Going to Olympic National Park this Summer? Plan Ahead Due to Major Bridge Work
Olympic National Park is deservedly considered one of the crown jewels of the National Park System. Getting there in the late spring and early summer of 2009 will require some advance planning—and a bit of patience—for a lot of visitors due to an upcoming six week closure of the Hood Canal Bridge.
The Hood Canal Bridge isn't the only way to get to Olympic from points south and east, but it's a major one, especially for those coming from the Seattle vicinity. The park staff is doing its best to alert travelers, including this information from the park's website:
Starting May 1, 2009, the Hood Canal Bridge will close to traffic so the Washington State Department of Transportation can replace the entire east half along with the east and west trusses. The construction will temporarily shut down the primary link between the north Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas and is scheduled to last six weeks.
The closure will create a challenge for travelers, but the Olympic National Park and peninsula will still be open for business.
For some travelers willing to take an alternative route, perhaps the work will be a blessing in disguise. While it's hard to predict what impact the bridge project will have on visitation to the park, it seems likely that some visitors from the Seattle area will simply postpone their trip until the constructions is finished.
If that proves to be the case, those who do visit could find the area a bit less crowded. Some of the alternative routes to Olympic include a trip on one of the Washington State Ferries, which can be a fun ride in themselves.
The weather is always a dice roll for any trip, but I've had some absolutely delightful trips to Olympic in May. You might even catch a sunny day at the Hoh Rain Forest!