With Olympic National Park spanning almost 1 million acres, there’s no better way to enhance your visit to this vast area than to take yourself on a phone-based audio tour.
The National Park Service’s phone-based audio tour highlights 9 areas, so you can choose which ones you want to learn more about.
Hurricane Ridge, a 45-minute drive from Port Angeles, Washington, is one of the areas featured. Filled with old-growth forests, you can see the Olympic Mountains from the ridge on a clear day. The farther-flung Quinault Valley, a 3-hour drive from Port Angeles, is also on the tour. Home to alpine meadows, lakes and peaks, you can do a short hike to the old Kestner homestead.
It also provides information about the National Park’s Elwha River restoration project, a river highlighted in the 2014 award-winning film DamNation. The film explores the history of the perception of dams in the United States from celebrated engineering feats to structures with long-term negative impacts on people and ecosystems.
In 2011, the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams along the Elwha River began to be dismantled. When the dams came down, wild salmon began their journey upstream to historic spawning grounds for the first time in a century. Today, the Elwha River flows unfettered to its headwaters in the Olympic Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The park is working to restore the river’s watershed and its native river-to-sea migrating salmon and trout.
To participate on the audio tour, use your cellphone to call 360-406-5056.* Normal cell phone usage rates apply. Press # to end the message and *0 to leave a comment.
A Step Up for Smart Phones
Smart phones with internet access can also use the Olympic web app at http://olym.toursphere.com with the same audio topics plus 100 additional topics and an interactive map. Normal cell phone usage and data rates apply.
*When you call the standard audio tour, the National Park Service will text you a link to the Smart Phone App.