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Welcome to the Adventure Dispatch for the week of August 13th to August 19th, 2016 for Olympic National Park. This week’s information is presented by the slightly crazy, always energetic staff at The Outdoor Society. Get inspired and explore the wild with us.
So, looks like the heat has returned. Summer keeps teasing us, but this past little heat wave has been glorious and well deserved. Though, I do have to ask, has anyone else been sweating a bit more than they feel comfortable with? No, ok good me either. I was asking for a friend.
Speaking of weather…
If you are driving to Olympic, keep in mind that the only road closures in Olympic are located out along the Elwha River. Started on Monday, July 25th, repairs have started on the Olympic Hot Springs road, which was severely damaged last winter as record rainfalls led to severe washouts eroding and damaging the road. The repairs, according the the ONP, will take about eight weeks. During this time, the road and the Elwha region will be closed to all pedestrian access.
If you plan on camping in Olympic this week, good news. All of the campgrounds in Olympic National Park that will open this year are now open. Remember, only the Sol Duc and Kalaloch campgrounds take reservations and the other campgrounds have been filling up fast. Every other campground is first come, first serve, so try and arrive early in the morning for your best chance of getting a spot. The only campground closures in Olympic are along the Elwha River, due to the washouts last winter. Dosewallips and Graves Creek campgrounds are also open, but are only accessible as walk-in campgrounds.
For those visiting Olympic this week, the Outdoor Society’s “Trail of the Week” is the Upper Lena Lake Trail above the Hamma Hamma River. While Lower Lena is popular and gets tons of attention and love, Upper Lena Lake is a spectacular slice of wilderness that looks like a scaled down version of the Many Glacier region of Glacier National Park. Upper Lena Lake sits shimmering and sparkling with Mount Bretherton and Mount Lena reflecting off its calm, placid waters. After a beast of a hike, the lake becomes an oasis of beauty over half a mile above the Hamma Hamma River below. In the lake, take a dip in the cool waters from melting snows while enjoying the views of this peaceful valley. Getting here can be hard work, and the steep route from Lower Lena Lake can be a challenge to those not used to the incline of Olympic Mountain trails. If the hike seems a bit much for a day, take a long weekend and camp along the shores of Upper Lena. To camp at Upper Lena, you will need the proper NPS permit at Upper Lena Lake, while Lower Lena is in the National Forest Service. The trail is 14.6 miles round trip and gains 3,800ft, so slower hikers or those new to exploring the eastern slopes of the Olympics may want to make it a two day trip. More information on these regions can be found on outdoor-society.com and in our Olympic National Park Guidebooks.
Scheduled for August 21 through 28, Paint the Peninsula will feature 25 specially selected plein air artists who will paint outdoors over the week to capture the Peninsula’s natural beauty.
On August 23, all 25 artists will paint within the boundaries of Olympic National Park. During the competition’s remaining days, artists will have the option to paint within the park or at another outdoor location of their choosing. On August 24, as part of the park’s Centennial celebrations, artists will present demonstrations at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, Storm King Ranger Station and Lake Crescent Lodge at Lake Crescent. Additional demonstrations will be offered throughout the day on August 25 at Storm King Ranger Station and Lake Crescent Lodge. More information about these in-park demonstrations can be found at http://www.paintthepeninsula.org/2016-schedule-of-events.html.
From August 15th to the 17th, Music in the American Wild, a collaboration featuring seven classical musicians performing original works by 11 composers will present three free concerts in Olympic National Park. The concerts are offered in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. Each original composition was inspired by the beauty and uniquely American experience of national parks.
Three outdoor concerts are scheduled:
With that, this concludes this week’s Adventure Dispatch. Summer is here and you need to go outside and enjoy the sun and the warmth. You never know if it will return! If you have any questions, please reach out to us on Twitter and check our website for more info. This is Douglas saying, “Thanks for tuning in and we will catch you next week, same time, same place.”