National Forest officials are alerting residents that this winter the Olympic National Forest experienced multiple atmospheric river events that caused unprecedented damage across the forest.
Because of this damage, some areas of the forest continue to have limited access.
Staff and volunteers have been working to clear blow-downs to ensure visitors can safely access the forest but due to the high volume of downed trees and low snow levels some areas remain inaccessible.
Visitors to the forest should be aware that general spring maintenance and operations of roads and recreation sites may be delayed while crews prioritize clearing blow down on high use roads.
Areas where access is limited include:
- Skokomish Drainage, FS-Road 23 network
- Hamma Hamma Drainage, FS-Road 25 network
- Donkey Creek Area, FS- Road 22 network
When visiting any area of the forest this spring visitors should practice the following tips to ensure a safe trip.
- While hiking, look up and look around. There may remaining trees or limbs that could still fall.
- Some parking areas may be limited due to snow or debris; do not park where you may hinder traffic or where additional debris may fall.
- Be prepared with a backup destination as access may be limited or your vehicle may not be able to make the trip, it is okay to turn around.
- Be cautious when driving and watch for vehicles that maybe crossing lanes in efforts to avoid trees or brush in the roadway.
- Pack all recreation safety essentials, dress appropriately, bring extra food, water, and clothing items. Winter conditions persist at higher elevations.
Recreation sites and roads are opening as conditions allow and maintenance is completed including the removal of blow down. Visitors are encouraged to report significant road or trail damage by sending an email to the Olympic National Forest.