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.
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.
The Hoh River Valley is a blessed place. Inspiring, soothing and bonding us back in touch with Mother Nature, the experiences found in this rainforest region of the Olympic Peninsula are unrivaled. For many, the great outdoors don’t get any better than the wilderness beauty found along the blue river and green mosses of the Hoh. Now, thanks to local conservation efforts, the Hoh rainforest just got a little bigger.
Another month, another closure to a popular area in Olympic National Park. Seems like a familiar tune, right?
This time though, the closure will be a good thing, as the reason for the lack of access is a repair to a the road leading into one of Olympic’s most popular coastal destinations. The closure to Rialto Beach is expected to last through the month of June, meaning that there will be NO ACCESS to this classic Olympic National Park beach until the summer. You read that right, Rialto Beach is off limits until the end of June. (Except Memorial Day Weekend)
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.
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.