Adventure Dispatch September 10 – 16 2016

This is #20! of our Adventure Dispatch.

Hello and welcome to the Adventure Dispatch for the week of September 10th to September 16th, 2016 for Olympic National Park. This week’s information is presented by the 2017 Olympic Peninsula Impressions Calendar, available for purchase at outdoor-society.com. The new poster calendar ‘OLYMPIC PENINSULA IMPRESSIONS: 2017‘ will be available in late September, with pre-orders going on now. 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.

Weather

  • The sun has returned, and with it, another week of hiking and adventures in Olympic National Park. Sure, school has started again and work is probably stressful, but why not take an early sick day and hike your favorite trail one last time before the rain returns. Better yet, go and discover a new corner of Olympic with one of our trust guidebooks! No matter what you do, make sure you take some time this coming week to reconnect with the Olympics and enjoy what could be the last warm and sunny days of 2016.
  • This week, the weather at Port Angeles is incredible, giving us sun and warm temperatures in the high 60s all week. With less than 10% of a chance of rain for the entire week, you really can’t force yourself to be stuck in the office the whole time. Lows will be in the mid-40s, giving off season, backcountry campers a chance to enjoy a bit of crisp air at night. This will also be a great week to hit up the ridges and maybe even do some stargazing before the clouds return.
  • Out along the coast and the rainforest regions of Olympic, the weather is almost as good as it is on the north side of the Peninsula. Highs all week will be in the upper 60s and 70s, with sun dominating the long term forecast. I’d totally make sure to hit up LaPush, Ozette and Shi Shi if you haven’t already. The coast will be mostly empty during the week, giving amazing photography and hiking opportunities. Lows will hover around 50 degrees, letting you still wear shorts without being chilly! Hooray for one last dose of summer!
  • Finally, the Hood Canal region of Olympic National Park will be, as always, the best weather for the region. With highs near 80 all week and plenty of sunshine, it is little wonder where I will be found during the week. This week will be amazing along the Hood Canal, and if you can, I highly suggest calling in sick as much as you can and putting in serious hiking miles. Anyone want to run up to Gladys Divide with me?

Snow

  • The snow level for the coming week isn’t going to impact anyone’s travels. By Tuesday, the freezing level is going to be 13,000ft, far taller than any of the Olympic mountains. That may change in a few weeks, but we will see.

Road Conditions

  • For those driving to Olympic, keep in mind that there are now numerous road closures in Olympic. The first is located out along the Elwha River. The project was started on Monday, July 25 to fix the Olympic Hot Springs road, which was severely damaged last winter as record rainfall led to severe washouts that eroded and damaging the road. Precipitation in the Elwha Valley this winter measured 138 percent of normal, making this winter the fourth wettest in the 75-year record at the Elwha Ranger Station. In the four-month period from November through February, the Elwha River experienced a 25-year flood, a 10-year flood, two five-year floods and one two-year flood.
  • The repairs, according the the ONP, are expected take another four to six weeks. During this time, the road to and the trails in Elwha region will be closed to all car traffic. Pedestrian access is limited. The road will open to bicycle and pedestrian access at noon this Friday, September 2 and will remain open until 6:00 p.m. on Labor Day, Monday, September 5. Thereafter, the road will open for non-motorized access from noon on Fridays through 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.
  • The Olympic National Park road crew will also be replacing the wood decking of the Finley Creek Bridge on the Quinault North Shore Road beginning Monday morning, September 12.
  • The project is anticipated to last four days and will necessitate daytime closures of the bridge (6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) from Monday, September 12 through Thursday, September 15. The North Shore Road will remain open, with alternative access to the upper portion of the road available via the South Shore Road.
  • Also in the Quinault region, the Olympic National Park road crew will begin repairs to several washouts on the Quinault Valley’s Graves Creek Road on Monday, September 19. The Graves Creek Road sustained severe damage during last winter’s storm and has been partially closed ever since. To provide for public safety during the upcoming repairs, the road will be completely closed to all entry, including foot, bicycle and stock access, during the repair project. The project and closure is anticipated to take two weeks, with the road scheduled to reopen in early October.  While the Graves Creek Road is closed, there will be no access to the Graves Creek Trailhead. Access to Enchanted Valley will be available only from trailheads on the park’s east side.
  • Every other Olympic National Park road is currently open and should remain that way all week.
    Remember that the Dosewallips Road out along the Hood Canal is permanently closed and has been for over a decade. The area is still accessible by foot or bike.

Camping

  • If you plan on camping in Olympic this week, most of the campgrounds in Olympic National Park are 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 and the Graves Creek Campground along the Quinault.

Trail of the Week

For those visiting Olympic this week, the Outdoor Society’s “Trail of the Week” are the numerous trails out of Obstruction Point Road near Hurricane Ridge. Offering stunning panoramic views of some of the wildest and most gorgeous mountain terrain in Olympic National Park, the adventures possible from the area are incredible, capped off with marmots and the occasional mountain goat, hiking here is a great way to see the changes of autumn in the higher elevations of Olympic. If you want any information about this trail or want another hike, check out our website, as hundreds of destinations can found in our Guidebooks, purchased at outdoor-society.com.

Events

This week’s events around Olympic National Park are minimal, as the park is winding down after a busy summer season. Closures will start happening any day and life becomes much more calm and normal.

With that, 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.”

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By Doug and Mathias on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

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