Here's the latest roundup of what's open in the park this summer and what's not, and details on summer fun.
Happy birthday, Olympic National Park. Thursday, June 29, is the 79th anniversary of the day in 1938 that Congress created the park.
You can help celebrate with a visit this Independence Day weekend. Here’s the latest roundup of what’s open in the park this summer and what’s not. The top of the news: Access to the park’s scenic Rialto Beach will reopen this weekend after six weeks of repair work to Mora Road.
It’s also the season for ranger programs, plus special star-gazing astronomy sessions up high on Hurricane Ridge and full-moon hikes on Hurricane Hill.
Here’s an area-by-area update provided by the park:
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Kalaloch, Mora and Ozette are Olympic National Park’s road-accessible coastal destinations. Kalaloch and Ozette are open, including all roads, campgrounds and trailheads. Mora Campground is open. Mora Road has been closed for six weeks for flood damage repair work just beyond the campground with no access to Rialto Beach. The road is scheduled to reopen for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. This project restored the road to two lanes and addressed additional slope instabilities. Visitors should call the Road & Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131 for current road conditions.
The Kalaloch and Mora campgrounds both provide drinking water and flush toilets. The Ozette Campground is primitive, with pit toilets, and drinking water is available now through mid-October. South Beach Campground, a primitive campground located just south of Kalaloch is open through September 25.
The Kalaloch Information Station is open daily through Sept. 30.
Kalaloch Lodge is open year-round with cabins, lodge rooms, dining, gift shop, and a small store. For more information, check www.thekalalochlodge.com.
The Staircase Campground is open with drinking water and flush toilets available through Sept. 30.
The Dosewallips Road remains closed due to a washout outside the park boundaries in Olympic National Forest, so access to the primitive campground is walk-in only (6.5 miles).
Deer Park Road and campground are open. The campground provides primitive camping, with pit toilets and no drinking water.
Hurricane Ridge Road and Heart O’ the Hills
The Hurricane Ridge Road is now open 24 hours a day, weather permitting. Visitors should call the Road & Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131 for current road and weather conditions.
The Hurricane Hill Road is open.
Obstruction Point Road is now open for the first 3 miles to Waterhole. Park officials anticipate opening the remaining section of Obstruction Point Road by early July.
The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is staffed daily through Sept. 30. The Hurricane Ridge Gift Shop & Snack Bar on the lower level of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is open daily through October 15. Check www.olympicnationalparks.com for more information.
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles is open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Summer hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Heart O’ the Hills Campground is open year round with drinking water and flush toilets available.
The Olympic Hot Springs Road is open to the Glines Canyon Spillway Overlook. The remainder of the Olympic Hot Springs Road is closed to all access during work on the Boulder Creek Trail. This project involves the use of heavy equipment for the demolition and removal of the Crystal Creek bridge and installation of an alternate route and creek crossing at that location. For visitor and employee safety, there will be no access above the Glines Canyon Overlook on Olympic Hot Springs Road until later this summer.
The Whiskey Bend Road is open to the trailhead.
There are currently no campgrounds in the Elwha Valley. Campgrounds in the area were destroyed by flooding in recent years.
Lake Crescent Lodge is open for the season and will remain open through Jan. 2, 2018, offering a range of lodging options, a dining room, boat rentals and a gift shop.
Fairholme Campground is open through Oct. 2, with drinking water and flush toilets available. Fairholme Store will open daily May 26-Sept. 4.
Log Cabin Resort is open through Sept. 30 for lodging, RV and tent camping, a boat launch, dining room and store.
La Poel picnic area is open for day use.
Sol Duc Valley
The Sol Duc Road is generally open 24 hours a day, unless road work or weather conditions cause it to close temporarily.
The Sol Duc Campground is operated by Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort and is open for the season with flush toilets and drinking water available through Oct. 29. Reservations are accepted for up to 75 percent of the campsites, with the remainder available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations for the Sol Duc Campground can be made online at www.recreation.gov. After Oct. 29, Loop A of the campground will be open for primitive use when the road is open.
The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is open for the season with lodging, dining, hot spring pools and a small store. The resort will be open through Oct. 29.
Hoh Rain Forest
The Hoh Rain Forest Road is generally open 24 hours a day, unless road work or weather conditions cause it to close temporarily. The Hoh Rain Forest Campground is open year round with drinking water and flush toilets available.
The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is open daily through Sept. 30.
The Lower and Upper Queets roads are both open 24 hours a day, unless road work or weather conditions cause temporary closures. The Queets Campground is open for primitive camping with pit toilets and no drinking water.
Quinault Rain Forest
The Quinault Loop Road, which includes the Quinault North Shore and South Shore roads, is open. The North Fork Road is also open.
The six-mile Graves Creek Road is open. RVs and trailers are not permitted because of road conditions.
Quinault area roads are typically open 24 hours a day, unless temporarily closed by road work or weather conditions. The Graves Creek Campground and North Fork Campground are both open for primitive camping with pit toilets and no drinking water.
Park trails and Wilderness Information Center
The Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center, located at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles, is currently open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Visitors are encouraged to stop by or call the Wilderness Information Center at 360-565-3100 for current trail reports, summer hiking safety tips and trip-planning suggestions. Such information is also available at the park’s website.
Even at low elevations, hikers are reminded to use caution and be aware of downed trees, trail damage, high and swift creek crossings, and changing weather conditions.
Ranger programs and astronomy events
Summer ranger programs have started as well as the Astronomy/Night Sky Programs at Hurricane Ridge. The program schedule for all of the park is in the park newspaper on page 4: Summer Bugler 2017.
For astronomy programs, meet Master Observer John Goar at Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center for a one-hour program with telescopes. Look for the rings of Saturn or a distant galaxy. Schedule: July 13-20 at 11 p.m.; July 21-July 26 at 10:30 p.m.; August 12-19 at 10 p.m.; August 22-26 at 9:30 p.m.
Full moon on Hurricane Hill
Learn constellations from astronomer John Goar on Hurricane Hill. Meet at the Hurricane Hill trailhead. As the sun sets and the full moon rises, hike at your own pace up the 1.6-mile, partially-paved trail, climbing 700 feet to the summit. At the top, Goar will point out constellations. Bring flashlights and wear sturdy shoes. Schedule: July 8 and 9 at 9:15 p.m. to about 11:30 p.m.; August 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. to about 10 p.m.; September 4 at 6:45 p.m. to about 9:15 p.m.
If skies are cloudy, programs will be canceled. For program status, call the park recording at 360-565-3131 after 2 p.m. the day of the program.