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Yearning for adventure and beauty, longing for moment of peace, hoping for a breath of fresh air.
Announcing our 2020 Photography calendars, with stunning photos telling of these incredible precious and fragile places we call the wilderness of the West.
Can I get a whoop whoop for the upcoming 3 day weekend?
And here is your Adventure Dispatch for Memorial Day! Get out there.
Click through for the transcript of this dispatch:
Hello and welcome to the Adventure Dispatch for the week of May 27th to June 2nd in Olympic National Park. This week’s information is proudly powered by The Outdoor Society. Get inspired and explore the wild with us.
We hope you had a great week last week and that the coming seven days will be full of adventures around the Olympic Peninsula.
As always, we start with weather. Up along the northern side of the park near Port Angeles, the weather for the week can best be described as awesome, once the weekend is over. This weekend sees rain in the forecast, both Saturday and Sunday, with Highs in the upper 50s. Luckily, Monday sees sun and warmth returning, with a high near 80 forecasted for Wednesday. While the weekend may be wet and gray, it will totally be worth if for the upcoming dose of summer on its way.
The coast and rainforest regions of the park look basically the same, though the rain will fall on Friday and Saturday instead. Sunday will be sunny with highs near 60 and warming will return the rest of the week. Tuesday might see the high temperature hover near 80 degrees! Clouds will linger most every day, but that will make sunsets and exploration of the region that much more dramatic.
The east side of Olympic, along the Hood Canal will see the best weather of the region, with just a small chance of rain on Saturday. Otherwise, the weather will be awesome, with highs around 80 degrees for the middle of the week. If you can, call in sick on Tuesday and Wednesday and go camping along any of the river valleys along Hood Canal. It’ll be amazing.
The past week saw a bit of a slow down for the rapidly melting Olympic Mountain Snowpack, but that will change this week. Well, it will change after Friday. Friday will see the snow level hover around 4500 feet with up to an inch falling at Hurricane Ridge. Don’t expect that to last though, as the snow level rises to 5500 feet on Saturday, 6500 feet on Sunday and eventually reaching 11,000 feet on Tuesday night. Currently the Olympic Mountains are at 38% of normal snowpack, and by the end of the week I would not be surprised to see this number drop into the mid to low 20% range. Over the past week, the snow depth just below Hurricane Ridge, at 5,000ft, lost 9 inches and is now just 17 inches deep. Most hikes should be snow free up to around 4500ft, with pockets lingering in valleys and north facing slopes. There isn’t much snow left, so if you need to see it, you better go this week.
For the upcoming week, the following roads are closed in Olympic National Park: Along Hood Canal, the Dosewallips Road is permanently closed, but the region is still open to foot and bicycle traffic.
Around Port Angeles, The Hurricane Ridge Road is now open 24/7, weather permitting! The Hurricane Hill road is open to the end parking lot, which is great news! If you haven’t made it out to Hurricane Hill yet, now is your chance to cut off a few miles and see a wonderful, family-friendly trail leading to a stunning panoramic view. The Obstruction Point Road near Hurricane Ridge is still closed, as is the Deer Park Road in the same area. These roads should be opening in just a few weeks, if the snowmelt continues at the fast pace we are seeing.
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 hopefully in time for the summer crowds. You can still hike out here though, so explore the Elwha by foot!
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.
Those interested in camping this week in Olympic National Park can rejoice, as nearly all campgrounds are open. The campgrounds that are still closed are Deer Park, Altair, Elwha and South Beach. Only Deer Park and South Beach are expected to open this year. Otherwise, you can camp at Fairholme, Heart O the Hills, Hoh, Kalaloch, Mora, North Fork, Ozette, Queets, Sol Duc and Staircase. Dosewallips and Graves Creek are both 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 Mount Storm King Trail above Lake Crescent. Once you stand on top of Mount Storm King, it is hard to figure out how you lived before you were there. Considered one of the classic mountains to climb in Olympic National Park, the trail is just 3.8 miles round trip, but gains a whopping 1,700 feet. It is steep, hard on the quads, and worth every ass-kicking step. Atop the rocky peak, Lake Crescent expands out in all its glory, showing off its otherworldly majesty and intense blue color. It also has the distinction of being Washington State’s second deepest lake. All in all, it’s a tough, but totally rewarding hike worthy of any adventurer’s bucket list. More information on this region and hike can be found on outdoor-society.com and in our Olympic National Park Guidebooks.
This week, there are not really any events going on inside the park. It is a three day weekend though, and the weather looks to be amazing on Monday throughout the entire park, so you should make plans to head out and enjoy the area. If you do decide to head out to Olympic this weekend, which we of course want you to do, get there early, as it could be a bit crowded at the popular areas.
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 info.
This is Douglas saying, “Thanks for tuning in and catch you next week, same time, same place.”