The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center (elevation 5,242) in Olympic National Park is closed due to the federal government shutdown. About a 17-mile drive from Port Angeles, it normally offers a snack bar, gift shop, and is where groups meet up for a snow shoe tour during the holidays. (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times/MCT)

The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center (elevation 5,242) in Olympic National Park is closed due to the federal government shutdown. About a 17-mile drive from Port Angeles, it normally offers a snack bar, gift shop, and is where groups meet up for a snow shoe tour during the holidays. (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times/MCT)

Limited Access to Olympic National Park during government shutdown

  • Thu Jan 3rd, 2019 1:30am
  • News

PORT ANGELES — During the shutdown of the federal government due to the lapse of appropriations, national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures, according to a press release issued by Olympic National Park.

Due to recent storm damage and high winds across the Olympic Peninsula, many park roads and campgrounds were closed to vehicles and will now remain closed during the shutdown. Emergency and rescue services will be limited.

There will be no NPS-provided visitor services at Olympic National Park, including visitor centers, public information, restrooms, trash collection and facilities and roads maintenance (including regular plowing).

The Hurricane Ridge area, including the Ski, Snowboard, & Tubing area operation, will remain closed during the shutdown.

Across the National Park Service, some lodging, restaurants and other services may be available when provided by concessioners or other entities. At Olympic, Kalaloch Lodge and Lake Crescent Lodge will remain open. Lake Crescent Lodge is open through Jan. 2 for regular operations. Reservations at park lodges should be confirmed by contacting the concessioner that operates the hotel or visiting their website.

Because of the federal government shutdown, NPS social media and websites are not being monitored or updated and may not reflect current conditions. All park programs have been canceled, including guided snowshoe walks at Hurricane Ridge.

The NPS will not be providing services for NPS-operated campgrounds, including maintenance, janitorial, and restrooms. However, visitors in NPS-operated campgrounds will not be asked to leave unless safety concerns require such action. Kalaloch campground is currently the only park campground with vehicle access.

Some park areas, including Staircase, Lake Crescent, Kalaloch and Ozette, are currently accessible by vehicle, however, access may change without notice. The Queets and the Hoh Rain Forest areas remain closed to vehicle access due to recent storm damage and downed trees. Vehicle access in the Quinault Rain Forest is also limited due to recent storm damage and downed trees.

The Quinault Graves Creek Road and North Fork Road are closed. Vehicle access to Rialto Beach remains closed since last Thursday’s storm surge. Hurricane Ridge Road will remain closed to vehicles until the lapse of appropriations is resolved. Deer Park Road and Sol Duc Road are closed to vehicles for the winter season. The Elwha Olympic Hot Springs Road remains closed to vehicle access due to flood damage.

The most recent status of park roads and campgrounds is available at www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.