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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
As Memorial Day approaches, Olympic National Park staff is gearing up for the summer season -- opening campgrounds, stocking up on maps and visitor brochures and training new employees. Although the Hood Canal Bridge remains closed through mid-June, the park is ready for spring visitors, and may provide an even more peaceful refuge during the six-week bridge closure.
“With summer nearly here, we invite our neighbors and visitors to come and enjoy the park,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin. “There’s something for everyone at Olympic, from ocean beaches to quiet forests to lingering spring snow in the high country.”
A summary of park opportunities and facility openings is provided below.
Nearly all of the park’s roads are open, with only the Dosewallips Road and Graves Creek Road still closed to vehicle traffic by storm damage. The Dosewallips Road is open for pedestrian use.
The Graves Creek Road is currently open for bicycles, stock and pedestrian use but will close to both bicycles and stock on July 20 to allow contractors to begin major road re-construction. Hikers interested in using the East Fork Quinault Trail are urged to finish their hike before July 20, or choose a different route after that date. Between July 20 and October 30, hikers will encounter heavy construction equipment and possible lengthy delays along the road and will need to exercise extreme caution in order to safely pass around the multiple construction zones. Construction-related closures and delays will continue through October, when the project is slated to be completed. The Graves Creek Road is scheduled to re-open for vehicle traffic on November 1, 2009.
The high-elevation Deer Park, Hurricane Hill and Obstruction Point roads are still snow-covered. Snow permitting, the Deer Park Road will open on June 11 and the Obstruction Point Road will open on July 4.
Except for the Deer Park campground, all park campgrounds will open in time for the Memorial Day weekend. The following campgrounds are already open: Elwha, Fairholme, Heart O’the Hills, Hoh, Kalaloch, Mora, North Fork, Ozette, Queets, Sol Duc and Staircase.
Altair campground will open on May 19; South Beach campground will open on May 21. The Dosewallips and Graves Creek campgrounds are both open for walk-in use only due to damage on their access roads. The Graves Creek campground will close to all use on July 20 when road repairs begin and will reopen after repairs are finished in late October.
Visitor Centers & Wilderness Information Center
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. The park’s Wilderness Information Center (WIC) is now located within the visitor center, but offers extended hours for hikers at a window in the rear of the building from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. The hours of both the main visitor center and WIC will be extended in late June.
The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday through Tuesday and will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on May 22.
The National Park Service and Forest Service Information Station in Forks is open Friday through Sunday and will begin seven-day-a-week service in late June.
The Kalaloch Information Station is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday through Tuesday and will be open daily for the summer beginning on May 22.
The Lake Crescent Lodge, Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort and Kalaloch Lodge are all open for the season. Log Cabin Resort on Lake Crescent will open for weekends only on May 22 and will open seven days a week on June 20.
The Hurricane Ridge Snack Bar and Gift Shop are open for the season; the Fairholme Store on Lake Crescent will open on May 22.
More information on facility opening dates.
Early season conditions, including snow cover above 2,500 feet, fallen trees and other winter storm damage, exist throughout the park. Hikers are urged to check for current trail conditions online or call the Wilderness Information Center at 360-565-3100.
All park picnic areas are open, except for the Hurricane Ridge picnic area along the Hurricane Hill Road, which is still snow-covered and not yet open for the season.