As weather continues to warm Forest officials are reminding visitors of potentially dangerous conditions and expected continued high use of recreation sites this spring. With longer, clearer days becoming the norm people may be surprised to find winter conditions at higher elevations and full parking areas at lower elevations.
Weather can change quickly on the peninsula and this can be more prevalent during the spring, especially at high elevations. Upon arriving at a trailhead visitors may be expecting a warm, clear hike but can unexpectedly find themselves in wet, cold, and even snowy conditions. Those visiting the forest should be prepared for dynamic conditions and should continue practicing avalanche safety.
“Taking the time to double-check your pack for essentials can be a small but important step to ensure you’re prepared for your outing,” says, Nicole LaGioia, Recreation Manager, “Being cautious and understanding your own skill level helps other forest users and staff during what is expected to be another busy season.”
Since the spring of 2020, national forests have been experiencing unprecedented increases in visitation. With more and more people traveling to their national forests, officials are urging travelers to recreate responsibly, be safe, and keep the following in mind before leaving home.
Be patient and prepare for longer travel times and overcrowded parking areas.
Do not park illegally. Parking along highways, in turnouts, and outside designated spots blocks access for emergency vehicles and is hazardous to pedestrians and other drivers.
Consider visiting on a weekday and always have 2 or more backup destinations identified before making the trip.
Check conditions: roads, trails, weather, and avalanche reports.
Pack all recreation safety essentials, dress appropriately and bring extra food, water, and clothing items.
Pack out what you pack in!
Recreation sites and roads are opening as restrictions are lifted, conditions allow, and maintenance is completed. For updates on recreation sites on the Olympic National Forest visit the forest’s Recreation Conditions Report or call a forest office.