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.
Started on August 4th, 2018 by assholes (the fire was human caused) who have yet to be identified, the Maple Fire has burned over 3,000 acres, prompting closures to popular hiking and camping destinations on the eastern Olympic Peninsula. For two months, a small crew of 29 battled the fire, limiting its growth and doing an amazing job of fire containment. The closures were annoying for many, but were done so in the name of public safety, which we appreciate.
On the 10th of October, Olympic National Forest staff told The Outdoor Society that the region is now open for camping and hiking, just in time for the fall colors that are visible on the road and trails. Forest Road 25, the Hamma Hamma Road, is now open again and trails along that road are open to visitors. Roads and recreation areas south of the Hamma Hamma River, remain closed at this time. While that may impact a few, the majority of outdoor recreating enthusiasts can now hike to their favorite places on and above the Hamma Hamma River.
Thanks to the return of the rain, you can now camp in the backcountry, drive the road to the stunning and scenic Hamma Hamma Falls, explore Lena Lake and beyond, experience the mini-Glacier National Park landscape of Upper Lena Lake, and even take in the grandeur from Lake of the Angels. Honestly, I am stoked for this as it has been too long since I have been exploring up that way and the reopening is a perfect excuse to head up the Hamma Hamma.
For those unfamiliar with the trails in the Hamma Hamma region, we highly recommend picking up 52 Hikes: Olympic Peninsula, a full color, extremely informative guidebook perfect for adventures here and all around the Olympic Peninsula. Order it here.
The opening of the Hamma Hamma Road also gives those looking for road trips a great destination. Once the heavier rains return, the river swells and rages, visible from numerous viewpoints along the paved and gravel sections of the road. Fall colors are also quite nice along this road, thanks to the big leaf maples that are intermixed with the fir trees.
Whether you head up to trail run, hike, backpack or just lallygag around a breathtaking river valley, the reopening of the Hamma Hamma should make you happy. Once again, a pristine river valley can be accessed for lovers of the outdoors, saved from a potentially devastating fire caused by stupid people. Thanks to the fire crews and public lands employees for their hard work and for making sure we can once again return to this region safely.
Call in sick. Take a day off. Wait until the weekend. Do what ever you need to do to get outside and reconnect with the wondrously breathtaking Hamma Hamma.