Olympic National Park

It wasn't until 1885 that the interior of the Olympic Peninsula was explored by Lt. Joseph P. O'Neil, who led the first documented expedition. In 1889-90 an expedition led by James Cristie made a north-south crossing of the peninsula which took five and one-half months. In 1890 Lt. O'Neil also returned and made an east-west crossing.

In 1897 President Grover Cleveland created the Olympic Forest Reserve to prevent the forests of the peninsula from destruction due to poor logging practices. What an insightful man for the time. In 1909 President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed a portion of that area a national monument. Then in 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill establishing Olympic National Park.

Olympic Nation Park is unlike any other national park in the country. There is no other park with such a diverse ecosystem. The area contained within the park varies from rugged seacoast to rain forest to sub-alpine and alpine regions. One cannot drive through Olympic National Park. A few roads lead in a ways, but all travel must be done on the myriad of trails and rivers the park system offers.

As a general rule, every 500 feet you gain in elevation is similar to traveling 100 miles north. Walking up the Hoh Valley and climbing Mt. Olympus at 7,965 feet would be about the same as driving from Washington state to the Arctic.

 

 

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