Glines Canyon Dam

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Glines Canyon Dam
Glines Canyon Dam
Location Olympic National Park, Clallam County, Washington, USA
Construction began 1925
Opening date 1927
Demolition date 2014
Dam and spillways
Impounds Elwha River
Height 210 ft. (64 m)
Creates Lake Mills
Glines Canyon Hydroelectric Power Plant
Nearest city Port Angeles, Washington
Area 7 acres (2.8 ha)
Built 1927
Architectural style Other, Classical Revival, Neoclassical
Governing body Private
MPS Hydroelectric Power Plants in Washington State, 1890--1938 MPS
NRHP Reference # 88002742[1]
Added to NRHP December 15, 1988

Glines Canyon Dam (also known as Upper Elwha Dam[2]), built in 1927, was a 210-foot (64 m) high concrete arch dam that formed Lake Mills 13 miles (21 km) upstream from the Elwha River's mouth. The dam was removed in 2014 in order to restore the Elwha River ecosystem.

Effects of dam on river habitat[edit]

Lacking passage for migrating salmon, its construction blocked access by anadromous salmonids[3] to the upper 38 miles (61 km) of mainstem habitat and more than 30 miles (48 km) of tributary habitat. The Elwha River watershed once supported salmon runs of more than 400,000 adult returns on more than 70 miles (110 km) of river habitat. By the early 21st Century, fewer than 4,000 adult salmon returned each year.

Habitat restoration[edit]

Elwha river and dam locations

The Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act of 1992 authorized the US Federal Government to acquire the Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon Dam hydroelectric power projects for decommissioning and demolition for habitat restoration.

The Elwha Ecosystem Restoration project began removal of the dam, along with nearby Elwha Dam, in September 2011 and concluded on August 26, 2014. Now that the dam has been removed, the area that was under Lake Mills is being revegetated and its banks secured to prevent erosion and to speed up ecological restoration.




  • Grossman, Elizabeth (2002). Watershed: The Undamming of America, Basic Books, ISBN 1-58243-108-6.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°0′7″N 123°36′0″W / 48.00194°N 123.60000°W / 48.00194; -123.60000