With Elwha River Restoration fully underway in the Elwha Valley, visitors have a new site from which to view the restoration process and learn about its history.The new Glines Canyon Spillway Overlook, located along the Olympic Hot Springs Road, is wheelchair accessible and includes eight interpretive exhibits.
“We invite people to visit the new Glines Canyon Spillway Overlook,”said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.”It is a place for all to enjoy the canyon views and learn more about the history and ongoing restoration of the Elwha River.”
Perched on what was once the spillway of the Glines Canyon Dam, visitors can enjoy expansive views of the wide valley that formerly held the Lake Mills reservoir. Lake Mills formed when the Glines Canyon Dam was built between 1925 and 1927, flooding an area known at the time as Smokey Bottom. The overlook also gives people the chance to look down and watch the Elwha’s blue-green waters flow through the 200-foot deep Glines Canyon.
The overlook and surrounding area were designed and constructed by Olympic National Park employees, with contractors supplying the accessible comfort station and new paving.The eight interpretive exhibits were designed and written by Olympic National Park staff and tell the story of the dams, their many contributions to Port Angeles and the factors that led to their removal and ecosystem restoration.
“I’m very proud of the work our team has accomplished in making this new accessible overlook a reality,” remarked Creachbaum.
Elsewhere in the Elwha Valley, the Altair Campground remains closed because of extensive flood damage sustained last winter.The 4.5 mile gravel Whiskey Bend Road is closed to vehicle traffic due to a major slide. Pedestrian, bicycle and stock travel are allowed at this time.
The Olympic Hot Springs Road is open.Area trails are open –hikers and stock users should check the park’s website for current trail conditions. http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-trail-conditions.htm.