The Olympic Hot Springs Road will soon reopen!
Changes in access are coming to the Elwha Region of Olympic National Park are starting on October 10th, and like most everything, there is both good and bad news. The bad news is for the Whiskey Bend Road. The Whiskey Bend Road, which leads trails that pass by old cabins, incredible gorges and stunning river views of the Elwha River has been closed to cars since late 2014, when a storm washed away a large section of the road. The region had been open to hikers, bikers and backpackers, but starting October 12th, it will be closed for repairs which will take five weeks or longer.
According to Olympic National Park official Barb Maynes, the closure will repair the road to once again support vehicle access to one of the prettiest regions in Olympic National Park.
During the Whiskey Bend Road closure, contractors will stabilize the slope and build a retaining wall to support a 70-foot section of road that was destroyed during a landslide last winter. Because heavy equipment and large trucks will be used to haul equipment and supplies, the road will be closed to foot, bicycle and stock travel during the project.
This kinda sucks, as fall along the Elwha is one of the more beautiful times to visit. Plus, Goblins Gate, as well as Humes and Michaels cabins are great to visit during the halloween season, as I mention in a previous post. Luckily, the project should be completed before Thanksgiving, making it a perfect trip once the holiday season rolls around. We will keep you updated on this story as we learn more info.
And now, the good news.
The Olympic Hot Springs Road will reopen to Boulder Creek Trailhead on October 10! The road, which opened for the first time in over half a decade just a few months ago, has been closed since September to allow equipment from the dam removal construction projects to be safely extracted. Park officials are excited, tell us that “Once reopened, the Olympic Hot Springs Road will provide access to the Glines Canyon Spillway Overlook and the Boulder Creek trailhead.”
This is good news for hikers, as having to walk the road to get to the Hot Springs and Boulder Creek has limited larger numbers of visitors to the region from experiencing the wilderness of this region of the Elwha River Valley. With fall colors in full force, heading out this way to see both the glory of autumn and the newly reclaimed land from the dam removal project is a must-experience destination in Olympic National Park.
For more fall hiking destinations, and information about the best regions for autumn beauty, get your copy of the Ultimate Fall Guide to Olympic National Park. At 260 pages, the Ultimate Fall Guide to Olympic National Park ebook includes foliage tips, mushroom trails, and even 75+ hikes around the region!