On June 29th, 1938, Olympic National Park was officially designated as a National Park by President Franklin Roosevelt, forever changing the landscape of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. For the past 81 years, Olympic National Park has been captivating the hearts and imaginations of wilderness explorers of all ages, enticing a deeper connection with the great outdoors. Today, we get to wish it a very Happy Birthday.
This morning, Olympia’s Parks & Arts and Recreation department opened a brand new trail in the NE neighborhood of the capitol city, connecting East Bay Drive by Howard Road to the Reeves Middle School grounds. What has been a secret, neighborhood boot path for many years is now an official city trail, thanks to the support of a generous grant by REI and the incredibly trail work of the Washington Trail Association.
On June 13th, 2019, Olympic National Park opened the entirety of Obstruction Point Road! This amazingly scenic and stunning eight mile dirt road from Hurricane Ridge to Obstruction Point allows vehicles to travel along the remote ridge from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center Area. The final five miles opened quietly on the morning of the 13th, greeting visitors of Washington State’s favorite National Park with windswept ridges and amazing views. In typical Olympic National Park fashion, the news was not announced via a Press Release like every other National Park in the United States typically does.
Deer Park, one of the prettiest ridges in Olympic National Park, has reopened for hiking, driving and camping!
Deer Park, located 14.5 miles east of Hurricane Ridge, is known for stunning views and incredible hiking, as well as being one of the best accessible destinations to star gaze. Deer Park rests in the Olympic Rainshadow, allowing for a windswept ridge that often has some of the best weather in Western Washington. With 14 campsites facing away from the lights of Sequim, Victoria and the other towns of the Salish Sea, Deer Park makes for the ideal destination for those looking for epic views and stunning experiences a mile above the sea.
Love mountain goats on the Olympic Peninsula? Better head to a few popular Olympic National Park and Forest peaks soon. In a press release from the USDA, and in info from Olympic National Park, it was announced that many of the most popular mountain hikes in the Pacific Northwest will be closing for a few days this summer.
Olympic National Park officials have sent out a press release stating that the Staircase Road and campground will reopen Saturday, June 15 to visitors.
The closure for the road rehabilitation project has been extended an additional week to allow paving of the main road prior to re-opening. For public and worker safety, the road will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians at the park boundary through Friday, June 14.
Repairs on Staircase Road started on March 28 of 2019 and were scheduled to last for up to eight weeks. The road was supposed to have reopened to vehicles by Friday, May 24 in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Heading to Olympic National Park’s Sol Duc region in May of 2019? You may be in for a surprise. Without so much as a press release, Olympic National Park officials announced via their website that the foot bridge over Sol Duc Falls will be closed from May 15th through the 22nd of 2019. If you are reading this after May 22nd, 2019, ignore everything past this sentence.
This week has been full of good news from Olympic National Park and it keeps on coming! On Friday, April 5th, 2019, Olympic National Park officials announced that the scenic Spruce Railroad Trail is once again open. This dog and bike-friendly trail should be added to your list of Olympic destinations!
Great news from Olympic National Park, this time from one of the most scenic places the park has to offer. In a park known for being spoiled with beauty, thanks to stunning rainforests, wild rivers and rugged coastlines, another gorgeous destination is open to you whenever you want to visit it. The snow is melting and warmth is returning. The ridge is open.
Good news for those who love the Hood Canal side of Olympic National Park! The road to Staircase will soon be repaired and open! During construction, the road will be closed to all traffic, including those on foot. The Shady Lane Trail is still open and accessible.
We can “bearly” contain our happiness with this news! The first official grizzly bear sighting of 2019 has occurred in Yellowstone National Park! Despite a ton of snow and ridiculously frigid temperatures, the inevitable return to warmer weather is showing signs of occurring. We are a ways from wildflowers and open roads, but the bears are “waking up.”
Looking at visitation stats is nothing new for me. For the past decade, I have been analyzing trends and looking at visitation statistics to National Parks. My focus has always been on Olympic, as I grew up and reside next to the Park’s boundaries. I started researching visitation statistics for Olympic in 2010. It was then that I learned Olympic has consistently been one of the most-visited National Parks in America since 1979. In the last 39 years, it has never dropped out of the top 10, but that may soon change.
Every year, we compile a list of the most-visited National Parks around the country, and aside from a few jumps and dives, not much changes. In 2018, the National Parks of America had another popular year, inspiring hundreds of millions with nature, history and culture. While some parks, like Olympic, continue to plummet in visitation compared with other popular parks, places like Rocky Mountain have surged upwards over the part few years, reaching new heights. Give this list a glance and see how many of the country’s most popular parks you have visited.
Finally, trips into Olympic National Park’s incredible backcountry are getting a little easier to plan. Officials at Washington State’s most visited National Park have announced that on March 18th, 2019, those interested in heading into the roughly 750,000 acres of wilderness can reserve backpacking spots for their trips online.
Happy 147th Birthday to the first National Park!
On March 1st, Yellowstone National Park turned 147 years old! While the land has been around for millions of years, the region now known as Yellowstone National Park was formally protected by the United States Government in 1872. Signed by President Ulysses S. Grant, the Act of Dedication helped create the world’s first National Park and helped inspire a love and protection of Public Lands around the nation.
As Seattle and the towns of the Puget Sound, Skagit Valley and Olympic Peninsula prepare for another dose of lowland snow, a report from the US Department of Agriculture is issuing some trouble news. Despite snow falling all around the Evergreen State, our mountain snowpack is still way below average, once again leading to a potential drought.
Despite Mount Rainier National Park staff’s best efforts to let visitors explore the lands around the iconic Washington State mountain, the only entrance road open into the park during the winter months was closed on Sunday, January 6th, 2019. A simple announcement on the park’s website greeted visitors with the following: