Elwha Dam Removal

  Thought I would get a quick few hours of fresh air in before big Turkey Day.  I decided to venture out to the 'Elwha Dam Removal Viewpoint'.  Riding the Joyce Bus only took around 20 minutes outside of Port Angeles.    Just a short walk off of Highway 112; reaching the little trailhead which is almost straight off the road and is well marked.  Brand new trail and signs were built for this viewpoint.

elwha dam removal
Water rushing thru the right channel - late autumn 2011

Olympic National Park Map
New Olympic National Park Trail Sign

  After a short walk on a well used trial.  I arrived at the lookout and could just feel the water roar.  There has been a lot of rain in the Pacific Northwest the last 72 hours.  It was kinda cool seeing the logs and debris shoot off the man made waterfall.

  You could also see where the river was trying to break the channels that the engineers created to try to direct the river.  Mother nature doesn't listen to man and it will be interesting to see what happens the next week or so.

elwha dam removal
Water rushing through a blasted opening in the Elwha Dam

  I would defiantly suggest bringing your Kids to this viewpoint.  The Webcams that the Olympic National Park Service set up to view are cool and all, but to feel the mist hitting your face is way more memorable.

Update 10/29/12

  My body is in desperate need of some cardio training after a lazy month of rest.   I decided to take my bike out for a spin.  With the primary mission of wanting to cruise the Lower Elwha and explore the autumn colors.

  This winter I'm very bless to have residence in a place so close to the Elwha Drainage.  I can explore the whole valley on foot or cycle the next few months.  The area is literally out my back porch.

highway 112
Cycling Highway 112 during autumn

  After a short ride I arrived at the Elwha Dam Removal Observation Trail.  To my surprise there was no longer construction equipment on site.  The whole area was quiet with only the sound of river in the distance.

  The former Lake Aldwell was also completely drained.   Mans replant and preserved trees could be seen where water once covered the land.

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Former Elwha Dam Site - Autumn 2012

Mushrooms in autumn color

A beautiful coffee table book on The Undammed Elwha River.