Adventure Dispatch September 2 – 9 2016

Happy Labor Day Weekend from Olympic National park.

Follow along with our trusty transcript:

Hello and welcome to the Adventure Dispatch for the week of September 2nd to September 9th, 2016 for Olympic National Park. This week’s information is presented by the 2017 Olympic Peninsula Impressions 2017 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. It’s just $20 and will ship it in late September.

Weather

  • Well, it looks like fall is here and it is happening. The warm weather seemed to have vanished, replaced by rain, clouds and cold air. Not that we are complaining. There are few places in the world better in the fall than Olympic National Park. From salmon spawning to elk bugling and the return of dripping moss and fall colors, autumn in Olympic is gorgeous and you should be excited about the coming new season. While not every day will be clear and sunny, the weather in the fall is perfect for wilderness adventures.
  • This week, the weather at Port Angeles won’t be awful, but it also won’t be dry. It won’t be as wet as the end of last week, which is nice. In fact, expect partly cloudy skies on Saturday and Thursday, with a chance of rain falling every other day. Highs will be near 60 degrees, with lows in the mid 40s. Nearly half on inch of rain is expected to fall for the entire week.
  • The coast and rainforest of Olympics will actually have better weather than the so-called rain shadow region of the park. The weekend will be awesome, with partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid-60s. Rain returns late Monday and will last throughout the week, with a chance of just cloudy skies on Thursday. Less than half an inch is expected to fall.
  • The Hood Canal region of Olympic usually see the best weather and this week is no exception. It will lightly rain through the weekend, then start clearing up on Tuesday, with highs near 70 on Wednesday through Friday. Less than two tenths of an inch of rain are forecasted for the week.

Snow!?

The snow level for the coming week isn’t going to impact anyone’s travels. Snow may fall on the few peaks above 7,000 feet this week, but will be minimal and won’t drop lower unless something changes. However, it is important to know that snow in the mountains is just around the corner!

Roads

  • For those driving to Olympic, keep in mind that the only permanent road closures in Olympic are 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 serious 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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.


Trail of the week

For those visiting Olympic this week, the Outdoor Society’s “Trail of the Week” is super short and super gorgeous Maple Glade Trail along the North Shore road in the Quinault region. This is the Quinault;s version of the Hall of Mosses Trail, and honestly, I think it rivals it. Throw in the cool and historic homestead near by and this elk-friendly hiking area is sure to captivate your heart. This is a fantastic family-friendly trail. If you need information about this trails or want another hike, check out our website, as hundreds of destinations can found in our Guidebooks, which you can purchase at outdoor-society.com.

Events Calendar

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. The hectic schedule of the park is gone, but a few programs will remain. Check with ranger stations for local events.

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 Mathias 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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