Elwha Dam Removal Site
Elwha Dam Removal Site
4.5
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Amazing example of dam removal and restoration of a wild river.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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4 within 6 miles

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles19 reviews
Excellent
11
Very good
5
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Cindy C
Hailey, ID179 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
Park Service has done nice job on west side with interpreting this famous dam removal which has restored salmon runs and native vegetation. However because main road is closed to autos due to recent flooding, Park Service treats this site as "closed" and locks the toilet. This is irresponsible because hundreds of people visit this site on foot and on bicycles often enroute to Olympic Hot Springs or to hiking/backpacking in back country.
Written September 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Caroline P
Port Angeles, WA4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
While it is true that you cannot simply drive up to this site as you could before the road wash outs, you can get there on foot. From the Madison Falls parking lot, walk along the road until you see the "by pass" trail sign. Follow this trail up into the woods and then back down to the road. Then, follow the road all the way to the site. I hiked this yesterday, and my GPS showed it to be 7.5 miles round trip. Along the way, you come across the now abandoned Elwha Ranger Station and other NP buildings, which feel a bit like a ghost town. The Elwha River area does not disappoint! -- waterfalls, a roaring river, old growth forests, and a very cool historic site at the top, which I had all to myself on a sunny Winter day. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to go again.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AnnapolisHiker_MD
Annapolis, MD150 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
We were disappointed to learn that the road along the Elwha River had washed out in two places and we could not access trailheads deep in Olympic NP. However, we went ahead and drove to the Madison Falls parking area, talked to the onsite ranger and decided to hike back to the Elwha River/Glines (upper) Dam site. The hike is primarily on the park road but there is a bypass trail that leads around the two washout areas. The bypass trail is steep but doable with a bit of effort. Although the hike is on the road there is a river on one side and thick woods on the other side so it isn't without scenery. Along the way there are a couple of picnic areas. One in particular we liked was the Altair area which has tables right along the river bed and plenty of shade (and no bugs). The dam site was 3.4 miles in but was really interesting. There are several informative signs on the dam that have pictures and explanations of what the dam was and is now. Also there is electronic commentary to be heard in a squawk box on the dam. The former lake bed is visible behind the former dam. We learned a lot about the history of the dam and the river and feel enriched for having spent the time/effort to see this site. One complaint is that the park folks do not maintain anything beyond Madison Falls so the bathrooms are locked all along the road which is kind of ridiculous since many people are still accessing this hiking area. There is an alternate to hiking the road, using the trail on the west side of the Elwha River but apparently parking is limited at the trailhead so we decided not to chance it. Overall this was a nice, fairly easy hike with lots of sites along the way and lots of information on dams. Definitely recommend.
Written August 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Josh H
Shoreview, MN25 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
My wife and I were trying to get back to the hotsprings that are just down the road from the Dam. Unfortunately for us, the road was closed a few miles prior to the Dam. We had hiked about 15 miles the day before, so we were not wanting to add another long hike the day after. Instead, we walked to the Dam. I noticed the map at the gate by the parking area note that there was an observation point here, so thought it might be worth checking out. We started hiking, made sure to take the bypass area due to washout, and arrived at our destination a while later. Along the way, there was a bridge we crossed which gave a great view of the lower parts of the river. Upon arriving at the top, we took some pictures and read about the Dam removal process, and learned about the recovery efforts. It is an interesting hike, and is on pavement virtually the whole time. The early part of the hike by the bypass area is the most challenging, as it is off road and up/down the side of the hill. Once you get over that part, it is a pretty straight forward walk. Worth the trip if you are looking for something to do, or decide to go on further to the hot springs.
Written October 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda S
8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Couples
This is a beautiful area which includes Madison Falls. The main paved road to the removal site is closed for repairs due to several washouts. To hike on paved road is 3.4 miles each way, therefore, not easy accessible by all. The Elwha River is beautiful and the scenery fantastic if you only walk part of the paved road.
Written September 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NamasteVancouver_WA
Vancouver, WA4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
Thanks to the Elwha Dam removal to a wild river the road has been washed out and you can no longer get to any roads or trailheads. Access to this part of Olympic National Park is now gone. What a stupid idea this was.
Written September 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zillyzil
Coeur d'Alene, ID29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018
This area is absolutely amazing, just be aware that at the time of this writing the general public does not have vehicle access beyond a gate about 2 miles up Olympic Hot Springs Road. You can hike in, but the dam removal site is quite a distance, and not suitable for people who are not ready for a long hike. Bring water, food, and good shoes. If you have the stamina, though, you will be rewarded with solitude and beauty.
Written August 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

russellsranch
Port Angeles, Washington41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
beautiful place to see the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula we saw the damn before it was taken away but further up the river it is still trying to come back
Written March 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathair
Ferndale, WA217 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
Since the road washed out a while back, it is about a 3.5 mile hike to get to the dam removal site from the nearest parking (7 mile round trip.) Most of the hike is easy walking on gradual slopes, but there is a steepish trail to go around the washout area that may deter some people. It isn't all that long, though, so once past that, you are back on the old road. The dam site is interesting with viewing platform and signage telling about the dam removal and recovery process. It is amazing how much the land has recovered in such a short time.
Written October 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

k247
Portland, OR143 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
This review is specific to the Elwha Interpretive site. The pullout is helpful to know the history pre dams, dams period and post dam. Learning that salmon were found a month after the dam was removed was inspirational. I like the children's tiles that decorate the large history and picures posters. Nice job making this educational.
Written August 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Elwha Dam Removal Site - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Elwha Dam Removal Site



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