Adventure Dispatch December 17 – 23 2016

Dive in, we’re back! Transcipt and audio after the jump.
(Just a hint, there’s snow, rain, and more snow!)

Brought to you by: IMPRESSIONS 2017

Hello and welcome to the Adventure Dispatch for week of December 17th to the 23rd, 2016.  It has been awhile since out last Adventure Dispatch, but now that we have regular snowfall, road closures and info, we are back and better than ever. Or at least as good as ever. We have missed you all and we know your ears have been longing to hear our soothing and amazing voices. Since our last update, not a lot has changed. Some rain fell, there was some wind and now we have snow. The salmon returned, spawned and are now rotting along the banks of the rivers and creeks, helping provide nourishment for the eggs they laid. Morbidness aside, we are excited for this year to be over and for a happy, positive and productive 2017. But first, we have a few weeks of Holiday festivities to go!

Are you stressing about Holiday shopping?  Pulling your hair out in agony over what to get your favorite outdoor enthusiast? Ready to retreat to a cabin and become a hermit because you aren’t able to get that perfect gift?

Smile and relax! We have you taken care of!  The Outdoor Society is proud to offer our breathtaking 2017 Olympic Peninsula Calendar, available for purchase at outdoor-society.com. Featuring twelve stunning photographs from some of our favorite destinations across the Olympic Peninsula, you are sure to be inspired and want explore the wilderness of Olympic. Get your calendar now, before they sell out. Seriously! Do it! The reviews are incredible. We also have three new books coming out in the next couple of months, which will be awesome and change the game of guidebooks in the Pacific Northwest. Now, back to the Adventure Dispatch.

Weather

The weekly weather report for the three main regions of the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park is one of our favorite parts of this and I have missed it more than I should. Without further delay, here is the weather:

The coming week for Port Angeles is going to be cool and wet, with very little sun shinning through. Rain is expected to start in town on Saturday night and continue through Tuesday, with possible clearing on Wednesday. Highs will be in the 40s while lows will be in the mid 30s. Expect over two inches of rain to fall over the next week, with over an inch expected on Monday. The snow level is going to jump up to 2000 feet by Sunday and up to 5,000 feet by Tuesday, so don’t expect any snow. We will talk about snow in the Olympics in just a minute, but we need to finish the weather first.

Out along the wilderness coast and in the immensely green rainforest regions of Olympic, the week is anticipated to see nearly four inches of rain fall in the Forks region, with more anticipated in the Quinault, Hoh, Queets and Bogachiel Rainforests. Your driest days this week will be Saturday and Tuesday, but don’t expect to stay dry on either day. The high temperatures will be around the lows 40s, while lows will be in the upper to mid 30s. If you do go out, bring warm clothes and rain gear, as it will be rough and dangerous without it.

On the Hood Canal side of Olympic National Park, the weather is almost always better, even if just slightly. This week, nearly two and a half inches of rain is expected to fall in Hoodsport, with a chance of snow on Sunday morning. Monday will see over an inch and a half of rain, with Wednesday being your best bet for some dry adventures. However, don’t expect much sun, as rain is going to be a guarantee for the majority of the week. Highs this week will bounce around between the 40s to the 30s, while lows will remain around the mid 30s most of the week.

Snowpack

Now that winter is here, we finally get to talk about the Olympic snowpack.  Right now, the Olympic snowpack is 170% of normal for this time of year. This week, Mount Olympus, which is nearly 8,000 feet above sea level will see rough weather with tons of snow, wind and cold. Between Friday and Tuesday, Mount Olympus will see 70 inches of snow, wind speeds up to 60 miles per hour and a windchill of -11 degrees Fahrenheit.

This coming week will see the snow level in the Olympic Mountains dropping as low as 500 feet on Saturday before bouncing around up to 5000 feet, depending on your region. The mountains along the Hood Canal will see the most snow this coming week, especially toward the end of the week when another cold front moves in. During the end of the week, snow could fall in Forks and in the foothills around Port Angeles, so be ready! We will see early snowfall on Sunday and Monday, but the air is warmer for the first part of the week.

If you are going to explore the park this coming week, please be aware road closures and rough roads for some of the regions popular destinations.

Road Conditions

  • As of December 16th, 2016, the road in Olympic are in the following conditions:
  • The Dosewallips Road is closed forever.
  • The Deer Park is closed for the season.
  • The road to Obstruction Point is closed for the season, as is the road to Hurricane Hill.
  • The Hurricane Ridge Road is open, but only on Friday, Saturday and Sundays, weather permitting. Chains must be carried in all vehicles and the uphill gate closes at 4:00pm.
  • The Olympic Hot Springs and Whiskey Bend Roads in the Elwha Region are closed, as is the Sol Duc Road due to snow.
  • Every other road in Olympic National Park is open, but be aware that the Staircase Road is extremely rough with large potholes and some snow at the parking lot.
  • For updated openings and closures, please see our website or contact us directly on Twitter. We will help you out!

Campgrounds

If you plan on camping in Olympic this week, many of the campgrounds in Olympic National Park are closed for the season. There are currently eight campgrounds open in the park. They are the Dosewallips camp, which is a 5.5 mile walk in campground only, the Heart O’ the Hills, Graves Creek, the Kalaloch Campground, the Hoh, Mora, North Fork Quinault, the Ozette and Queets Campground.

Trail of the Week

The Outdoor Society’s “Trail of the Week” is a trip out to the newly opened Bogachiel Rainforest Trail. The Bogachiel Rainforest is accessed along Undi Road just south of Forks, darting sharply east into a majestic valley full of ferns, mosses, towering trees and pristine, saturated wilderness. To say that the region is wet is an understatement. The city of Forks receives an average of 10 feet of rain each year, while the Bogachiel Rainforest, gets around 14 feet of rain annually, making hiking in the area an incredibly green (albeit wet) experience. The best trail option is starting at the Ira Spring Wetland Trail and working your way into the lush undergrowth of the Bogachiel Rainforest in Olympic National Park. For dozens of miles, the Bogachiel Rainforest Trail weaves through some of the most spectacular scenery in America, and is often devoid of human life, except your hiking party. The trail enters through wilderness so isolated and spectacular, you won’t look at any other forest the same.

For specific hikes, check out our website, as hundreds of destinations can found in our Guidebooks, all purchased at outdoor-society.com.

This week’s events around Olympic National Park are non-existent, but that shouldn’t stop you from heading out and getting your fix of wilderness beauty. Brave the weather and go outside, your mind, body and soul will thank you.

This concludes this week’s Adventure Dispatch. If you have any questions, please reach out to us on Twitter and check our website for more info. This is Mathias saying, “Thanks for tuning in and we will catch you next week, same time, same place.”

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Made in the great Pacific Northwest

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By Doug and Mathias on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

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