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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
While park crews have opened many park areas and continue to clear storm damage and prepare for the summer season, late season, low elevation snowfall has resulted in several delays.
“Crews are working hard to open the park as quickly as possible, but the weather this spring has been a challenge, said Acting Superintendent Sue McGill. “Snow has fallen not only at the upper elevations, but also in the valleys, making road work difficult and delaying several openings.”
New and updated information for several park destinations is shown below.
The Lower Queets Road is open seven miles to Matheny Creek, but has been closed beyond that point since 2005 due to a landslide. Opening of an alternative access route into the Upper Queets Valley has been delayed by three weeks due to low elevation snow and saturated soils that have made road work impossible. The road is now scheduled to open on Friday, May 2.
The Queets campground and nearby boat launch are scheduled to open on May 16.
Sol Duc Valley
Heavy snow has delayed opening of the Sol Duc campground until Friday, April 18. Two feet of snow remain at the campground and trailhead.
The Sol Duc Road is open as far as the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort; the resort is open.
Hurricane Ridge Road
Weather and road conditions permitting, the Hurricane Ridge Road is scheduled to be open Friday through Sunday through May 4. Weather permitting, the road will open daily (24 hours a day) on May 5 for the summer season.
There are currently 133 inches of snow at Hurricane Ridge; 132 percent of the average depth for this time of year.
Winter conditions can prevail even in spring however, and the road may close at any time because of heavy snow, avalanche danger or high winds.
Visitors should call the park’s road and weather hotline at (360) 565-3131 for current Hurricane Ridge Road conditions.
The Heart O’the Hills campground is open for the season.
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center is open Thursday through Monday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; the visitor center will be open daily for the summer season beginning on May 1.
All other areas are still scheduled to open as previously announced. They are listed below.
Quinault Rain Forest
The Quinault Loop Road re-opened on April 1.
The Quinault Valley’s North Fork Road remains closed to all public entry, including foot and bicycle access, but is scheduled to reopen on April 25. The North Fork Campground will open on May 16.
The Graves Creek Road will open to foot, stock and bicycle use only on April 25. The Graves Creek campground will also open on April 25; no potable water will be available. The road will remain closed to vehicle use throughout the 2008 visitor season.
Hoh Rain Forest & Forks Information Center
The Hoh Road and campground are open. The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is open according to its regular winter schedule of 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
The Park and Forest Information Center in Forks is also open Friday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Olympic’s road-accessible coastal destinations (Kalaloch, Mora, Ozette) are open, including all roads, campgrounds and trailheads. Coastal trails and wilderness travel routes have not been fully assessed, so hikers should use caution and be prepared for washouts.
All roads in the Lake Crescent area are open. The Fairholme Campground and the LaPoel Picnic Area are open for the season.
All roads in the Elwha Valley are open. The Elwha Campground is open; the Altair Campground will open on May 23.
Deer Park Road
The Deer Park Road is closed for the season and is scheduled to open for the summer on June 13. However, this year’s snow pack at Deer Park is 166 percent of average; heavy snow and a late spring melt may lead to delayed openings for some high elevation roads, including Deer Park, Obstruction Point and the Hurricane Hill Road.
The Dosewallips Road remains closed because of a washout outside the park boundary.
The Staircase Road is closed for the season. It sustained major damage during the December storm, both within and outside of the park boundary. Staff from Olympic National Park continues to work closely with Olympic National Forest personnel to reopen the road for the summer season.
Park Trails & Wilderness Information Center
With over ten feet of snow at the park’s higher elevations, little is known about many of the park’s trail conditions. More information will be available once snow begins to melt later in the season.
The Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center (WIC) will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. beginning March 29. Visitors are urged to stop by or call the WIC at 360-565-3100 for current trail reports, spring hiking safety tips and trip planning suggestions.