As migrating birds return and wildflowers bloom in the lowland forests, employees at Olympic National Park are turning their attention to spring cleaning and preparations for the main visitor season.
“Spring is a great time to experience Olympic National Park and we invite people to come out and enjoy the warmer temperatures and sunshine,” park superintendent Sarah Creachbaum said. “Visitors always should be prepared for changing conditions, as snow is possible any time of year at the park’s higher elevations and weather can shift rapidly.”
The Staircase Campground is open year-round for primitive camping (pit toilets and no water.) Drinking water and flush toilets will be available during the summer season through Sept. 29.
The Dosewallips Road remains closed due to a washout outside the park boundaries in Olympic National Forest, so access to the campground is walk-in (5.5 miles) only.
Deer Park Road and campground are both scheduled to open by mid-June, snow permitting. While most of the road is snow-free, the upper elevations are not. If conditions allow, this area may open earlier than scheduled. The campground provides primitive camping, with pit toilets and no drinking water.
Hurricane Ridge Road and Heart O’ the Hills
Hurricane Ridge Road is generally open 24 hours a day through the spring and summer, unless road work or late spring snowstorms cause it to close temporarily. Park crews will work on several projects in late May and early June, leading to morning road closures on some week days as described in an earlier news release.
Hurricane Hill Road (the 1.5 miles of road that leads past the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center to the Hurricane Ridge picnic area and Hurricane Hill trailhead) is expected to open by mid-June.
Reaching elevations over 6,000 feet, sections of the Obstruction Point Road still are covered with four to five feet of snow, with higher drifts in some areas. This road is expected to open in mid-July, snow permitting. If conditions allow, it may open earlier.
The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is staffed weekends through June 8 and will be staffed daily beginning June 13. The snack bar and gift shop on the lower level of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is open on weekends and began daily operations on May 23. Check www.olympicnationalparks.com for more information.
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Heart O’ the Hills Campground is open year-round with drinking water and flush toilets available.
The Olympic Hot Springs Road is closed just beyond the Altair Campground to allow safe removal of the Glines Canyon Dam.
Dam removal is scheduled for completion this September. Following dam removal, park road crews will install visitor safety fencing at the canyon edge and improve parking facilities, during which time the road will remain closed to all entry. All sections of the Olympic Hot Springs Road are anticipated to open in late 2014.
Whiskey Bend Road generally is open 24 hours a day, unless road work or weather conditions cause it to close temporarily.
The Elwha Campground is open year-round for primitive camping (pit toilets and no water.) Drinking water and flush toilets will be activated for the summer through Sept. 15.
Altair Campground will be open through September, with drinking water and flush toilets.
Olympic Raft and Kayak, based just outside the park along the Elwha River, offers guided raft trips on the Elwha River, as well as kayak trips and other opportunities. Check www.raftandkayak.com for more information.
Lake Crescent Lodge is open for the season and will remain open through Jan. 1, 2015, offering a range of lodging options, a dining room, boat rentals and gift shop. More information is available at www.olympicnationalparks.com.
Fairholme Campground will be open this summer through Oct. 6, with drinking water and flush toilets available. Fairholme General Store is open Friday-Sunday. The store is open daily through Sept. 2.
The Log Cabin Resort will be open through Sept. 30 for lodging, RV and tent camping, a boat launch, dining room and store. More information is available at www.olympicnationalparks.com.
La Poel Picnic area opened for day use on May 24.
Sol Duc Valley
The Sol Duc Road generally is open 24 hours a day, unless road work or weather conditions cause it to close temporarily.
The Sol Duc Campground and the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort are open for the season.
The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is open for the season with lodging, dining, hot springs and a small store. More information is available at www.olympicnationalparks.com.
Hoh Rain ForestThe Hoh Rain Forest Road generally is 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 now staffed Friday-Tuesday and will be open daily from June 18-Sept. 1. The visitor center will close Sept. 2 to allow for major renovations to the 1950s-era building and restrooms.
The visitor center is expected to reopen by spring 2015. Additional details about this facility improvement project will be released soon.
Kalaloch, Mora and Ozette — Olympic National Park’s road-accessible coastal destinations — are open, including all roads, campgrounds and trailheads.The Kalaloch and Mora campgrounds both provide drinking water and flush toilets.
The Ozette Campground is primitive, with pit toilets and no potable water in the campground, however, water is available nearby. South Beach Campground, a primitive campground located just south of Kalaloch, has been open since May 16.
The Kalaloch Information Station is now open Thursdays-Mondays and will be staffed daily from June 18-Sept. 28.
Kalaloch Lodge is open year-round with cabins, lodge rooms, dining and a gift shop. For more information, check www.thekalalochlodge.com.
The Olympic National Forest & Olympic National Park Recreation Information Center formerly located in the Forks Transit Station has been closed due to budget reductions.
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.
Quinault Rain Forest
The Quinault Loop Road, which includes the Quinault North Shore and South Shore roads, is open. The Graves Creek and North Fork roads also are open. All Quinault area roads typically are open 24 hours a day, unless temporarily closed by road work or weather conditions.
The Graves Creek Campground is open for primitive camping with pit toilets and no drinking water.
Park Trails & Wilderness Information Center
The Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center, at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles, is open daily from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Visitors are encouraged to stop by or call the Wilderness Information Center within the Olympic National Park Visitor Center at 360-565-3100 for current trail reports, spring hiking safety tips and trip planning suggestions. Information also is available at the park’s website.
Several feet of snow remain on the ground, beginning at elevations above 3,000 feet. 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.