On Monday, a body was discovered in the Olympic Hot Springs in the Elwha Region of Olympic National Park. The discovery forced the closure of the hot spring areas of one of America’s most popular National Parks. The news is sad, as it appears the 61 year old deceased man from Silverdale, WA died from natural causes. Because the body was discovered in the hot springs, Park officials have decided to close the pools for health and safety concerns.
The Elwha Region is already mostly closed to access due to the repairs of the Whiskey Bend Road leading to some of the best hikes in the area. With the closure of the Hot Springs, the Elwha might be a place to skip for a few weeks until things return to normal.
The press release regarding the deceased is as follows:
On Monday, October 26 rangers responded to a report of a fatality at Olympic Hot Springs in the Elwha Valley of Olympic National Park. Rangers found the individual, Bruce Gunderson, deceased in a hot spring pool.
Due to health and safety concerns, the Olympic Hot Springs pools have been closed to public use.
“Although use of Olympic Hot Springs has always been at the discretion and risk of the visitor, we have closed the pools until further notice due to public health and safety concerns following this tragic incident,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.
Olympic Hot Springs are natural, unmaintained hot water seeps located approximately 2.5 miles from the Boulder Creek Trailhead in the Elwha Valley. The pools are in a wilderness area and not tested or treated by the park.
Boulder Creek Campground will remain open.
Gunderson, 61, is from Silverdale, Washington. The cause of death is under investigation. Natural causes are suspected.
Please Contact Olympic National Park officials for more information: 360-461-8737
Cover image via ZeFlower