NOTE - The Elwha area is closed. The Elwha River is now running free. It has destroyed Olympic Hot Springs Road north of Madison Falls. This means that there is no access to ANY of the trails out of Whiskey Bend or to Olympic Hot Springs. Madison Falls is still open, and there is still a bit of the road open as a hiking trail. It is about a 20-25 minute walk to the old Elwha Campground where the river has cut through it.


The Elwha River is a newly wild river not far west of Port Angeles. From the 1920s until 2012, the river was dammed for power generation and for the city's water supply, but it now flows freely. Already the salmon are returning. The water turns a milky glacial blue in flood as it shifts its channels and carries massive trees down to the strait.

Time: The Elwha area is 0:30 or less from Port Angeles. In fact, route 101 crosses it maybe 0:15 west, but the more interesting places to see involve a bit more driving.


Madison Falls - A small, but charming waterfall not far from the road, about 0:20 from Port Angeles. This is as far as you can go by car. You can continue along the road by foot for another 20 minutes or so and get some wonderful river views and see where the Elwha River tore through the road and campground.

Elwha Dam Site - ROAD CLOSED - There is a pullout with an opportunity to explore the remains of the old Elwha Dam along the road to Whiskey Bend.

Elwha Dam Overlook - ROAD CLOSED - There is a pullout with a great view of the old Elwha Dam, now breached, along the road to Olympic Hot Springs.

Olympic Hot Springs - ROAD CLOSED - Wild hot springs an easy 1:30 round trip hike from the trailhead about 0:30 from Port Angeles.

Out of Whiskey Bend - ROAD CLOSED - The five mile turn off for Whiskey bend is a wild ride. It's one and a half lanes and unsealed, but if you drive carefully and drive friendly, it's only 0:15 from the junction with Olympic Hot Springs Road, for a total of 0:30 out of Port Angeles. There are a number of hikes one can take from this trailhead including some with great views of the Elwha.

Lilian Camp - ROAD CLOSED - A great 4:00 hike out of Whiskey Bend, about 0:30 out of Port Angeles. The hike features wild glens, Michael's Cabin and the Lilian River.

© Kaleberg Symbionts 2015, 2018 - Beta