Olympic National Park Updates - May 5th, 2011

posted May 5, 2011, 10:45 AM by Luke Hizer
A round-up of the latest updates related to the Olympic National Park:
  • The road to Olympic Hot Springs will be closed to all users - pedestrians and bikers included - for a three-week period beginning in mid-May. The work will be on the 'Fisherman's Corner' portion of the road. The news release says that's one mile below the boundary, so maybe this area:

    The Elwah and Altair campgrounds will be closed during these three weeks as well, it's mentioned on the campground conditions page as well. Beyond that three-week closure, there will be a longer-term closure beginning August 1:
Olympic Hot Springs Road will close August 1, 2011 to ALL PUBLIC ACCESS beyond the Altair Campground for the Glines Canyon Dam Removal Project. The West Lake Mills, Happy Lake Ridge, and Boulder Creek Trailheads will be inaccessible. Happy Lake Ridge and Olympic Hot Springs will remain accessible via Appleton Pass and/or Aurora Ridge.
  • The news release also goes on to mention that after the Olympic Hot Springs road work is complete, they can move on to address the landslide across Whiskey Bend Road. However, it looks like it will be late summer or early fall before the road might open.
  • Turning to trail conditions, there's a couple of updated reports starting to trickle in for this year:

North Fork Skokomish River Trail

Trailhead to First Divide

12.5 miles

785 ft. to 4688 ft.

A hiker reports continuous snow beginning at the Flapjack Lakes Trail junction; deep snow above.

The trail is undermined at the 2.5 mile-mark due to a failing culvert, making the trail dangerous and not advisable to stock. Hikers use caution. 

Bear canisters recommended in areas without bear wires. 

The Staircase Rapids Loop bridge is out. The bridge near Spike Camp is unstable, use caution.


Lake Constance Trail

Trailhead at Dosewallips Road to Lake Constance

2.2 miles 

1400 ft. to 4664 ft.

A hiker reports continuous snow at 0.25 mile above trailhead; 3' of snow 1 mile above trailhead.

Closed to stock.

Dosewallips Road is washed out 3.5 miles from the trailhead. Hikers can get around the washout using a temporary trail.Road also washed out at Case Creek - see notice above.


Main Fork Dosewallips River Trail

Dose Forks to Hayden Pass

11.3 miles 

1736 ft. to 5847 ft.

Patchy snow at Dose Forks. A hiker reports that continuous snow begins just above the Constance Pass junction. No report beyond, but expect deep snow above ~ 3000'.

Dosewallips Road is washed out 5.5 miles from the trailhead. Hikers can get around the washout using a temporary trail. Road also washed out at Case Creek - see notice above.


Long Ridge Trail

Jct. Humes Ranch Loop Trail (mile 1.0) to Dodger Point

10.5 miles
900 ft. to 5753 ft.

Whiskey Bend Road is closed to all vehicle traffic due to slope failure; seeElwha Area Notices above for access to the Whiskey Bend Trailhead. 

Trail between Humes Ranch and the Dodger Point Bridge has extensive damage and is impassable.

Expect deep snow above 2000'. 


Barnes Creek Trail

Jct. Marymere Falls Trail to jct. Upper Barnes Creek Primitive Trail3.3 miles 

800 ft. to 2000 ft.

A hiker reports patchy snow beginning at 1950'. Seven down trees, one difficult to pass.

Slope failure at mile 2.5 fairly easy to pass.


Upper Barnes Creek Primitive Trail

Barnes Creek Trail to Hughes Creek/Barnes Creek Divide

5.3 miles

2000 ft. to 3600 ft.

A hiker reports patchy snow at junction; no report beyond but expect continuous at 2400'.

Trail may be difficult to follow near the end. Closed to stock.


Aurora Divide Trail

Barnes Creek Trail to jct. Aurora Ridge Trail

3.6 miles

2000 ft. to 4800 ft.

A hiker reports patchy snow to 2400'; continuous beyond. No report on number of down trees.

Hoh River TrailTrailhead to Glacier Meadows17.5 miles

600 ft. to 5000 ft.

Lewis Meadow Camp is closed to camping until further notice due to a large black bear feeding on an elk carcass in the camp.

Snow starts at High Hoh Bridge. 5 ft. of snow at Elk Lake.

Use extreme caution in the avalanche chute area due to ongoing rockfall and steep scree slopes. Use rope assist (ladder taken down for season, but rope remains). Crampons and ice ax necessary.

The footlog at Hoh Lake Creek was reported to be damaged, but passable. A trail washout has been reported just beyond Lewis Meadow.

Trail closed to horses, mules and burros beyond Elk Lake.

No campfires permitted at Elk Lake or above.

All food, garbage and scented items must be stored in park-approved bear canisters in the Sol Duc/High Divide Loop/Mink Lake area.