Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Elwha Area

From the Elwha General Forest Area visitors to Olympic National Park can gain access to the central Olympic wilderness. The Elwha River Trail leads 29 miles southward through the heart of the park to Low Divide. Other wilderness trail stem from the Elwha River route connecting the area with the Dosewallips and Gray Wolf drainages.

Attractions - This general forest area also encompasses the Boulder Creek drainage, which leads westward from the Elwha River. The trails from Boulder Creek connect to the Sol Duc River and Lake Crescent regions. Boulder Creek empties into Lake Mills, which supports many water-oriented activities.

Facilities in this region of the park include two campgrounds, a ranger station, picnic area, wheelchair-accessible nature trail and boat launch. Several of these facilities, including the Elwha Campground, are open year round. Three roads permeate the region: Elwha River Road, Boulder Creek Road and Whiskey Bend Road.

Recreation - Recreation opportunities in the Elwha region of the park are abundant. Visitors can enjoy snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and camping during the winter months. In summer you'll find hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, boating and scenic driving opportunities.

Climate - This region of Olympic National Park lies in the leeward mountains of the peninsula. It is made up of montane and subalpine forest communities. The elevations range from 300 feet, at the park boundary, to 6,580 feet, atop Mt. Fairchild in the Bailey Range.


The Elwha General Forest Area is accessible from the Olympic Highway along the north central boundary of the park. The Elwha River Road follows the river upstream to the northern shore of Lake Mills. At this point the road splits with the Whiskey Bend Road leading left along the eastern shore of the lake to the upper Elwha River. The right side of the fork leads westward into the Boulder Creek drainage.