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Olympic Hot Springs Road to Close for Repairs

Posted by Erika Haugen-Goodman at Jul 22, 2016 04:20 PM |

Olympic Hot Springs Road will be closed from Monday, July 25 through early October for repairs due to storm damage last winter.

After a winter of heavy winds, flooding and storms, Olympic Hot Springs Road in Olympic National Park will be temporarily closing to allow crews to make much needed repairs. The closure will block access starting at the park boundary and will begin Monday, July 25 and conclude in early October.

Hiker bridge that was temporarily constructed around the washout. Photo by Bob and Barb.
The temporary bypass trail that hikers had previously used to navigate the washout will be closed while repairs to the road are underway. Photo by Bob and Barb.

The road closure will impact nearby hiking trails, so plan accordingly if you're visiting Olympic National Park. The temporary bypass trail that was built around the washout will be closed during this time to allow crews to work in the area. Trails impacted by this closure include: Cascade Rock, Elwha to Hurricane Hill, West Elwha, Upper Lake Mills, Dodger Point, Upper Lake Mills, Elwha River and Geyser Valley, Humes Ranch - Elwha River Loop, Appleton Pass, Boulder Lake and Happy Lake Ridge.

During the construction, people interested in the Elwha River Restoration and dam removal can visit the Elwha River Interpretive Kiosk which is located on Highway 112. You can also access the former site of the Elwha River dam from that location. For a map of the area, visit the Olympic National Park website.

Alternative hikes

Even though the Olympic Hot Springs Road will be closed for the summer that doesn't mean you can't enjoy other trails Olympic National Park has to offer. There are a wide variety of hikes to choose from, including trails like the North Fork Sol Duc River and Hurricane Hill to name a couple. Check out our Hiking Guide to explore more trails in the area.

You can also join us for a work party nearby. We have a number of them scheduled for the remainder of the year, so take a look and see if you'd like to join us on the Olympic Peninsula.

Road closure quick facts

Where: Elwha Olympic Hot Springs Road in Olympic National Park

When: Monday, July 25 through early October

Why: To repair sections of road that are washed out and damaged from winter storms

Trails impacted: Cascade Rock, Elwha to Hurricane Hill, West Elwha, Upper Lake Mills, Dodger Point, Upper Lake Mills, Elwha River and Geyser Valley, Humes Ranch - Elwha River Loop, Appleton Pass, Boulder Lake and Happy Lake Ridge.

Flooding in the Elwha River Valley. Photo courtesy Olympic National Park.
Flooding in the Elwha River Valley. Photo courtesy Olympic National Park.

Comments

Happy Lake Loop

I hiked Happy Lake Loop July 18-20 and experience d no difficulty in navigating Olympic Hot Springs Road via Appleton Pass Trailhead. From Happy Lake TH to Boulder Creek camp, the road was obstacle-free albeit a cable bearing a sign reading "Bridge closed... due to unsafe conditions." One glance at the bridgr and I nopped the wire and strode across the sturdy bridge. I was not about to turn around and retrace the 4miles of road and climb the 3000' trail to Happy Lake when I knew Boulder Lake was just over the hill! Not sure how much access will change once road work is initiated but the bridge is fine for foot traffic. Happy Lake Trail has several large downed trees near the top on the Happy Lake TH side and is narrow & brushy on the Boulder Lake TH side. Otherwise fairly easy trail to navigate (unlie this website; scrolling is a bitch here!)

Posted by:


ye_ole_hiking_viking on Jul 23, 2016 12:36 PM

Elwha River trail

The Elwha river trail will not be accessible during this summer then. If I wanted access the Elwha to low divide how would I do that?

Posted by:


Allen77 on Jul 26, 2016 03:05 PM

Re: Elwha River Trail

Hi Allen77 - The road will be closed to all traffic, so it won't be possible to go from the Elwha River side until it's opened again in October. Not sure if there's a way to reverse that route easily.

Posted by:


Erika Haugen-Goodman on Jul 27, 2016 10:44 AM

Help

Can I hike from Hurricane Ridge down to the Elwha or is that closed too

Posted by:


Allen77 on Jul 27, 2016 10:47 AM

Re: Help

Only the Olympic Hotsprings Road is closed, so you can hike from Hurricane Ridge.

Posted by:


Erika Haugen-Goodman on Jul 27, 2016 10:49 AM

Help

Is there any other way that isnt a 5k elevation loss like it is from Hurricane Ridge?

Posted by:


Allen77 on Jul 27, 2016 10:54 AM

Re: Help

That will be the only option until the road reopens.

Posted by:


Erika Haugen-Goodman on Jul 27, 2016 11:04 AM

Elwha Closure

So we were stuck up the river, in so many ways, when the announcement came through, but it works out to take the hurricane hill or the wolf creek trail to the elwha.

The closure is somewhere close to the elwha camp ground.

Take note, that both my alternatives are a bit steep.

cheers - dn

Posted by:


Lori & Doug on Jul 28, 2016 09:45 AM

Sorrow

Planning our first visit to that area. I guess I'm glad I was warned before I went but it sure changes my plans. 😢

Posted by:


Howe Hikes on Jul 30, 2016 03:58 PM