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Contact: Dave Reynolds, 360-565-2985
Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
Olympic National Park's upper Hot Springs Road and Boulder Creek Trail in the Elwha Valley will be temporarily closed at the Glines Canyon Dam to all foot and vehicle traffic while contractors complete rehabilitation work on Boulder Creek Trail.
Access to the Glines Canyon Dam will remain open. The Lake Mills boat ramp will remain open through August 25, when it will close to allow a sediment management project to be conducted on the Lake Mills delta.
The Boulder Creek project is expected to last from August 16 until significant snowfall accumulates.
Hikers may reach the Olympic Hot Springs from the Sol Duc trailhead via Appleton Pass. From Sol Duc, the route to the hot springs is approximately 13 miles with a 2,500-foot change in elevation. For more information about hiking options within Olympic National Park, visitors may contact the park's Wilderness Information Center at 360-565-3100.
Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin said the likelihood of uneven surfaces during asphalt removal, the replacement of a foot bridge at Crystal Creek and heavy equipment operation made the temporary closure necessary.
"The Boulder Creek project will ultimately serve to both increase access and improve safety on the trail," Gustin said. "We understand this may affect hikers' plans in the Elwha Valley, but visitor safety, especially at night, is paramount."
Key components of the rehabilitation project include: removing asphalt from a 2.2-mile section of the former Boulder Creek Road, reducing trail width to between 24 and 30 inches and installing foot bridges to improve safety at stream crossings.
The project was originally scheduled to take place in 2011, but funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) allowed the project timeline to be moved forward by one year. SAYBR Contractors, Inc. of Tacoma, Wash. is the contractor on the approximately $1,037,000 project.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided $3 billion to the Department of the Interior. Of that amount, $750 million in funding goes to the National Park Service. A full listing of National Park Service Recovery Act projects throughout the country, along with progress reports for each project, is available at https://recovery.doi.gov/nps.