In 2002, heavy rain washed out a football field-sized chunk of the Dosewallips River Road on Olympic National Forest land, closing vehicle access to a section of Olympic National Park. Those wishing to hike to Anderson Pass or Lake Valkyrie must now walk an additional five miles on the abandoned road bed, past desolate RV campgrounds and a shuttered ranger station.

There’s talk of rebuilding the road and reopening the campgrounds, but many people (myself included) believe the road should remain closed. For one thing, the washout is vast and growing and there are now numerous other slides all along the route. The cost to re-engineer and reconstruct the road would be huge. Also, the land above the washout is rapidly returning to wilderness—effectively expanding Olympic National Park and adding important wildlife habitat.

I walked the road with my son a couple of weeks ago and we were both amazed at just how quickly Mother Nature is obliterating the road and obscuring the marks of civilization. Is this what the I-5 will look like a few decades after the zombie plague? You might want to plan a trip to the Dose as you brainstorm on your next post-apocalyptic tale.

View Map of Dosewallips

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