Olympic National Park’s Olympic Hot Springs Road, in the Elwha River Valley, has reopened following a three-year closure while contractors removed the Glines Canyon Dam.
Visitors may now reach the Boulder Creek Trailhead, which provides hiker and stock-user access to the Olympic Hot Springs Trail, a 2.5-mile hike from the trailhead.
Park officials urge visitors to consult the park’s current trail conditions report (click here) and to be prepared for ice, snow and slippery conditions. The Crystal Creek Bridge is closed to travel due to extensive rock-slide damage, but Crystal Creek can be crossed via a foot-log.
The park completed extensive restoration in the Olympic Hot Springs area while the road was closed. Park officials remind visitors to camp only in designated campsites and to avoid stepping on plants. Open fires are prohibited in the Olympic Hot Springs area including Boulder Creek Campground. All trash must be packed out.
Access to the Glines Canyon overlook and former Lake Mills will continue to be available only from the Whiskey Bend Road. “Additional work needs to be done before we can safely open the viewpoint and old boat launch, so while the Olympic Hot Springs Road itself is open, the parking area at Glines Canyon is closed,” Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum said in a written release. Access to these areas is expected to open in late spring 2015, after fencing and other protective measures are installed and the parking area completed.
Visitors wishing to reach Glines Canyon viewing areas and a trail to the former Lake Mills should use the Whiskey Bend Road. A 10-space accessible parking area and viewpoint opened two weeks ago, overlooking the canyon, river and former lake bed.
More information is available by calling the park’s Wilderness Information Center at 360-565-3100 or visiting the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles.