Elwha Dams Removal Tour and Hike

On August 15, 2017, the Natural History Society featured an overview of the largest dam removals in the world so far — the demolition of both the Glines Canyon Dam, which formed Lake Mills, and the Elwha Dam, which formed Lake Aldwell.

We started at the Glines Canyon Dam overlook, where there are extensive views of the Elwha River both above and below the former dam, and took the marked trail less than a mile to the riverbed. The trail passes through revegetated areas of the former Lake Mills and leads to terraces of sediment, now covered with lupine. It is not a steep trail, but hiking shoes and hiking poles were advised.

We then visited the Elwha River interpretive center, where murals and signage outline the history of human interaction with the Elwha River.

Finally, we drove to the mouth of the Elwha, where there is now a beautiful sandy beach, as a result of the Elwha River again being free-flowing.

Jean Mann kindly planned our visit to three sites; we met at 9:00 am to carpool and returned by 5:00 pm. Jean at JLTnatural@saveland.org coordinated carpool details.