“ʔənʔá č’ə́yəxʷ Olympic National Park.”
That’s part of the message you’ll see on a new welcome sign that’s under construction near the park’s main visitor center in Port Angeles. And no, though it looks somewhat Cyrillic, it’s not Russian.
The first part of that message is in Klallam, the language of local indigenous people on the Olympic Peninsula. It will run beneath large block letters bearing the English message “Welcome to.”
The park consulted with the local Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe to translate “welcome,” which is “come inside” in Klallam. A paved trail from the Olympic National Park Visitor Center will provide pedestrian access since such signs are popular stops for visitors to take photos marking their visit.
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The park’s landscape architect, Jack Galloway, designed the sign, which will have a river-rock base and a hand-peeled log support structure. A contractor, HCS, Inc. of Chehalis, is building it as part of an $81,850 contract that also includes some minor directional sign improvements.
The project is part of a larger plan that installed signs on the North and South Shore Roads of Lake Quinault and also at Rialto Beach. In addition, a new entrance sign will be installed at Lake Crescent next year. The projects are financed by park entrance fees.