America’s most iconic National Park road is reopening, helping provide lifelong adventures into the heights of Glacier National Park. Soon, once the plows finish clearing snow, Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road will be open to vehicles, once again inspiring and possibly terrifying modern day adventurers with inspiring views. Any day now, the Going to the Sun Road will be open. Will you be driving it this year?
Just five weeks ago, we headed south to tackle one of our craziest adventures yet. As winter finally was ending in the Pacific Northwest, Doug and I took off for a week long expedition to the deserts of the American Southwest. We drove many miles, visited new and wondrous places and went to run the epic Grand Canyon from South Rim to North Rim and back, all in a day, all in one go. Among rocks millions of years old, carved by the everlasting patience of the mighty Colorado River, we discovered desire beauty, refueled our sense of exploration and tested our minds, bodies and souls in ways we could never have imagined. We left as rainforest runners, we came back as canyon cowboys. On June 19th, 2017, come see, here and experience this amazing trip with The Outdoor Society.
Memorial Day weekend at Lake Cushman started with potential. Underneath the shadow of rocky peaks full of mountain goats, and near a peaceful river full of camping destination and hiking trails, hundreds of excited locals and tourists headed out in the long overdue sunny weather. Fueled by alcohol and testosterone, Lake Cushman’s Party Rock erupted in violence, where fights broke out, a vehicle ran over someone and a man was hit in the head with a hammer. Elsewhere, one man was killed and another injured in what some are saying was a racially motivated crime. Finally, crowds overwhelmed National Park staff.
The Hoh River Valley is a blessed place. Inspiring, soothing and bonding us back in touch with Mother Nature, the experiences found in this rainforest region of the Olympic Peninsula are unrivaled. For many, the great outdoors don’t get any better than the wilderness beauty found along the blue river and green mosses of the Hoh. Now, thanks to local conservation efforts, the Hoh rainforest just got a little bigger.
Love marmots, hiking, alpine views and spending time in the great outdoors of the Olympic Peninsula? Now you can help a species and get into wilderness, thanks to the Marmot Monitoring Program in Olympic National Park. For those hoping to watch these furry, adorable, high-alpine dwellers, Olympic National Park is happy to announce that they are now accepting volunteer applications for the Olympic Marmot Monitoring Program 2017 survey season! This is a fantastic way to explore the park, help out the official endemic mammal of Washington and support your Public Lands! Hurry though, the applications deadline is June 1st!
At 8:32am on May 18th, 1980, the once silent Sunday morning in the Pacific Northwest was quickly turning into the one of the most memorable natural disasters in American History. The largest recorded landslide also helped trigger a powerful eruption that sent volcanic ash across the globe. Today, we mark 37 years of this amazing eruption, and take a minute to remember the 57 people who lost their lives.
Another month, another closure to a popular area in Olympic National Park. Seems like a familiar tune, right?
This time though, the closure will be a good thing, as the reason for the lack of access is a repair to a the road leading into one of Olympic’s most popular coastal destinations. The closure to Rialto Beach is expected to last through the month of June, meaning that there will be NO ACCESS to this classic Olympic National Park beach until the summer. You read that right, Rialto Beach is off limits until the end of June. (Except Memorial Day Weekend)
I might have cried with joy when I heard the news.
The road leading to Olympic National Park’s Staircase region is being repaired, with the grading process starting on Saturday, April 29, 2017. Once the process is complete and the miles of potholes are filled up, Forest Service Road 24 along Lake Cushman will be easily passable, allowing you access deep into the wilderness around the North Fork Skokomish River.
That’s gotta be an Olympic tongue twister, right?
Joking aside, ONP will be fixing roads and you should be aware of what, which, when, and where. Affected areas are: Quinault, Kalaloch, Hoh and Mora areas. This project might take awhile, in fact completion time is forecasted to be mid to end of August of 2017. This is not counting the construction projects occurring all summer around Lake Crescent, which will make travel around the northern peninsula slow at best.
As we finally get a break from the seemingly endless onslaught of rain and clouds, Olympic National Park has sent out a reminder that the park is starting to open up for the late spring and summer months. Starting on April 28th, the Hurricane Ridge Road will be open 24 hours a day depending on weather, while numerous campgrounds and roads are expected to open in May and June. We will obviously keep you all updated on the openings of each region, but this is a great announcement. The official Olympic National Press release is as follows, with images provided by yours truly and a few comments added by The Outdoor Society.
In the most recent and blatant attempt to strip Americans of their Public Lands, the Trump Administration is expected to issue an Executive Order on Wednesday, April 26th that calls for a review of all National Monuments designated since 1996.Trump’s executive order on will attack 1,018,114,328 (over one billion!!!!!) acres of our most special National Monuments.
In the current climate of political uncertainty, America’s Public Lands are under constant attack. Whether it is a desire to drill in and around National Parks, continue to slash a budget that is already barebones or even refuse to allow hiring at the numerous lands ran by the Department of Interior, it is simple: our National Parks are being undervalued. Even locally, many towns around the region want to open up logging or mining in and around our most cherished of public lands, saying it will boost the economy, create jobs and all of their other outdated talking points. Today, we get to prove them wrong and hopefully shut them up for good. Our public lands are revenue generators and help sustain the American way. This is a fact.
In 2016, 1.4 Million park visitors spent an estimated $50.7 Million in local gateway regions while visiting Mount Rainier National Park. The 1.4 million was the highest visitation total since 1995, showing that the iconic volcano in the Pacific Northwest received a great boost from the National Parks turning 100 years old. The expenditures brought in by visitors supported a total of 654 jobs, $23.3 Million in labor income, $40.3 Million in value added, and $64.8 Million in economic output in local gateway economies surrounding Mount Rainier National Park.
A rugged peak exists in the Southeast corner of the Olympic National Park where few hikers venture to go. The top is ragged in places, with exposed rocks teetering precariously at the top of a 3,000ft summit, giving unrivaled views of one of America’s most wonderful wilderness regions. Rarely visited, seeing only a handful of hikers each month, Olympic’s Cub Peak is a mountain you need to experience this summer. Considered to be the steepest hike, per mile, from a parking area in Olympic National Park, Cub Peak is one of our favorite destinations high above the Hood Canal.
GOOD NEWS: THE WASHOUT HAS BEEN “FIXED”
As of 4/24/2017, the road to Graves Creek is once again open. We called Olympic National Park this morning and asked if the road was open. They did confirm that the road was indeed open once again. On a personal note, they could have been slightly less condescending to us when replying.
On April 2nd, around 3:48PM, a small plane reportedly crashed on the snowy slopes of Mount Jupiter on the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula, with two individuals airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle by Search and Rescue personnel from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Search and Rescue. Injuries are said to be minor to the two individuals onboard and are not believed to be life threatening. The location of the crash has been determined to be near Mount Jupiter, inside Olympic National Park.