With a strong fall storm barreling down on the Pacific Northwest, the officials at Olympic National Park have decided to close six entrances to the park, and even close down a campground. With nearly a foot of rain expected to fall between Thursday and Saturday in and around Olympic National Park, visitors are urged to stay away from the entire region. This comes as a precautionary measure after a strong storm in late August of 2015 forced a closure and evacuation of many of the parks more popular areas. The closure will impact major areas of the park starting no later than 5pm on Thursday, November 12th. 

According to Park Spokesperson Barb Maynes, Heavy rain and high winds are forecast to begin late Thursday for the majority of the Olympic Peninsula, with a flood watch from 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, lasting until 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. As a precaution, the six areas of Olympic National Park will close by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 12. The areas impacted by the closure are the Hurricane Ridge, Elwha, Sol Duc, Hoh, Mora and Quinault regions. These areas may close earlier if needed.

“With a flood watch and wind advisory set to begin on Thursday, we are taking action now to prevent weather-related injuries and accidents,” said Sarah Creachbaum, Olympic National Park Superintendent. “Once the storm passes, we will assess conditions and reopen the park as quickly as possible.”

Elsewhere in Olympic National Park, the Kalaloch Campground will also close be closing no later than 5:00 p.m on Thursday. Visitors to the Kalaloch area are strongly urged to avoid all trails and beach areas during the storm. This is for your safety, as high winds will topple trees and are slated to increase the ocean’s waves which are already predicted to reach over 20 feet.

Please take this advisory and closure seriously, and understand that going out during this storm will put you in danger. We will keep on top of this story as best as possible, and will report any further closures or restrictions. Please share this with anyone you know.

Read our story about storm watching at Olympic National Park’s Staircase Region here.

Olympic National Park's North Fork of the Skokomish River at Flood Stage
Olympic National Park’s North Fork of the Skokomish River at Flood Stage