Olympic National Park
Port Angeles, Washington
Olympic Hot Springs Rd, 11 W of Port Angeles off Hwy 101
The Elwha Valley is a minor area in Olympic National Park, but it is currently undergoing a major transformation. Construction began on the Elwha Dam in 1910, resulting in the creation of a reservoir, Lake Aldwell.
But the dam didn't account for salmon runs, blocking 65 miles of habitat rivers and creeks and reducing the salmon runs by 99%. It also blocked the sediments that used to wash downstream and out to sea that used to replenish the Ediz Hook sand spit that created the harbor at Port Angeles.
The dam was demolished in 2012 although restoration work continues, including managing the outflow of the sediment that had built up behind the dam. At this writing parts of the area are off-limits to visitors due to safety concerns surrounding the restoration site.
Madison Falls (O14A0309)
Madison Falls is a small, easily accessed (short, paved trail) waterfall near the entrance to this part of the park.
Elwha River (O14A0320)
More About Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park encompasses a number of features of the northern Olympic Peninsula, including the Olympic Mountains, a large temperate rain forest on the western slopes, and a rugged strip of the Pacific Coast. Much of the park is roadless, prime wilderness hiking ground. Day visitors often head to Hurricane Ridge, Marymere Falls and the area around Lake Crescent, the Hoh Rainforest, Quinault and the coast at La Push and Rialto Beach.
You may also like these Olympic destinations:
- Marymere Falls, Olympic National Park, Washington
- Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington
- Hiking At Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington
While you're in the area, check out these sights:
- Around Town, Port Angeles, Washington
- Giant Rubber Duck, Port Angeles, Washington
- Pillar Point County Park, Clallam Bay, Washington