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Olympic Peninsula, Wa

Dam: An Explosion on the Elwha

On a sunny, clear day in the Olympic National Park, an explosion along a once blocked river shattered the silence along the Elwha River. One of the final pieces of the Glines Canyon Dam along the Elwha River was blown up, freeing the river of yet another man-made structure. 900 Cubic yards of concrete, which was one of the last visible sections of the Glines Canon Dam, vanished from view, leaving just 30 small feet of the dam to be removed. While the Elwha has started to return to its natural flow, the removal of these last few pieces of the dam represent something awesome. Soon, the Elwha River will flow 100% naturally for the first time in over 100 years.

VIDEO BELOW: Click Image


CLICK IMAGE FOR VIDEO: Video from John Gussman

CHECK OUT THE Video by Elwha River Restoration.

The Glines Canyon Dam, located on the Elwha River, was built in 1927 and stood 210 feet high. The dam, responsible for forming Lake Mills in the Olympic National Park, was one of two major dams on the Elwha River. The Elwha Dam Removal Project, which started in 2011, is the largest dam removal project in history and the second largest eco-system renewal in the National Park System, the first being the Everglades. The project may have cost a total of $3514 million; the return of an iconic river is worth much more than that.


While vegetation won’t return to the Elwha’s banks for many more years, thing are already promising for the region. 2013 saw the largest salmon run in years, making the Elwha’s return to her former glory inevitable. The Elwha River is a glacier-fed and will open over 75 miles of spawning habitat for salmon. We here at Exotic Hikes are excited to see the return of the Elwha to nature and can’t wait for new trails, new experiences and new memories along the Elwha River.


A fish was swimming upstream, exhausted from the thousand mile journey to return back to the sacred spawning grounds.

Almost home, the salmon built up speed and leapt up a cascade, promptly hitting his head on concrete.

The impact caused him to exclaim, “Dam!”


Thankfully, the salmon of the Elwha don’t have to deal with the dam anymore, and now I won’t have an excuse to tell this joke. Looks like my audience and the salmon won’t be getting headaches.





Best Dam Explosion and Dam Pictures: http://www.elwhafilm.com/bang/
A Dam Documentary that is Awesome: http://www.elwhafilm.com/trailer.htm
Images of old Dam Sites: http://video-monitoring.com/construction/olympic/js.htm
Area Hikes: http://bit.ly/1b39uO8



Elwha River, Glines Canyon, Documentary, Olympic National Park, Olympic Peninsula, Elwha Dam, Lake Mills, 2013 Salmon Run


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