Enchanted Valley Remains Closed to Camping
Revealing a silver lining of this winter’s record low snowpack, high elevation roads in Olympic National Park will open in time for the Memorial Day weekend, a full month earlier than typical.
High Elevation Roads
The nine-mile Deer Park Road will open Friday, along with the 14-site Deer Park Campground.
Visitors are advised to use caution while driving this winding gravel road. The campground provides a primitive camping experience, with vault toilets and no drinking water.
The Hurricane Hill Road (the 1.5 mile of road that leads past the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center to the Hurricane Ridge picnic area and Hurricane Hill trailhead) is already open.
The first three miles of Obstruction Point Road are open, providing vehicle access to the Waterhole area. The remaining five miles, leading from Waterhole to the road’s terminus at Obstruction Point, will open this Saturday, May 23.
Low Elevation Roads and Campgrounds
Most of the park’s low elevation campgrounds are also open including Elwha, Fairholme, Graves Creek, Heart o’the Hills, Hoh, Kalaloch, Mora, North Fork, Ozette, Queets, Sol Duc, South Beach, and Staircase. The Altair Campground in the Elwha Valley remains closed due to winter flood damage.
All of the park’s low elevation roads are open, with the exception of the Whiskey Bend Road in the Elwha Valley. This road is closed to vehicles at the Glines Overlook because of a major slide but remains open to foot, bicycle and stock use.
Olympic Wilderness, including Enchanted Valley
Enchanted Valley will remain closed to camping through the Memorial Day Weekend as rangers and wildlife biologists will continue to monitor the situation in the coming weeks. The area was closed to camping in late April after black bears were observed consuming human food and hikers reported aggressive bear behavior.
When Enchanted Valley re-opens to camping, the use of bear cans will be required for all overnight use in the area.
Hikers are urged to check the following website for current trail conditions. http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-trail-conditions.htm
For more information on visiting Olympic National Park and current conditions of park roads, campgrounds, trails and other facilities, people should visit the Olympic National Park website at http://www.nps.gov/olym.