The Elwha River: Free at Last

Where Lake Mills used to be

The removal of the Elwha Dams drained Lake Mills. One of the concerns was with the huge amount of sediment that had been trapped behind the dams and the impact that would have on the ecology downstream. A lot of careful planning has resulted in a rapid recovery … salmon and steelhead trout have already returned to the river. Not in the huge numbers that once were present … but quicker than many thought likely.

From the photos below (less than a mile below the upper dam), you can see that the river is now running clean and clear.

Downriver from the bridge on the Olympic Hot Springs Road.
Upriver from the bridge on the Olympic Hot Springs Road.

Biking up the Dose

The Dosewallips Car Camp

Recently my friend Gary and I rode our eBikes up the Dosewallips Road past the washouts and up to the Dosewallips Campground … a distance of about 6.5 miles (each way). We had great weather and were just doing a day trip … although regular readers may note that another friend and I have made several trips up the road backpacking.

I carried my camera and the day was a great success, based on how much fun we had. During the bouncy ride, I lost my lens cap, but that’s why they sell extras, isn’t it?

Dosewallips Rapids/Falls
The Dosewallips Road (above the washout)
Un-named stream with a small falls

Frosty Snowy Branches

Frosty Snowy Branches

This was along the Highway outside of Haines, Alaska. There had been just a dusting of snow, then it cleared off and some heavy frost locked the snow in place. This is along the river valley, so these are poplars, alders and such. The river meanders across the valley, favoring quick growing varieties of tree. No 400 year old cedars growing along there.

Forest View

Forest View

A final view from my recent trip to Mt Walker, where you can see the road cut just above the center of the image. The low angle of the sun during the fall and winter months accentuates the contours of the hills.

More Clouds and Ridges

Clouds and Ridge

Both these images were shot from the top of Mt Walker on the eastern edge of the Olympic Mountains, looking west into the National Forest. These are “working forests” … they get logged on a rotating basis and aren’t the old growth forests found in the Olympic National Park. The exception is some of the trees on the rugged ridges where it is too difficult to log to make it worth the cost.

Forested Ridges in Clouds

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