America’s National Parks continue to see a rekindled love, despite the current administrations desire to restrict access and decrease their size. In 2017, Yellowstone National Park experienced the second busiest year on record, spurned on by great weather, incredible wildlife and the total eclipse. Last year, Yellowstone recorded 4,116,525 visits, which was a decrease from 2016. 2016 was a record year for visitation, seeing 4,257,177 visits to the park.
If you want to get into a National Park for free in 2018, you’ll need to put down these dates in your Outdoor Society calendar. Just announced by the National Park Service, the fee free days for 2018 have been released and the list is incredible disappointing. Offering just four fee free days for the new year, down from 10 in 2017, those on a tight budget that hope to see America’s best ideas in person will need to plan well.
You might have seen the news that the cost to enter America’s most-popular National Parks might increase.
The Department of Interior has issued a proposal for a fee increase to some of America’s most-visited public lands. The fees are currently slated to occur only during the peak visitation season at 17 of the nation’s 59 National Parks, starting in 2018. If accepted, visitors buying passes at the gates of National Parks will be handing over over double the amount they paid in 2017.
The world is not going to end soon. Sorry to burst your bubble. As much a many may want it, thanks to the current climate of politics in America, the demise of the human race isn’t going to be happening. At least, not from the Yellowstone Supervolcano that has been garnering so much attention in recent days. In case you have missed it, news recently broke that the huge volcano looming under America’s first National Park has “Planet Killing Potential” and “Yellowstone supervolcano could blow faster than thought, destroy all of mankind.” The news doesn’t look good to the outside observer, but like most things, dig a little deeper and the truth is easy to find. These headlines screaming about the demise of humanity should only be viewed as bullshit sensationalism.
Just like that, fires in the Pacific Northwest have closed part of a National Park. Announced Tuesday, September 5th of 2017, the eastern side of Mount Rainier, including the Tipsoo Lake, White River and Sunrise areas are closed to the public. While the closure comes after the Labor Day holiday, the fires are impacting the visibility, mood and spirit of all residents of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. This announcement is only for Mount Rainier and the surrounding region. Please be smart and safe and support the firefighters working the region.
In news that should come as no surprise, thanks to the ridiculous streak of high temperatures and next to no rainfall, Olympic National Park and Forest officials have issued a ban on campfires in the backcountry, including the coastal sections of the park. According to a press release from Olympic National Park, campfires will be allowed ONLY in developed campgrounds and picnic areas only until further notice. The ban and restrictions will last until further notice, which could stretch through September. Those looking to cook food in the wilderness backcountry of the park and forest are only able to use stoves wilderness backcountry, which need to be operated away from any and all flammable vegetation and forest litter. Extreme caution with any open flame is required.
VIA ONP: The Olympic Hot Springs Road in the Elwha Valley re-opened today above the Glines Canyon Overlook to the Boulder Creek Trailhead. Olympic National Park road and trail crews completed the demolition and removal of the Crystal Creek bridge on Boulder Creek Trail and installed an alternate route and foot log at that location to restore access for hikers. Stock access on Boulder Creek Trail will be restored later this fall after additional rock work is completed.
The Outdoor Industry is flexing some serious economic muscle around the country. In a study released at the end of July of 2017, the economic impact of outdoor enthusiasts is more than most realize, generating billions of dollars in taxable revenue and creating millions of jobs around the country. America’s Outdoor Recreation Industry is the 4th highest consumer spending industry in the nation, thanks to millions of people who get outdoors each year. Washington State is one of the regions leading the way in the Outdoor Industry and the impact of hikers, climbers, bikers and campers is flabbergastingly huge.
On the Olympic Peninsula, mountain goats have been known to cause a lot of drama. Introduced to Olympic on January 1st, 1925 the United States Forest Service released four mountain goats near Mount Storm King above Lake Crescent. The goats, from the Selkirk Mountains in Canada, were placed on Mount Storm King as an experiment to see how adaptable they would be to the rugged mountains of the Olympics. The goat’s ability to adapt, as well as reproduce, saw their numbers increase rapidly, making mountain goat sightings a frequent event on numerous peaks on the Olympic Peninsula. Now, the Park wants to know your thoughts on the goats and their future.
Visitors to America’s First National Park have a new trail to take in the splendor and beauty of one of the world’s most-iconic Hot Springs. Located at the Midway Geyser Basin next to the Firehole River, the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring has been captivating visitors to the park since it was first viewed. Now, thanks to a joint effort between Yellowstone National Park, Montana Conservation Corps and Yellowstone’s Youth Conservation Corps anew viewpoint platform and path lead to a breathtaking view of this gorgeous region.
On June 30th, 2017 Olympic National Park officials announced that the entirety of Obstruction Point Road, an eight mile dirt road from Hurricane Ridge to Obstruction Point has opened to vehicle travel from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center Area. The final five miles opened Friday morning after a few weeks of access to the Waterhole area was granted to visitors of Washington State’s favorite National Park.
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 79 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.
Fantastic news from Olympic National Park! Access to Rialto Beach in the LaPush region of Olympic is scheduled to reopen, just in time for the 4th of July holiday weekend! Closed since mid-May, the road leading to one of America’s most visited wilderness beach regions can once again be visited by beach lovers, after finally being repaired for storm damage. It has been nearly two months and we are excited to head on out to Hole in the Wall!
One of the best family-friendly and scenic trails in Olympic National Park is going to reopen this weekend!
For months, visitors to Olympic National Park’s Lake Crescent have had to endure a closure on the eastern part of the Spruce Railroad Trail (SRRT) from the Lyre River Trailhead. Because of the closure, the million visitors to the park this year have had miss the stunning sights found at the stunning tourist draw of Devil’s Punchbowl. Due to much needed construction, the trail was only open in sections. Luckily, we have endured the needed repairs and it was just announced that this phase of improvements, including the McFee Tunnel, will be open to the public, starting Sunday, July 16th!
Watch it after the jump.
On June 18th, 2017, access to Deer Park, one of the prettiest ridges in Olympic National Park, has reopened! The information was verified on the morning of June 18th, by a call to the Olympic National Park visitor center in Port Angeles.
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 light 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.
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.