Posted by Ken Campbell May 24, 2008 0 Comment 667 views

There are, by my count, nine major rivers that drain the Olympics. Clockwise, from the lower west side: the Quinault, Queets (above), Hoh, Bogachiel, Elwha, Dosewallips, Duckabush, Skokomish and the Wynoochie. There is room for disagreement on this point. The Hamma Hamma, the Humptulips and the Satsop, for instance, could be argued to be distinct waterways on the order of the Big Nine, but the way I draw the map, each of those nine rivers are not only the largest in the neighborhood, but they have their source deep in the interior of the high country. The individual watersheds are complete and easily discernible, and the flow of each river (although in some cases interrupted by dams), is on an order not seen in the smaller examples.

I’m hoping to travel the length of the Hoh River later this summer, from the summit of Mount Olympus to the ocean. It makes me wonder if it might be an interesting pursuit to do the same with the other eight. More on this as it develops.

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