So first things first what is the Elwha river and where is it?
The Elwha river is a massive river on the Olympic Peninsula in Jefferson county in the state of Washington in the good old USA that begins at Elwha Snowfinger and it flows 45 miles north across the peninsula of the Olympic National Park, there are two dams on the river’s lower course, which are to be removed and will turn the area back into a thriving wildlife and nature resort, the way it used to be and the way it should have stayed, which I am really excited about.
Salmon will once again be able to recolonize along the 70 miles plus of available habitat within Olympic National Park. These wonderful fish will once again be in abundance and it is expected that there will be upwards of 390,000 fish living in the new surroundings when the river has fully and naturally restored itself to it’s former glory.
You come to the Grand Canyon if the river Elwha as it passes under Dodger point bridge and past Humes Ranch Cabin along the Geyser Valley trail, eventually you come to the Rica Canyon at Goblins Gate. After Rica Canyon, the river spreads out towards the head of Lake Mills.
Below the dam the Elwha is parallel to the Olympic Hot Springs Road. The river then continues it’s journey past some camping grounds and the Elwha Ranger Station where the river exits the Olympic National Park and enters Lake Aldwell, a reservoir behind Elwha Dam. Most of the river Elwha is contain within the Olympic National Park.
What is there for me and my family to do at the Elwha river
The area is a great place for people who love the outdoors and being one with nature, you can sing around a camp fire, relax and enjoy the peace and quite of the beautiful surroundings and watch the wildlife and you can also if you like a bit of adventure and activity climb the Major peaks in the area such as Mount Christie, Mount Carrie, Mount Meany, and Mount Seattle. You can enjoy the experience of fishing, boating and beach-combing on the North Olympic Coast, and the hiking, scenery and hot springs of Olympic National Park. We have also had some great experiences rafting on the Elwha River. Local guides who are very knowledgeable about the area and any dangers as well as the local flora and fauna as well as adding to your knowledge of the area if you are visiting for the first time.
The Olympic National Park Elwha river
The majority of the Elwha river is contained within the Olympic National Park is located in Washington, in the Olympic Peninsula. To get a good understanding of the park it is best to split the park into four distinct sections, there is the pacific coastline which is known for the alpine areas, the west side for it’s rainforest and a dry area to the east side, so if you are visiting the area it is best to decide what you are looking for before you head to the area.
There is plenty to see and do at the Olympic National Park on the Elwha river and one of the places that I have fond memories of visiting the Ozette Loop which is a 9 mile trail starting from the trailhead at Ozette Lake, the trail starts as a 3-mile boardwalk-enhanced path that takes you close to a coastal cedar swamp. You eventually arrive at the ocean, and can walk for 3 miles along headland trails when there are high tides. The final part of the 9 mile journey is enabled by a boardwalk which has enhanced the loop’s popularity over the years.
So what part of the Elwha river is right for me?
People always ask me what is the best place for me to see or visit at Elwha river and this is a hard question to answer and depends on what you enjoy and the circumstances of your trip. If you are an adventurer, strong and love the unknown I would probably say you would be better to visit the interior of the Olympic park, but be warned this can be dangerous and you must be very careful not to get lost, this is definitely for the more seasoned explorer and not many backpackers have the experience to go beyond the casual day-hiking distances.
The Coastline area is the place I would recommend for your average person who has arrived in the area for a holiday, this part of the park has a rugged, sandy beach that runs along side of a strip of adjacent forest with wilderness that spans a 10 – 20 miles area with varied sand and rock beaches and pleasant views.
Are there any towns with modern facilities near to the Elwha river?
One of the best towns to visit because of it’s size and location is Port Angeles which is in Clallam County, Washington, United States. Port Angeles is a good sized town that is large enough to have good facilities for eating, drinking and entertainment with a population of around 19,000 residents. The area has a lovely harbor dubbed the “Puerto de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles” and you can catch a ferry here that will take you across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on the M/V Coho or Victoria Express.
Port Angeles is located in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains, and has a pleasant climate with winter temperatures rarely lows below 25 degrees, and summer highs usually staying under 80 degrees. Port Angeles can get a bit choppy in the winter in winter with cold Arctic fronts sweeping across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and around 4 inches of snow falling each year, but in my opinion this snow makes the place look even more beautiful.
What animals and wildlife are there at Elwha river
The Elwa river is a favourite place for Salmon such as Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Chum Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, and Pink Salmon, and different species of Trout such as well as Bull trout, and Dolly Varden char to name a few that swim in the river. Before the Dames were built it is estimated that there were around 400,000 adult salmon returning to the river each year today it is less than 4,000 that return each year
Places to stay in and around the Olympic National Par
One of the places I like to take my RV to is The Elwha Dam RV Park which is in a great setting next to the beautiful Elwha River Canyon, this place is one of my favourite RV parks in the whole world and I travel extensively to see the most beautiful lakes and rivers in Europe and North America. The campsite has 39 full hookups for RV holiday makers and owners 2.5 separate acres for people who want to bring a tent. The location is ideal as it is in a peaceful relaxing setting in the woods, but just a short drive from the modern facilities 10 minutes of Port Angeles and 10 minutes from the ferry port to Victoria, B.C.
Camping RV’s and campsite’s resources:
We love camping and RV holidays and have compiled a great list of useful resources for people who like holidays near rivers and lakes, we have visited many places in the world and come across many useful websites and camping resources on our travels so we hope you find this list really useful – if you have any websites in mind that you feel deserve to be on this list please give us a shout!
The Elwha Dam RV Park
This is a well run campsite in a glorious setting right next to the beside the wonderful Elwha River Canyon and Dam which make it a pefect choice for a holiday in the area. The Elwha Dam R.V. Park is perfect for fishing, boating and beachcombing on the North Olympic Coast, and you will not want to miss the wonderful scenery and hot springs at the Olympic National Park.
There is plenty of space for even the largest RV with 39 full hookups and 2.5 separate acres for tents. The Elwha Dam RV park is pretty easy to get to as well just off the Scenic Highway 112 and only a short RV drive to the busy town with modern facillities – Port Angeles, WA and also perfectly placed for a ferry to Victoria, B.C.
If you want to visit the Elwha River in an RV but do not own one and cannot afford to buy one why not consider hiring one this is what we do. We have always found this to be a good way to see all that the Elwha River has to offer as you are not restricted to visiting one place and there is so much to see you can simply drive around the area in your RV.
We have used the elmonte RV company in the past to hire an RV and have always found them to be a good company with reasonable rates. They are a privately owned RV company that has been established since 1970.
The Lake District – A beautiful place to visit in the UK
Another of our favourite places to visit is the Lake district in the UK, when we visit anywhere outside the US we head to this beautiful place, the beautiful lakes need to be seen to realise just how beautiful they are and the area also has some of the tallest mountains and deepest lake, with Lake Windermere being our personal favourite lake in the region.
There are two national parks in the Lake district and no less than three areas of outstanding beauty and the rich unique wildlife is a complete pleasure to see.
You will probably need to hire an RV when you go to the UK for your holiday this is the easiest way to get around if you want to see the great rivers, lakes and countryside which are in abundance in the UK.
We have always found the best and cheapest solution is to hire a motorhome and pick it up from the airport such as Gatwick or Stansted, you can hire an RV or motorhome which is basically a smaller version of the American RV quite easily, we have used several dealers and recently found a good website that is easy to use and got us a really good deal on a motorhome for our holidays in 2010.
Visit the Holiday motorhome hire website to get a quote for hiring a motorhome or RV in the UK.
This is also a great place to store your motorhome when you are not using it they also
store caravans so visit the caravan and motorhome storage website.
The largest dam removal project in U.S. history will reopen more than 70 miles of pristine spawning and rearing habitat in the Elwha River and its tributaries. Salmon populations are predicted to swell from 3,000 to nearly 400,000 as all five species of Pacific salmon return to one of the Pacific Northwest’s most productive salmon streams.