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Olympic National Park Rangers To Guide Hikes Along Elwha River As Restoration Continues

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These two images show the difference in the Elwha River's flow from July 10 to August 1.  The remaining dam is circled in yellow in each image.  Now that flows have dropped enough to expose the concrete, dam removal can begin again/NPS

As the dynamic restoration of the Elwha River drainage in Olympic National Park continues in the wake of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams being dismantled, the opportunity to see the landscape's renewal first-hand arrives on Tuesday, when the first of a small number of ranger-led hikes into the drainage will be offered.

The hikes, which will be offered Tuesdays and Sundays through September 2, will focus on the area where Lake Aldwell once existed. Rangers will guide you through the landscape being created by the river following the removal of the Elwha Dam.  Walks will provide 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 walks, which will be led at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., are free and begin at the former boat launch located at the end of Lake Aldwell Road, which turns north off Highway 101 just west of the Elwha River bridge.  Visitors should wear sturdy walking shoes or boots and be prepared for windy conditions with no shade.  The walks will last approximately two hours.

For more information about Elwha River Walks, contact the Olympic National Park Visitor Center at (360) 565-3130. For more information about Elwha River Restoration, including links to the project webcams, weekly Dam Removal Blog and Elwha River Restoration Facebook page, go to the Olympic National Park website.



The last bit of the upstream Glines Canyon dam shown in  the above photos is scheduled to be gone next month!

Some interesting background on the former Lake Aldwell area:

I think this is an excellent educational opportunity.

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