)
Elwha Area: Boulder Creek, Appleton Pass, Boulder Lake, Humes Ranch, Lillian River Camp, Mary's Falls, Canyon Camp, Elkhorn, Elkhorn Horse Camp, Hayes River Camp, Camp Wilder, Chicago Camp
Sol Duc/Seven Lakes Basin Area: Bear cans are required
Hoh River Area: Mt. Tom Creek, 5-mile Island, Happy Four, Olympus Guard Station, Lewis Meadow, Martin Creek, Elk Lake, Glacier Meadows, C.B. Flats, Hoh Lake
Quinault Area: O'Neil Creek, Pyrites Creek, Enchanted Valley, Wolf Bar, Elip Creek, Low Divide, Three Lakes
Staircase Area: Spike Camp, Big Log Camp, Camp Pleasant, Nine Stream, Two Bear Camp, Home Sweet Home, Flapjack Lakes, Four Stream
Dosewallips Area: Dose Forks, Burdick Creek, Camp Marion, Bear Camp, Dose Meadows, Big Timber, Diamond Meadows, Honeymoon Meadows (need rope), Jct. with LaCrosse Pass Trail, Lake Constance
Duckabush: Ten-mile, Upper Duckabush Camp, Marmot Lake
Hamma Hamma Area: Upper Lena Lake
Coastal Areas: Bear cans are required
Food Hanging Techniques (where allowed).
Carry at least 75 to 100 feet of rope for "bear hangs".
If your food is not being stored in bear resistant panniers, it must be hung from park bear wires or hang it at least 12 feet high and 10 feet out from the nearest tree trunk.
The Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in Port Angeles now has 2 bear resistant panniers available for loan. These are available for a $5 suggested donation per pannier per trip.
Wilderness and Bears
How do you feel about bears? Many people fear bears and other wildlife perhaps because they know very little about the animal. Learn more about bears and maybe you will learn to appreciate their wildness and their needs.
Their acute sense of smell can lead bears to unclean camps. If bears become accustomed to human food, they may become dangerous and aggressive. To protect visitors and property, park management may close an area to visitors or a park biologist may have to destroy an aggressive or dangerous bear. Two park black bears have died due to poor food storage by visitors.
Black bears and other wildlife have lived in Olympic's wilderness for thousands of years and are an essential part of the wilderness community. Many times we are intruding on their territory or feeding areas and should be sensitive to their need for wild undisturbed space. Human visitors should Leave No Trace and should not impact or harm wildlife during their visit to the wilderness community.
Natural food is one of the most important things to bears and if humans are disturbing or occupying feeding areas during critical feeding times, the survival of bears may be put in jeopardy. Try to avoid lowland grassy areas during the spring and early summer. The areas often provide the first good food source for bears when they wake from hibernation.
Bears, raccoons and other wildlife may become a nuisance by stealing food, damaging equipment or acting aggressively if food is not stored properly.
Nearly 40,000 people backpack in Olympic National Park every year. It only takes one careless camper to damage a small part of the wilderness community.
The Olympic wilderness and its community are your responsibility to protect.
Did You Know?
The old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest produce three times the biomass (living or once living material) of tropical rain forests. More...