It has been ridiculously wet on the Olympic Peninsula. So wet last week’s Dispatch drowned in a giant puddle – sorry.
Pay attention to the road closures this week. So. Many. Closures!
Hello and welcome to the Adventure Dispatch for week of October 21st to October 28th, 2016 for Olympic National Park. We are back after a little break and once again, you get to hear my voice! I am sure you missed it, as I missed you. It is hard to believe that October is nearly over and the holiday season is just around the corner. I know. I said it. I am sorry. Before we get into the perfect holiday gifts, I would like to remind you all to vote in this year’s election. Vote for the environment. It is the only one we have.
Ok, so for the holidays, we have you taken care of. We are proud to offer a stunning 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, to the regular weekly weather report. We are in the grips of one of the wettest Octobers on record and the coming week looks no different. The normally dry city of Port Angeles is going to see over an inch and a half of rain over the next week. As of October 21st, Port Angeles has received 5.93 inches of rain in October, well above the 2.20 inches the region gets for the entire month. This week, expect rain every day, with the greatest chance of non-wet weather coming on Saturday. Most days will see breaks in the rain and maybe even some sun. Highs will be in 50s ad lows will be in the 40s.
- Along the coast and in the rainforest regions of Olympic, the week is anticipated to see nearly two more inches of rain fall in Forks. The monthly rainfall total for Forks is 15.82 inches through 21 days, already much higher than the average October monthly total of 10.49. This coming week, your best weather days will be Saturday, with clouds until late rain shower, and then Friday where the forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies. Every other day has a 50% chance of rain with a predicted half inch of moisture to fall. Highs will be in the 50s and lows will be in the 40s. Hooray for predictable weather!
- On the Hood Canal side of Olympic National Park, the weather is better, but just slightly. Saturday will see sun, then evening rain, with showers lasting until Friday. Friday is expected to be partly cloudy, with just 4/100ths of an inch of rain to fall in Hoodsport. For the week, two inches of rain is predicted in Hoodsport, with more falling further up the rivers and valleys of the region. So far, in just 21 days, the city of Hoodsport has received 16.06 inches of rain. The monthly average for 31 days in October? 5.07 inches. It has been ridiculously wet.
- With all this rain, we have to talk snow. This coming week will see the snow level in the Olympic Mountains dropping as low as 4500 feet on Saturday. The rest of the week will see the snow level fluctuate between 5500 and 6000 feet, resulting in a good dusting of snow on some of the more popular mountains to hike and climb around the region. Higher up in the tallest of the Olympic Peaks, snow will be dumping in buckets, yet again. The tallest peak in the Olympics, Mount Olympus, will receive another two feet of snow in the next week. Sadly, data on the snowpack is not yet available. Despite the snow in the mountains, most areas will be open to the public, as most of the most-visited regions of Olympic are located closer to sea level.
- If you are going to explore the park this coming week, please be aware of numerous road closures.
As of October 21st, 2016, the following roads are closed:
The Dosewallips is closed forever.
Deer Park is closed for the season.
Obstruction Point: Closed for the season.
Olympic Hot Springs Road was closed due to paving, but is now reportedly closed due to storm damage, as is the Elwha’s Whiskey Bend Road.
The Upper Hoh Road is closed due to a washout, restricting access to the Hoh Rainforest.
Mora Road out to Rialto Beach is closed to to storm damage and construction.
- Every other park road is open and should be visited! Please be aware that the Hurricane Ridge Road may close on short notice due to weather or unsafe road conditions. For updated openings and closures, please see our website or contact us directly on Twitter or FB. We will help you out!
- If you plan on camping in Olympic this week, most of the campgrounds in Olympic National Park are closed due to last week’s storm. There are only four campgrounds currently open in the park. They are the Dosewallips camp, which is a 5.5 mile walk in campground only. Also open is the easily accessible Sol Duc, which is only open until October 30th. Heart O’ the Hills and Kalaloch Campgrounds are also open.
The Outdoor Society’s “Trail of the Week” is a trip out to the newly opened Graves Creek area of the Quinault Rainforest. Whether you just hang out and look at the river from the campground, drive the Quinault Rainforest Loop Drive or take the ultimate short and family-friendly to Pony Bridge over the Quinault River, this area will be a beautiful, wet adventure. 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 minimal due to the weather and the season. We are in a weird flux right now, hanging out until winter activities return. Maybe next week we will have something awesome to report…until then…
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 Douglas saying, “Thanks for tuning in and we will catch you next week, same time, same place.”