Last free, ranger-guided exploration walk along Elwha River is Saturday — see the dam-removal transformation yourself
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Andy Ritchie, Olympic National Park Elwha project hydrologist, stands near a large cedar stump in what was Lake Aldwell. Stumps were left behind from when loggers cleared the timber before the Elwha Dam was built in 1910.

By Peninsula Daily News staff

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The summer's last interpretive Elwa Discovery Walk along the Elwha River where Lake Aldwell once existed will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 7).

An Olympic National Park ranger will take visitors through the landscape being created by the river following the removal of the Elwha Dam in March 2012 and the draining of the lake.

The walk is free and will begin at the former boat launch, located at the end of Lake Aldwell Road.

To get there, take U.S. Highway 101 and drive about 8 miles west of Port Angeles.

Turn north — a sharp right — off Highway 101 onto Lake Aldwell Road immediately after the Elwha River Bridge.

Visitors should wear sturdy walking shoes or boots and be prepared for windy conditions with no shade.

The guided portion of the walk lasts about an hour. Visitors are then free to continue exploring the lakebed area.

The land is controlled by ONP but technically is not part of the national park.

It is open year-round and has become a favorite hiking area for many Port Angeles area residents.

Dogs on leashes are permitted.

No park admission pass is needed.

For more information about Saturday's Elwha Discovery Walk, phone the Elwha Ranger Station at 360-452-9191.

For more information about Elwha River restoration, the world's largest ever dam removal project, including links to the project webcams, weekly dam-removal blog and Elwha River restoration Facebook page, visit the Olympic National Park website:

Last modified: September 06. 2013 9:37PM
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