Trail Report: Lake Aldwell/Elwha Dam Overlook

The Lake Aldwell Overlook trail to the old Elwha River dam site and former lake is a beautiful experience of renewal.

While publicized as an ADA accessible trail, the paved roadway is blocked by a gate that would be difficult to go under if you can’t bend over in a chair, are a tall person, or are using a walker, and the path around the gate is too narrow. The road turns to gravel before a good overlook; there is one overlook that is almost entirely blocked by fencing and foliage, but the road does pass under some nice trees and along a small grassy area with wildflowers. The gravel road to the main overlook is a bit steep and long for wheels, with loose gravel.

There is another trail of compact gravel and dirt that is level, which leads to another partial overlook before climbing to the upper overlook with a viewfinder. The hike up is short with minimal elevation change and a couple of stairs.

Overall I give the trail a two-spoon difficulty rating.

Ancestral lands of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe. This trail is located in Port Angeles, a couple of miles from Hwy 101, off Hwy 112 on Lower Dam Rd. Dog-friendly trail.

Image Description: A gravel road curves out view behind foliage. Trees cover a hillside and mountains rise in the distance.

Featured Image Description: The Elwha River at sunset, surrounded by green growth and glowing hills.

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