This week has been a rollercoaster of emotions for the Elwha Region of Olympic National Park. The week started with an announcement that the incredibly popular Olympic Hot Springs would be closed due to a 61 year old man dying in one of the pools. Now, we get good news, as the Whiskey Bend Road has once again reopened to vehicle traffic. The road, which is 4.5 miles in length had been closed to access after a storm in late 2014 washed away a small section of the popular drive. With the opening of the Whiskey Bend Road in Olympic National Park, locals and wilderness lovers will once again have a short hike to stunning views like Goblin’s Gate, Michael and Humes Ranches, and of course, the stunning Dodger Point Bridge spanning the mighty Elwha River.
According to Olympic National Park Officials,
Road repairs began in mid-October. Originally scheduled to take five weeks to complete, the project was completed today, allowing the road to reopen tomorrow morning. Contractors rebuilt and stabilized the slope and constructed a masonry retaining wall to support the 70-foot section of road destroyed last winter.
The Olympic Hot Springs Road is also open, providing access to the Glines Canyon Spillway Overlook and the Boulder Creek trailhead. The Olympic Hot Springs pools remain closed for health and safety reasons.
For more information about visiting Olympic National Park, people may visit the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/olym.
The opening of Whiskey Bend Road in the Elwha Region of Olympic National Park will make the hike to scenic areas much shorter, and more accessible to hikers of all levels. With stunning hikes in the area, the closure and lack of access has negatively impacted visitation numbers to the region, which had been witnessing record growth and popularity following the removal of two dams.
Personally, I am excited to head up there once again and see the stretch of river that makes me nearly weep from beauty. For more information on the hikes of the region, please visit this page for hikes, or get our guidebooks for everything to do in the Elwha area.