In between trail races, here is our latest Adventure Dispatch.
Transcript, as always, after the jump:
Hello and welcome to the Adventure Dispatch for the week of August 27th to September 2nd, 2016 for Olympic National Park. This week’s information is presented by the 2017 Olympic Peninsula Impressions Calendar, available for purchase our website. The new poster calendar ‘OLYMPIC PENINSULA IMPRESSIONS: 2017‘ will be available in late September, with pre-orders going on now. Featuring Twelve stunning photographs from some of our favorite destinations across the Olympic Peninsula, you are sure to be inspired and want explore the wilderness of Olympic.
Summer is ending in less than a month, the Park Centennial Celebration is over and fires are still burning in Olympic National Park. You’d think we would be a bit sad about this, but we aren’t. After all, the end of August and month of September is quite possibly the most stunning time to explore Olympic National Park. The salmon are starting to return to the rivers, the temperatures will start cooling off and soon the fall colors will be in full force! Sure, there are four fires currently burning around 3,000 acres of pristine wilderness in the park, but don’t worry…they are naturally started and actually make the forest healthier and stronger. Plus, the temperatures are going to quickly drop and rain is returning to the forecast.
Speaking of forecast
- Starting with the Port Angeles region of Olympic National Park, the heat is leaving at the start of the weekend and doesn’t look to be returning. The weekend will see highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s, with a small chance of rain every single day next week. Saturday and Monday look the best, with the heaviest rain expected to fall on Tuesday and Friday. For the week, up to an inch of rain may fall over the northern stretches of Olympic. The temperatures are falling so much, that there is actually a chance of snow for Olympic Peaks over 6500 feet on Friday. This is crazy!
- The coast and rainforest of Olympic will be returning to their normal state this weekend, ending a stretch of sunny days in the 70s 80s and 90s. The coming week will see highs in the 60, but a return of rain. The heaviest ran will fall on Tuesday and Thursday, with rain anticipated for every day by Sunday and Monday. However, I would expect a few showers on those days as well. Don’t expect much clearing next week, but do expect an awesome time for those of you exploring the rainforest and coast region.
- As always, the best weather in Olympic National Park is going to be found along the Hood Canal region of the park. Highs will be in the 70s through Monday, then Tuesday will see rain and a high around 65. The rest of the week will be hit and miss, but expect and plan for rain. While not ideal, this rain will help the regions river get ready for the return of the salmon, which will be occurring very, very soon.
- For those driving to Olympic, keep in mind that the only permanent road closures in Olympic are located out along the Elwha River. The project was started on Monday, July 25 to fix the Olympic Hot Springs road, which was severely damaged last winter as record rainfall led to severe washouts that eroded and damaging the road. The repairs, according the the ONP, will take about eight weeks. During this time, the road to and the trails in Elwha region will be closed to all car and pedestrian access.
- Every other Olympic National Park road is currently open and should remain that way all week. The fires currently burning in Olympic may occasionally close the Obstruction Point Road out of Hurricane Ridge, as smoke may be thick. Otherwise, you are good to go. Keep in mind that the Graves Creek Road in the Quinault Region is washed out 2 miles from the Graves Creek Campground. RVs and large cars are not recommended on the road to the washout because the turnaround spot is pretty small.
- Remember that the Dosewallips Road out along the Hood Canal is permanently closed and has been for over a decade. The area is still accessible by foot or bike.
- If you plan on camping in Olympic this week, good news. All of the campgrounds in Olympic National Park that will open this year are now open. Remember, only the Sol Duc and Kalaloch campgrounds take reservations and the other campgrounds have been filling up fast. Every other campground is first come, first serve, so try and arrive early in the morning for your best chance of getting a spot. The only campground closures in Olympic are along the Elwha River, due to the washouts last winter. Dosewallips and Graves Creek campgrounds are also open, but are only accessible as walk-in campgrounds.
For those visiting Olympic this week, the Outdoor Society’s “Trail of the Week” is Upper and Lower Lena Lakes. Found along the Hamma Hamma River, the trail to Lower Lena is a great introduction to the beauty of the Hood Canal region. Perfect for a rainy and cloudy day, the simple lake is an enjoyable place to relax and be in the wilderness of Olympic. Those looking for true awesomeness need to trek up to Upper Lena Lake. yes, the trail is long and steep, but it is totally worth it as the views of the surrounding small peaks are though to beat. If you information about these trails or want another hike, check out our website, as hundreds of destinations can found in our Guidebooks, purchased at outdoor-society.com.
This week’s events around Olympic National Park are minimal, as the park is recovering from a full week of birthday celebrations for the National Park Service. The usual ranger led programs will be occurring that the major areas, with the majority of ranger talks and walks taking place at Kalaloch along the coast. Otherwise, this is a pretty chill week in the park and silence and solitude should be easily found within a few miles hike from any of the popular areas.
With that, this concludes this week’s Adventure Dispatch. If you have any questions, please reach out to us on Twitter and check our website for more info. This is Mathias saying, “Thanks for tuning in and we will catch you next week, same time, same place.”