Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
Despite nearly two months of intensive work by park crews, damage from the record-breaking storm of December 3, 2007 continues to restrict public access to many Olympic National Park areas. An overview of damage follows, along with a request for public input regarding proposed repairs to the Quinault South Shore and Graves Creek Roads. Both roads were washed out and severely damaged at several locations during the heavy rain and flooding of early December.
“Restoring access to the Quinault rain forest loop road is one of our top repair priorities,” said Olympic National Park Acting Superintendent Sue McGill. “Barring any future storms, we hope to reopen the loop road with temporary repairs by the end of March.”
The North Shore Road is currently open from Highway 101 approximately 11 miles to Clark Hill, giving area residents access to their homes. The road is closed to all public access east of the gate at Clark Hill to allow work crews and heavy equipment to make repairs.
The South Shore Road is open from Highway 101 to the park boundary but is closed to all public access beyond that point because of extensive damage. A 750-foot long section of road washed out during the December 3 flood and another 150-foot long section of road is covered by rock and debris. Other damage includes bank erosion and numerous trees blown down across the road. Although long term repairs will be necessary to maintain access, park crews are planning to make emergency repairs in order to restore public access by the end of March.
The North Fork Road was covered by hundreds, if not thousands, of trees during the windstorm of December 3. While park crews have succeeded in clearing about half of the road’s length, more work is needed before the road can be opened. The campground sustained some flood damage and downed trees.
The Graves Creek Road was severely damaged in three locations along its 6.3 mile length from floodwaters of the Quinault River. The road was also damaged at six other locations by heavy rain, runoff and downed trees.
The park is developing alternatives to permanently repair the damaged roadway to provide more sustainable access along the South Shore Road and Graves Creek Road. Options may include the design and placement of engineered log jams and bank barbs along portions of the roadway to better protect the road while protecting and improving habitat for fish.
The public is asked to provide comments to help develop the alternatives, which will be presented in an environmental assessment to be released later this year. Comments will be accepted now through March 5, 2008 during the 30-day scoping period.
Comments should be submitted on-line by visiting https://parkplanning.nps.gov/olym, the website for the National Park Service’s Planning Environment and Public Comment system.
Comments may also be sent to the following address no later than March 5, 2008.
Hoh Rain Forest
Sol Duc Valley
Hurricane Ridge Road
The road was damaged by rain and runoff during the December 3 storm, leading to three sites that are now only one lane in width. These sites will be repaired during the two-year repaving project set to begin this spring.
Deer Park Road
Five riverside sites in the Staircase Campground were lost to floodwaters along the North Fork Skokomish River, but the campground is expected to open for the summer season.
Hikers are urged to use caution and to be prepared for numerous downed trees as well as damaged or washed out trails, along with changeable winter weather conditions.
When available, current trail condition reports are posted at the Olympic National Park website.
Last updated: June 21, 2017