Surveying the damage
Here's the latest damage reports from our annual "100 year storm," which hit the state on Dec. 3.
Folks in Lewis county are still clearing the muck from their homes...if you'd like to help with the relief effort, visit the United Way of Lewis County website.
In terms of mountain roads and trails, the Olympics were perhaps hardest hit. The latest from Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest is that the Quinault area has suffered extensive damage. Most of the roads in the area are closed due to washouts and numerous blowdowns, including Graves Creek, the North Shore Quinault Road, and much of the South Shore Quinault Road. According to Pete Urban, with Olympic National Forest, just about every trail in the vicinity of Lake Quinault Lodge has many, many blown-down trees.
As of this afternoon, the following areas of Olympic National Park were still closed: Hoh River Road, Hurricane Ridge Road and Sol Duc Road. The Queets Road is also closed from previous storm damage, and the Staircase area has been closed due to landslide danger from previous fires.
Probably the best way to check current conditions in Olympic National Park is to call their road conditions hotline, which is updated daily: (360) 565-3131. You can also check road and trail conditions for Olympic National Park here. For conditions in Olympic National Forest, visit this site.
Other trail-related news from this most recent storm:
The Skagit Valley Herald reports that a bridge on the Cascade River Road, which leads to the popular Cascade Pass Trail, has been severely damaged. A landslide damaged a bridge over Hard Creek, and repairs have been estimated at $1 million.
Several roads have been washed out in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The forest reports that Skate Creek Road 52 just south of Mount Rainier National Park, suffered flood damage and has been closed. For info on Gifford Pinchot road conditions, visit this site.
And two destinations for after-hike chow are now gone. The famed Ranch House BBQ west of Olympia, a pick in WTA's Hungry Hikers list, was destroyed in the storm. Plus, a few days ago, a fire completely destroyed Jack's Restaurant near Cougar. This was formerly where climbers picked up their permits for Mount St. Helens. The national monument announced permits will now be available at the Cougar Store.
Photo: blowdown to the Quinault Road, Olympic National Park.