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:
Snow is finally coming to the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula! While lowland residents bemoan the return of the rain, the drought beleaguered summits of the region are rejoicing. A atmospheric onslaught of moisture is currently dousing the Pacific Northwest and will continue to do so for the next week, bringing a winter wonderland to your favorite local mountains. For us here at the Outdoor Society, we decided to take a look at the upcoming snow totals for the Olympics and were amazed.
As the snowy season has officially kicked off, Olympic National Park and the Northwest Avalanche Center have joined forces to provide a free event to the public for avalanche awareness. This event is a great way to brush up on some tips, ask avalanche related questions and get to know the park a bit better in the winter. If you plan on exploring Olympic’s snowy areas this winter, you don’t want to miss this!
Mark your calendars! The Department of Interior has announced the five fee free days for 2019! After having just four free days in 2018, the Parks added another day, giving us five fee free days to enjoy the National Parks and lands operated by the Department of Interior. The release of this information is always super exciting for us here at The Outdoor Society, as we get to share the information with you all! This year, head out on one of these days and share your love of public lands with someone new!
The return of the rain has brought more good news to the region, and not just for the incoming, spawning salmon. On October 10th, 2018, Olympic National Park officials have announced that access to the Hamma Hamma Road has been restored. That means you can now hike to Lena Lake, Upper Lena Lake, and even Lake of the Angels! This weekend, head out to the Hamma Hamma and make up for the missed days exploring one of the most wild and wonderful destinations on the Olympic Peninsula.
Get the shirt, support the show, and run some trails. Go!
It is time. SINGLETRACK is getting it’s own shirt.
With a big nod to the past “Go Run a Trail” is a celebration of trail running, podcasting, and the love for the outdoors.
There’s a story here.
The original shirt that inspired us to make this one, equally inspired millions of people to climb rocks, from the granite boulders of Yosemite Valley to the majestic peaks of the Alps. ‘Go run a Trail‘ is a homage to these crazy stone masters who paved a way for many of us in exploring the wild places around us by pushing our limits. The sport might look different, the ethos and vision is the same.
We love to push limits, explore the boundaries of our possibilities and live the best life we can imagine. We go and run trails, and we invite you to join us on this journey. No matter how fast you are, no matter how far you think you can go. Everyday you push yourself beyond yesterday is a day you won. And we’ll be there cheering you on, every step of the way.
This is the Singletrack ethos. This is what guides us everyday.
The Maple Fire, burning on the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, has doubled in size over the past two days and shows no sign of dying down. The Maple Fire has now burned 810 acres and is still just 5 percent contained. The good news is that the crews and equipment ordered earlier in the week are starting to arrive, with an estimated crew of 300 personnel on the fire by August 10th.
A forest fire is burning near the Hamma Hamma River in Olympic National Forest and shows no sign of slowing down. Growing almost 300+ acres in 24 hours, the Maple Fire has so far burned 350 acres as of August 7th, 2018 and has closed access to trails and roads on the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula. Even the Popular Hamma Hamma Road, home to popular hikes like Lena Lake and Lake of the Angels, is under a Level 1 evacuation notice. A crew of 80+ are fighting the blaze, but have just 5% contained. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Beginning August 8, Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest will restrict campfires to developed campgrounds, picnic areas, and rental cabins with cement or metal fire rings only until further notice. This includes the coastal areas of Olympic National Park.
Attention mountain goats of Olympic: You can run, but you can’t hide. In one month, the removal of Olympic National Park’s mountain goats will begin. Starting on September 10th and lasting for eleven days, popular trails in the Hurricane Ridge region will be closed for all access. That means you only have a few more weeks to explore the scenic treks and take in one last gaze at the mountain goats of the ridges of Olympic.
Another summer, another round of vandalism in our National Parks. In what is sadly becoming news as predictable as clockwork, another culturally significant site on our public lands was desecrated. This time, the damage was done to a rock containing historical, tribal petroglyphs along the Pacific Coast of Olympic National Park.
In what seems like a constant battle with wildfires, Yosemite National Park is the latest victim. While the park is not fully aflame, burning like the great Yellowstone Fire of 1988, this year’s fire danger is being taken seriously by NPS officials. Starting on July 25th, 2018, most of the popular regions of Yosemite will be closed until nearly the end of month. Hopefully, the closure will be temporary and the fire danger will decrease.
In a clunky title to a press release sent by Olympic National Park officials, it has been announced that the super gorgeous and extremely scenic Seven Lakes Basin region of Olympic National Park will not be closed from July 9th through the 20th. This news means that you can once again backpack into this amazing area! However, there is a catch. Permits to camp in this backcountry wonderland must be obtained in person.