Adventure Dispatch April 29 – May 5 2016

Hey, hey, hey it’s almost May and the weekend weather looks pretty stellar. Here is your Adventure Dispatch for Olympic National Park.

Tune in today.

And here is your trusty transcript:

Hello and welcome to the Adventure Dispatch for the week of April 29th to the May 5th in Olympic National Park. My name is Douglas and I will be your trusted voice for the week. This week’s information is Powered by The Outdoor Society. Get inspired and explore the wild with us.

To start, we look at the coming week’s weather, which will be sunny and warm Sunday through Tuesday, once the clouds start clearing on Friday and Saturday. Highs during the sunny days will be around 70 in Port Angeles, with lows dropping to the mid–40s. The end of the week sees a potential of rain coming in, but nothing too serious. If you can, head out and get to exploring the trails on the north end of the Park.

Out on the coast and deep in the rainforests of Olympic, Friday will be rainy and then it gets glorious after a warm and cloudy Saturday. High will be in the mid–70s for Sunday and Monday before dropping into the 60s for the remainder of the week. Clouds return toward the end of the week with a chance of light rain. Don’t sweat the chance of light rain though, after last winter’s deluge, this will be comical.

Out on Hood Canal and the eastern slopes of the Olympic Mountains, the weather mirrors the rainforest and coast, but will be warmer. After rain of Friday, Saturday starts to clear and then the heat returns, with a high near 80 on Monday. A small chance of rain is forecasted for Tuesday, but then the rest of the week looks awesome. I’d definitely call in sick from work on Monday and check out the waterfalls.

The snow level in the Olympics will be start out on Friday around 4,500 feet, but will quickly rise to 10,000ft on Sunday before stabilizing around 8,000ft for the rest of the week. Snowfall will be be minimal Friday, if it snows at all. .

The snowpack in the Olympics is currently at 96% of normal, with trails around the Park and Peninsula snow-free at around 3500ft, but much lower on northern facing slopes. Obviously, there are pockets of lower snow all around, but unless you are climbing a mountain or visiting Hurricane Ridge, I wouldn’t think it will impact your trip.

This week, the following roads are closed in Olympic National Park, restricting access to the following areas: Along Hood Canal, the Dosewallips Road remains closed and will, more than likely never open since it has been closed to vehicles for a decade.

Around Port Angeles, the Deer Park Road is closed for the winter, and won’t be open until June. The Obstruction Point Road near Hurricane Ridge is also closed, and more than likely won’t be open until June, as well.

The Hurricane Ridge Road is scheduled to be open daily, depending on weather and staffing. This is incredibly inconvenient, but the road should be open 24/7 in just a few weeks.

Out on the Elwha, both the Olympic Hot Springs Road and Whiskey Bend Road are closed due to a washout on the main road. Plans to put a temporary bridge are still in the works, and may be completed in time for the summer crowds. You can still hike out here though, so explore the Elwha!

Every other Olympic National Park road is currently open and should remain that way all week. Keep in mind that the Graves Creek Road in the Quinault Region is washed out 2 miles from the Graves Creek Campground. RVs and large cars are not recommended on the road to the washout because the turnaround spot is pretty small.

Campers have a few options this week around in Olympic National Park, Camping in Olympic is currently open in the following campgrounds: Dosewallips, Graves Creek, Heart O the Hills, Hoh, Kalaloch, Mora, North Fork, Ozette, Queets, Sol Duc and Staircase. Keep in mind that only Kalaloch accepts reservations, every other campground is first come, first serve. Finding a spot shouldn’t be an issue this week, thanks to the cooler weather and return of light rain.

Remember, that while both the Dosewallips and Graves Creek Campgrounds are open, but access to the campgrounds are walk-in only.

For those visiting Olympic this week, the Outdoor Society’s “Trail of the Week” is the Mineral Creek hike out of the Hoh Rainforest. Past the Hall of Mosses and far from the crowds at the visitor center, the hike along the Hoh River to the small bridge and view of Mineral Creek falls should be incredible. Expect to see elk, gorgeous wildflowers and everything that you know and love about the rainforests of Olympic. The hike is a bit longer than five miles in length, but mostly flat and jaw-droopingly gorgeous. More information on this region and trail can be found on outdoor-society.com.

There are limited local events around the park this week, but honestly, nothing of note is going on. Since it is the end of April and first week of May, the park is starting to slowly get ready for the summer season. With the celebration of 100 years of parks occurring, you can be sure Olympic, which was America’s 7th most-visited National Park will be, once again, popular.

Sorry to bud in here, but I’ve got an event that’s worth mentioning:

This week PBS is re-airing Ken Burn’s National Park Special. This 6-part series shares the incredible history of how America’s Best idea came to be and gives a breath-taking look at some of the most beautiful place on this planet.

Check your local PBS station for exact times or view the series on your PBS app.

That concludes this week’s Adventure Dispatch. If you have any questions, please reach out to us on Twitter and check our website for more. Thanks for tuning in and catch you next week, same time, same place.


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