A Little Known Gem Called Lyre River

All park programs have been canceled, including guided snowshoe walks at Hurricane Ridge. Hurricane Ridge Road will remain closed to vehicles until the lapse of appropriations is resolved.

Olympic National Park Closed

I can’t go into the Olympic Peninsula without experiencing a sense of joy and wonder. There simply isn’t a piece of scenery that isn’t awe-inspiring. Of course, some that are more inspiring than others. Start traveling to the interior of the park and you’ll see what I mean.

All park programs have been canceled, including guided snowshoe walks at Hurricane Ridge. Hurricane Ridge Road will remain closed to vehicles until the lapse of appropriations is resolved.
Lyre River
A section of the Lyre River which drains out of Crescent Lake.

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This was the reason I choose Salt Creek County Park as a base camp. I was hoping to get back to Hurricane Ridge and capture some of the peaks we saw last fall covered in snow. You can read about that trip here. Matt had mentioned that he would be in Toronto but Brad was available and liked the idea.

It was not meant to be. The closure of our government over a fence also meant that the road leading up to Hurricane Ridge was closed as well. As disappointed we were there were bigger issues going on and many of our National Parks suffered vandalism.

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Exploring partner Brad grabbing his own photos of the waterfall.
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Shouldn't be any doubt we're in one of the few Temprate Rain Forests. Thick moss contrasts the dark basalt rock behind.

Lyre River

I had the opportunity to go out a day early so I used that time to look for areas where I haven’t had a chance to explore before. Once such place was the DNR Lyre River campground. I’ve passed the site many times but never had the time to turn off and check out the campground.

The river is beautiful and the campground has about a dozen sites. Many of these sites will accommodate a 20’ trailer but there are no services available. Only a couple of the campsites were occupied but I imagine that would be much different in the summer time. All campsites are on a first come, first serve basis.

The Lyre River flows out of Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Park and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Originally referred to as “singing waters” by the indigenous population, the river was first named Rio de Cuesta in 1790 by Gonzalo López de Haro. It was later called River Lyre after being charted by Captain Henry Kellett in 1847.

The river supports a few species of fish including the endemic Beardslee Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus f. beardsleei). Known to locals as “bluebacks”, they spawn in the Lyre River, near the outlet of the lake. Beardslee are difficult to distinguish from the Lake Crescent cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii), which is also endemic to Lake Crescent, as they only take on the rainbow colors during spawning.

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