Olympic National Park has recorded nearly 3.5 million park visits so far this year, a ten percent increase over this time last year.
Although the late fall and winter months are commonly regarded as the 'off-season', Olympic continues to offer a myriad of possibilities for exploration and enjoyment. Low elevation destinations usually stay snow free, while the Hurricane Ridge Road -- weather permitting -- provides access to snow-covered meadows and subalpine forests.
Park Hosts Chinese Delegation
Olympic was one of three U.S. national parks recently visited by a delegation of government and non-governmental officials from China's Yunnan Province. The group visited Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Olympic, with the goal of gathering insights and information to further China's system of national parks.
At Olympic, the group had question and answer sessions with Superintendent Bill Laitner and other senior staff, visited the Elwha dam and toured Olympic Park Institute.
Learn more about how the National Park Service supports and benefits from working with other countries' park systems.
Many Hands Restore Elwha Power Lines
The winds of November 12 -- gusting as high as 123 miles an hour at the Glines Canyon dam -- damaged numerous power poles and resulted in nine line breaks along the stretch of electrical line between the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, under an agreement with the National Park Service, operates the two dams and manages the associated power lines. In the aftermath of the storm, the Bureau turned to the local Public Utility District (PUD) and the City of Port Angeles for help in repairing the downed lines and poles, while park crews took care of clearing debris and fallen trees. The Bureau's Elwha Program Coordinator expressed his gratitude for the assistance provided by the City, PUD and park.
Both the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams are slated for removal as part of the Elwha Restoration Project. Dam removal will begin after water quality protection facilities are completed.