As the winter rains return to the Pacific Northwest, those passing through Washington's Olympic
Peninsula in search of paddling opportunities will have an opportunity to see the largest dam
removal effort in the nation underway. Olympic National Park recently opened the Elwha Dam
Overlook Trail where visitors can view dam removal progress in person.
The Elwha Dam Overlook Trail can be reached by taking Highway 101 west from Port Angeles. At mile 242.5 turn onto Highway 112. Take this road 0.7 miles and just before reaching the Elwha River bridge turn left (south) on Lower Dam Road which is also the turn for Elwha Dam RV Park. The entrance to the construction site is straight ahead and the parking area for the trail is to your immediate left. The first 200 yard section of trail, constructed by Clallam County, is wheelchair accessible and leads to a partial overlook of the dam site. As you approach this first overlook you will see the start of a 1/4 mile footpath to your left. This trail was built by a Washington Conservation Corps crew and leads to an overlook of the dam and the lower reservoir.
The work at Glines Canyon can not be viewed by the public at this time but Olympic National Park is working to provide public viewing opportunities at the Glines Canyon dam by summer 2012.
Progress at both dams can be viewed on the web at: