Six Olympic National Park Regions to Close Before Impending Storm

Due to ridiculously strong spring storm heading toward the Pacific Northwest, Olympic National Park officials have decided to close six of the most-popular areas of the region to ensure public safety. Winds over 60MPH are threatening to cause a havoc, and the park wants  to prevent visitors and employees from being injured or trapped by falling trees or branches. These closures should be taken seriously, and avoiding heaving forested regions s the smart thing to do. The areas of Olympic that are closed will remain closed until at least Monday morning, when park staff will analyze the damage and ensure that the danger of falling branches and trees is minimal. Strong winds, combined with heavy rain and a high surf are forecasted for the region. All warnings and closures should be taken seriously!

This storm is similar to the storm that hit the Pacific Northwest in November of 2015. During that storm, heavy rains and strong winds forced officials to close numerous section of the park. During the Nov. 11th storm, trees hit cars and serious damage occurred to some of the most popular regions of Olympic, closing them for weeks and months before they would reopen. Later storms closed and washed away many of the previously closed sections. Needless to say, this winter has been rough and this storm is yet another example of the volatile weather that constantly hits the Olympic Peninsula.

We will be covering this story as best we can and will update everyone when areas start to reopen. Please stay inside during this storm, make smart choices and live to hike another day.

THE AREAS THAT WILL BE CLOSED

Staircase Road and Campground

Staircase will be closed at 9am on Sunday, Match 13th until at least Monday morning. Campers at the campground are being told to evacuate the campground before then. I’d image that anywhere around Staircase could be inaccessible as well, thanks to a high potential of falling trees. STAIRCASE IS NOW OPEN 3/14/2016.

Hurricane Ridge Road

Hurricane Ridge and the Hurricane Ridge road will remain closed tomorrow. The road will not reopen to Hurricane Ridge until at least next Friday. Heart O’the Hills CG — will close at 9am tomorrow. Campers must vacate by then. Hurricane Ridge remains closed. Please follow this link for updated info: http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/current-road-conditions.htm

Sol Duc

The road to Sol Duc will be closed tonight. I expect this region to open up early this week, unless the winds are worse than predicted. SOL DUC IS NOW OPEN 3/14/2016.

Mora Road and Campground

Mora and the Rialto beach will once again be closed. An earlier storm this past week already closed the beautiful beach destination, and the closure is expected to continue until damage can be assessed. MORA REMAINS CLOSED. Please follow this link for updated info: http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/current-road-conditions.htm

Ozette

The costal regions and lake at the Ozette area  will close at 9am tomorrow. According to park reports, the campground is already closed due to flooding. I’d image if winds are too and, this area will be closed for quite awhile. OZETTE IS NOW OPEN 3/14/2016.

Kalaloch Campground

Kalaloch Campground will close at 9am tomorrow. Campers are being told that they must vacate by then. While the beaches at Kalaloch are technically open, I strongly advise avoiding them, as large waves may start tossing driftwood around the beach. KALALOCH IS NOW OPEN. 

The Hoh

Both the road and campground at the Hoh will be closing at 9am tomorrow. Campers are being told that they must vacate by then. If the winds are as strong as expected, the Hoh could be closed for the early part of the week. THE HOH IS NOW OPEN 3/14/2016.

North Fork Quinault

The North Fork Quinault Campground is closed, and access to the region should be limited. NORTH FORK IS NOW OPEN 3/14/2016.

Other Regions

The Elwha and Graves Creek areas of Olympic National Park are already closed to vehicle traffic due to washouts. We have reported about both of these in previous blog posts. Please follow this link for updated info: http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/current-road-conditions.htm

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By Doug and Mathias on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

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