The Olympic Peninsula: A Mountaineers Love Story

The Olympic Peninsula has been one of our most treasured playgrounds since the very beginning of our organization.
Tess Wendel Tess Wendel
February 22, 2016

Our love for the peninsula started early with our members advocating for the establishment of Olympic National Park  in the early 1900s. Our feelings have only become stronger since, and we feel lucky to continue educating, advocating, and providing stewardship opportunities to ensure the greater community falls in love with the Olympics too.

How do we love thee? Let me count the ways...

We love learning about the Olympics

Whether it's hosting a naturalist lecture series about the introduction of fishers on the peninsula or  keeping tabs on salmon health while introducing kids to their incredible life cycle  - we can't wait to learn more! We even  published a book  on the Elwha dam removal and are helping to curate a museum exhibit about the incredible watershed and its people. 

We love advocating to keep the Olympics wild

The Mountaineers are part of the Wild Olympics campaign that supports legislation to designate 126,500+ acres of Olympic National Forest as Wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries as Wild and Scenic Rivers.

We also helped the Olympic Forest Service gather input on creating a more sustainable road system and contributed ideas to the Olympic National Park stewardship plan revisions to accommodate for growth in visitors.

When we feel the Olympics may be threatened - whether through privatization of our public lands or building training spaces for electronic warfare - we speak up and our members make their voices heard. 

We love Taking Care of the trails, Beaches, and campgrounds

Last year our members  restored Lena Creek campground after it was damaged in winter flooding. We planted trees and shrubs on newly exposed land along the river as part of the Elwha River Restoration project. We restored the trail to  Church Creek and Satsop Lakes. Every year our hiking and kayak students and leaders go to the coast and participate in beach clean ups. Keeping these special places pristine for future generations is important to us, and we feel strongly in supporting active stewardship fro these areas.

AND MOST OF ALL WE LOVE EXPLORING The forests and Waterways 

Our volunteers lead trips to over 100 different places on the peninsula. They write trip reports and keep us updated on issues like Hurricane Ridge road closures or trail washouts. We even helped a fellow hiker find her lost camera before she headed back to the midwest. These regular status updates help our community plan their next adventure safely and responsibly whether that's a backpack along the coast, a rainy jaunt in the Hoh, or a traverse across the Bailey Range. 

Do you love the Olympics too?

Send us your favorite photos and stories of stewardship for a chance to be featured in an upcoming blog. All content can be submitted to Tess Wendel at

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