The Elwha and the Dams
The dam removal is now complete and the reservoir is now a beautiful free flowing river and valley. People come from all over the world to see the restored area. To stand on the old dam is an amazing sight and feeling. Even though the dam is gone, it will always be the site of a former dam, and for now, our name will remain the same!
The intention of the $327 million Elwha River Restoration Project was to unblock the river, returning the river to its wild state, to bring back the waterway’s storied salmon run. It was amazing the salmon started returning within two weeks
This 18-acre, 50-space RV park is at 47 Lower Dam Road in Port Angeles, and is adjacent to Olympic National Park, the Elwha River and Juan de Fuca Scenic By-Way (Highway 112) where the former dam was located.
The overlook trail of the old dam site begins at the bottom of the park. It is still attracting people from all over the world, desiring to hike, fish or explore the restoring valley and river. The native fish can be occassionally seen jumping up the waves. Other wildlife is rebounding; including otters, ospreys and bald eagles, surf smelt and Dungeness crab. Beaches and sandy bottoms replace the rocky shores near the mouth of the river. Students and scientists research and study the regrowth of the native vegetation and ecosystem the grounds.
The RV park itself abounds with mature trees, wild flowers, ponds, open spaces, and lots of wild birds and other critters. Large wood carvings adorn the grounds.
An overlook and kiosk is planned near the RV Park on Lower Dam Road so visitors can visit this amazing piece of history.....
S'Klallam man drying fish
The first historic reference to the Elwha was in July of 1790 when the Spanish Captain Manuel Quimper purchased berries and salmon “of a hundred pounds” from the natives off the mouth of the river. The Nootka Convention gave Spain and England the right to trade in the area. Both countries raced the Russians and the Americans to claim land, establish settlements and find the Northwest Passage, a fabled water route that was believed to cross North America.
In May of 1792 the American Captain Robert Gray discovered and named the Columbia River after his ship. This gave the United States a claim to the same vast lands that the Europeans had already colonized. Gray traded some nails to the Columbia River people for 450 sea otter and beaver skins that were worth a fortune in China. This ignited a global trade, where metal, gunpowder and alcohol were traded for furs on the Northwest Coast that were traded in China for tea, silk and spices for markets in Europe and Boston. In 1800 Spain ceded its claim to France. They sold out to the Americans who, in 1818 bluffed England into a joint occupation of Oregon, or what we now call the Pacific Northwest. It was a land the American squatters were soon to take over.
The Hudson Bay Company was forced to move its headquarters north from Nisqually to the new city of Victoria in 1843. In 1849 HBC trappers John Everett and John Sutherland paddled across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Victoria to Crescent Bay. They were adopted by the S’Klallam. Sutherland and Everett trapped in the Northern Olympics, discovering and naming Lakes Sutherland and Everett which was renamed Lake Crescent....
Reservations and Information: 1-360-452-7054 US