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August 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Guided walks on what was water at Olympic peninsula’s Elwha

Giant stumps emerged at  what was once Lake Aldwell when the Elwha dam was removed. (STeve Ringman photo / Seattle Times, 2012

Giant stumps emerged at what was once Lake Aldwell when the Elwha dam was removed. (Steve Ringman photo / Seattle Times, 2012

Take a walk on what was once a lake on the Olympic Peninsula.

Olympic National Park rangers will lead free guided walking tours four times a week starting Aug. 19 through Sept. 2, on Tuesdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.,  on what was once Lake Aldwell near Port Angeles.  The lake drained away after the first Elhwa dam was removed, part of the park’s effort to restore the wilderness area of the Elwha River and its once legendary salmon runs by removing two century-old dams. (See the Seattle Times series on the Elwha for more information).

What you can expect to see on the Elwha River Walk,  according to a park statement, is  “a fascinating, up-close look at shifting sediments, both old and new vegetation, giant stumps logged a century ago, and the river re-establishing itself.” The Elwha dam removal was completed in 2012; the river’s Glines Canyon Dam is being removed.

Walks will last about two hours and leave from the former boat launch at the end of Lake Aldwell Road (which veers north off  Highway 101 just west of the Elwha River Bridge). Get more details from the Olympic National Park Visitor Center, 360-565-3130. The park also offers an Elwha blog, background and webcams.

Want to explore more of the park, including its nearby Hurricane Ridge or Lake Crescent? See Seattle Times stories on where to play and stay in Olympic National Park.

Comments | More in national parks, Olympic National Park, Parks | Topics: Elwha dam, guided ranger walks, Lake Aldwell

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