Olympic National Park, located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington has many wonderful facets- vibrant rain forests, majestic mountain ranges, and beautiful rivers leading to glorious waterfalls. Highway 101 pretty much runs the perimeter of the peninsula, and is the main access route for most of the park’s main attractions.
Following a day of hiking and exploring at Hurricane Ridge, we set out to see Sol Duc Falls. To get to the falls, drive west on Fairholm (from Highway 101) for just under 2 miles until you hit the turn for Sol Duc Hot Springs. From there, it’s an easy and scenic 14-mile drive to the parking lot at the trailhead.
There’s plenty to see along the way, like this stopping point- Salmon Cascades Overlook, located about 5 miles down Sol Duc Road. This overlook is where you can see coho salmon leap over the falls on their way to spawn upstream in the Sol Duc River.
Unfortunately we were a little early in the season and didn’t see any jumping salmon, as this occurs most frequently in October and early November. (We visited in late July.) The surrounding area was still beautiful and worth the stop!
A few miles farther down the road, we came to the parking lot for the Sol Duc Falls trailhead. (Sol Duc is also spelled Sole Duck, as indicated on the sign.)
This short and casual 0.8-mile hike takes you through towering trees and over small babbling streams.
We only passed a handful of people on the trail, so we felt like we practically had the forest to ourselves!
And then… less than a mile down the trail, we came across Sol Duc Falls.
Please pardon the slight blur on the images. We actually brought our tri-pod on the hike, but forgot the quick-release platform in the car (the piece that actually attaches the camera to the tri-pod). Oops!
We spent quite a bit of time taking pictures, walking around the falls, and just enjoying the peaceful scene.
Because the hike to the falls is so easy and short, we recommend it for anyone and everyone visiting Olympic National Park. You won’t be disappointed!