On the afternoon of May 22nd, 2018, a press release sent out by Mount Rainier National Park reached the inboxes of journalists and Mount Rainier enthusiasts, telling us that cell service would soon be added to the Paradise region of the park. Within minutes, the news spread like a wildfire throughout social media, primarily places frequented by the old guard, Pacific Northwest hiking community. The announcement by the park was met by angry hyperbole, as many outdoor enthusiasts around the region claimed wilderness was now lost for good at Mount Rainier. This is not the case at all. In fact, this is great news for visitors to the park.
The mountain goats of the Olympic Mountains have been called everything from inspiring, to infamous and invasive, and each of these terms are correct. Bounding across the scree-fields and jagged peaks of the mountains in and around Olympic National Park and Forest, the mountain goats of Olympic National Park and Forest have become a highlight for hikers in the high country, but that will soon change. If all goes to plan, there will be no mountain goats on the Olympic Peninsula in just a few years.
The value of Olympic National Park on residents and visitors to Washington State and the Olympic Peninsula is amazing. The 8th most-visited National Park in America, which has rainforests, mountains and wild coastlines, inspires wanderlust and a connection to nature, and fuels an entire regions economy. In the once depressed logging counties around the Olympic Peninsula, where jobs vanished faster than spotted owls, a thriving economy is emerging, fueled by wilderness and tourism. While the tourism industry is showing that it can take root in the region as a major industry, the news isn’t all blooming rhododendrons.
The seemingly never-ending wetness from the winter of 2017-18 has finally ended. We welcome warm temperatures, clear skies and the strange yellow orb glowing in the sky. With the change in the weather, signs of life are returning to the Pacific Northwest. While above average snow still sits on the mountains, spring has sprung in full force in the lower elevations. All along trails in majestic river valleys, trillium are popping up and wildflower seasons seems to be just around the corner. The warmer days also mean that larger animals who hibernate and/or become lethargic in the winter are starting to wake up. Black bears were reported to be active around Olympic National Park and Forest, letting us know that winter is officially over. It is starting to be bear season out on the trails of Olympic National Park, so hikers need to start being loud on the trails and making sure they continue to follow Leave No Trace and Wildlife Watching rules and regulations.
Glacier National Park, known as the backbone of America, is quickly readying itself for another busy summer. As one of America’s most-popular National Parks, Glacier has a tough job getting ready after each snowy winter season. Considered to be the crown of the continent, Glacier National Park gives visitors unrivaled access to pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. However, before we can all explore this amazing, alpine-wilderness destination, roads must be cleaned and cleared.
Heading to Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge this summer? Be prepared for some traffic delays due to needed construction starting on April 9th, 2018. While the delays may be a bummer to your trip to the Shangri-La of the Olympic Peninsula, don’t let the traffic stop you from visiting this stunning region. At worst, the delays, which take place on the first five miles of the gorgeous 17 mile road, will only be for 20 minutes at a time.
National Park visitors love bears. If you don’t believe me, just hit up Yellowstone National Park in May or June and see people lose their minds at the sight of a grizzly or black bear. Bear jams will snarl traffic for hours, and if cubs are around, you might witness people jumping out of their cars to try and snap a picture. Bears in National Parks make people indescribably giddy, and now that spring is here, the bear madness will start again. Luckily, we can nw watch bears from our screens, thanks to a webcam at Glacier National Park.
Spring has officially started, so you know what that means! Roads around Olympic National Park are starting to reopen. While we are still months away from Deer Park and Obstruction Point Road opening up, we are happy to announce that the road leading to Sol Duc opened on March 23rd, 2018. Home to waterfalls, hot springs and incredible camping, the opening of this road gives access to yet another truly stunning wilderness gem in Olympic National Park.
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!
You might have heard the news: The road to Olympic’s Staircase region has been closed since late November of 2017 due to a washout. While the region is still accessible by foot, the washed out road means that those hoping to camp in the campground or those not able to hike are out of luck. Staircase is one of Olympic’s hidden gems and is growing in popularity, reenergizing the small town of Hoodsport and giving Hood Canal a much needed economic boost, so reopening the road is extremely important.
On March 2nd, 1909, Teddy Roosevelt used the Antiquities Act to create Mount Olympus National Monument, now known as Olympic National Park. Thanks to people like Lieutenant O’Neil and the Press Expedition, the mystery of America’s mountainous Shangri-La started to be explored, mapped and shared with the world. Their experiences and stories captivated the minds of the nation, forcing Presidential action to protect both the land and the wildlife of the wettest corner of the country.
With visitors exploring the rainforests, hiking on the ridges and wandering along the rugged coast, Olympic National Park was a popular place in 2017. During a year which saw washouts and road closures, smoke-filled views and the reopening of popular areas, nearly 3.5 million people explored America’s 8th most-visited National Park.
Happy 146th Birthday to the first National Park!
On March 1st, Yellowstone National Park turned 146 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.
Happy Birthday, Olympic National Forest!
From the stunning mountain tops overlooking dense forests to wild and scenic rivers, breathtaking waterfalls and endless amounts of adventure, Olympic National Forest has been captivating the region’s outdoor dreams for twelve decades. We hope you have another 121 years of helping preserve and protect this stunning landscape for all to enjoy and thank you for all you have done.
Want to backpack in the very best and most-scenic areas of Olympic National Park for 2018? You better be ready soon! Olympic National Park officials have announced that they will be accepting wilderness permit reservation requests starting in mid-February. You better hurry and submit your permit reservation requests soon- in 2017, Olympic National Park saw 122,000 people in the backcountry, the third highest total out of any National Park in America. Wondering where you need backcountry reservations in Olympic? Keep reading.
Via Yellowstone National Park- Starting Thursday, February 1, visitors to Yellowstone National Park can purchase digital annual and seven-day entrance passes online at YourPassNow. The National Park Service (NPS) partnered with NIC Inc. to develop and administer YourPassNow to better serve visitors to Yellowstone.
In 2017, America’s National Parks celebrated their 101st birthday an welcomed tens of millions of visitors to their stunning scenery. Spurned on by the total eclipse in August and a warmer than average summer, the 59 National Parks had another incredible year. While wildfires and construction hindered visitation to many popular National Parks, the trend of visitation over the past few years continued upward. Some parks moved up on the list, while others dropped, but the 11 most-visited parks in 2017 remained the same as 2016.