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in and around our most cherished of public lands, saying it will boost the economy, create jobs and all of their other outdated talking points.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.
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.
Via Yellowstone National Park: Early Wednesday morning, March 15, a park employee observed a grizzly bear between Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower-Roosevelt. This is the first confirmed bear sighting this year, although bear tracks have been observed since February 22. Later in the morning, park staff saw two more grizzly bears scavenging carcasses in the northern part of the park.
Story via North Cascades National Park:
An avalanche occurred in the early morning hours on Friday March 10, 2017 in the gorge east of Newhalem, WA. The avalanche completely obstructed State Route 20 at approximately milepost 122.5, immediately east of the first tunnel. No one was injured in the avalanche. Area avalanche conditions were rated by the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) as High at the time. Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced on Friday they would not clear the debris based on avalanche danger in the Gorge, and the situation would be reassessed on Monday, March 13, 2017.
Happy 145th Birthday to the first National Park!
On March 1st, Yellowstone National Park turned 145 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.
On the evening of February 22nd, 2017, residents of the South Puget Sound were jostled by a 4.2 earthquake centered on the Kitsap Peninsula. With a bang being heard before the shock waves arrived, the quake jostled everyone’s nerves a little, while no damage or landslides occurred. For those keeping record, this was the largest earthquake in the Puget Sound since December of 2015. For most who felt it, it was just another small quake out here in the PNW. While everyone has moved on, few realize that the ground has been shaking in the region for the entire month, with nearly 2,000 small earthquakes moving the Puget Sound since February 1st and 1,000 in the last week.
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 120 years of helping preserve and protect this stunning landscape for all to enjoy and thank you for all you have done.
Turns out, all of our sources were also incorrect. The tree is still standing, as of May 2017. Formal apology here: http://outdoor-society.com/why-we-report-what-we-hear-the-kalaloch-tree-incident/
Yeah, access to the Elwha is limited. Again.
After being only open for three weeks after being closed for 14 months. Hopefully, this closure is much shorter. In case you haven’t noticed, February has been a wet one. Records are close to being broken for the wettest February on record in Seattle and the story is the same on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. Heavy rains over the last few days have flooded our rivers and swollen our streams, resulting in closures to one of Olympic National Park’s most vulnerable regions of access. Olympic Hot Springs Road, also know and The Elwha Road, is closed yet again after being open for only three weeks.
On January 27th, we reported that Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz had introduced a bill titled HR 621, which would open up 3.3 million acres of Federal Land across 10 states can be ‘disposed of’ and sold off to private companies. The outrange was immediate. All around social media, at protests in Montana’s Capitol and flooding the emails and answering machines of Congress, the American people stood up against the attack on Public Lands. Now, it appears like our message was victorious.
If Republicans have their way, drilling could become commonplace in over 40 National Parks around the country. Known as H.J. Res. 46, the bill seeks to undue the rules and regulations set up in 1978 to protect National Parks under a series of rules known as 9B. Currently, there are over forty National Parks that have a “split estate” ownership, where the federal government owns the surface of the region, but not the underground mineral rights. That can all change on Friday, February 3rd, if Congress pushes this through.
Olympic National Park is known for numerous awesome natural wonders. From moss-covered rainforests in old-growth forests to cascading waterfalls plunging into rough, salmon stocked rivers, we have it all out here. When we want a hike along the ocean to look at sea-stacks, the Olympic National Park has us covered. Neah Bay to Ocean Shores and from Olympia to Port Angeles, the Olympic Peninsula is full of awesome sights that inspire millions each year. Sadly, one of the sights that have been consistent for thousands of years is slowly leaving the region, and it might be too late to stop it from vanishing for good.
The Elwha is once again open to vehicle traffic, for the first time since late November 2015, when a series of severe storms brought heavy rain and flooding to the Elwha River. During that storm, approximately 90 feet of roadway washed out, with additional sections severely eroded and damaged by flood waters. While the road opening is great, keep in mind of a few things.