Elwha River

Elwha River

Goblin Gates on the Elwha River, named by Charles Barnes of the Press Expedition
Goblin Gates on the Elwha River, named by Charles Barnes of the Press Expedition

When the Press Expedition men hauled their gear up the Elwha River in the winter of 1889 and 1890, the river was wild.  When I hiked it and wrote about it more than 100 years later, the river was dammed and contained, the Altaire campground was good for a pre-hike wiener roast, and the Whiskey Bend trailhead was an easy drive.  No more.  The river has been un-dammed and unleashed to choose its own path, which has included flooding the road to the trailhead and the Altaire campground.  You may now have more sympathy for the six men, four dogs, and two mules who spent two and a half months just getting to Whiskey Bend from Port Angeles.  (This hike is described in Hiking Washington’s History.) 

Linda Mapes describes “A river gone wild” and its effects on hikers in The Seattle Times, March 13, 2016.

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