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Tracing The Upper Left – Olympic National Park

May 25th, 2017 – May 30th, 2017

The Olympic Mountains loom to the West of Seattle, even on semi-clear days, inviting exploration of this majestic area of the Northwestern United States. Explorers and outdoorsman alike, have been making expeditions to the Olympic Peninsula for more years than we can count. Encompassing over 3,600 square miles, the Olympic Peninsula is to this day a mostly wild and un-penetrated habitat, for even today, almost no roads traverse the interior of the park and its environs play host to native elk, bear and sizable old-growth forests. Protected by the Olympic National Park, access to its interior is almost solely done by using Highway 101 looping around the coast of the peninsula.

May is the ideal time to be photographing on the peninsula, as light seasonal rains and beautiful coastal sunsets are to be expected. The greens in the forests are vibrant and lush vegetation undercoats the rain forest environments. The expected rain and drizzle do their part to make the forest imaging a peak experience. Post storm coastal sunsets are a thing of beauty and May is the time when we expect to be treated to more than one of those experiences.

The Olympic National Park is without question one of the most diverse climate zones on the planet, with the Western shores playing host to an average of over 160of rain per year, while the Eastern slopes experience, on average a mere 12 per year. Our workshop will have us visiting sub-alpine forests, wildflower meadows and temperate rainforest all in the course of six (6) days, not to mention the added beauty of the West coast beaches. Olympic National Park is a photographer’s paradise and this is the perfect time to experience it.

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  • Olympic National Park Workshop
    2017-05-25 - 2017-05-30
    00:00 - 23:55


3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, Washington, 98362, United States


Olympic National Park is a United States national park located in the state of Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula. The park has four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier east side.

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt originally created Mount Olympus National Monument on 2 March 1909. It was designated a national park by President Franklin Roosevelt on June 29, 1938. In 1976, Olympic National Park became an International Biosphere Reserve, and in 1981 it was designated a World Heritage Site. In 1988, Congress designated 95 percent of the park as the Olympic Wilderness.

Prior to the influx of European settlers, Olympic’s human population consisted of Native Americans, whose use of the peninsula was thought to have consisted mainly of fishing and hunting. However, recent reviews of the record, coupled with systematic archaeological surveys of the mountains (Olympic and other Northwest ranges) are pointing to much more extensive tribal use of especially the subalpine meadows than seemed formerly to be the case. Most if not all Pacific Northwest indigenous cultures were adversely affected by European diseases (often decimated) and other factors, well before ethnographers, business operations and settlers arrived in the region, so what they saw and recorded was a much-reduced native culture-base. Large numbers of cultural sites are now identified in the Olympic mountains, and important artifacts have been found.

When settlers began to appear, extractive industry in the Pacific Northwest was on the rise, particularly in regards to the harvesting of timber, which began heavily in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Public dissent against logging began to take hold in the 1920s, when people got their first glimpses of the clear-cut hillsides. This period saw an explosion of people’s interest in the outdoors; with the growing use of the automobile, people took to touring previously remote places like the Olympic Peninsula.

The formal record of a proposal for a new national park on the Olympic Peninsula begins with the expeditions of well-known figures Lieutenant Joseph O’Neil and Judge James Wickersham, during the 1890s. These notables met in the Olympic wilderness while exploring, and subsequently combined their political efforts to have the area placed within some protected status. Following unsuccessful efforts in the Washington State Legislature in the early 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt created Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909, primarily to protect the subalpine calving grounds and summer range of the Roosevelt elk herds native to the Olympics.

Public desire for preservation of some of the area grew until President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared ONP a national park in 1938. Even after ONP was declared a park, though, illegal logging continued in the park, and political battles continue to this day over the incredibly valuable timber contained within its boundaries. Logging continues on the Olympic Peninsula, but not within the park. A book detailing the history of the fight for ONP’s timber is Olympic Battleground: The Power Politics of Timber Preservation by Carsten Lien.