Olympic National Park is brimming with beautiful and accessible hikes with Sol Duc falls as the piece de resistance. It’s a short, relatively flat trail through the towering forests that the national park is well known for. The falls are thunderous and a beautiful. With a trail as easy as this one, families and adventurers alike will enjoy this trail making it a must do for anyone in the Lake Crescent/ Port Angeles area.
Sol Duc Falls Trail Details:
Distance: 1.85 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 210 feet (easy)
Time: 1 hour
Fees: Sol Duc Falls is within the Sol Duc Valley fee area for Olympic National Park. A week pass to the park is $30 or included with a National Park pass.
Take hwy 101 and turn left onto Sol Duc-Hot Springs Rd if coming from Port Angeles. Follow the road 13.8 miles passing the hot springs and Salmon run on the right until the road dead ends at the trailhead. The parking lot is huge and offers facilities/ trash. The trailhead also serves a number of other great trails in the area including Lover’s Lane which is a 6 mile loop that includes a stop at the falls.
Sol Duc Falls trail description:
The trail starts at the far end of the parking lot from the road, straight from where you came in. Shortly after the trail starts, there is a trail split to the right, stay left (or straight in this case) following signs for Sol Duc Falls. Just before you reach the falls around 0.75 miles in there is another trail split. Keep right (again straight) and follow the trail as it crosses the bridge and gives you the best view of the falls.
The falls are located in a deep scenic gorge which is unfortunately inaccessible at the bottom so you can only view the falls from above.
If you cross the bridge you will find many small paths down to the water to get different angles of the falls. Use caution especially as you near any edges of the falls.
Return back down the same trail for the short version or take the Lover’s Lane trail all the way down to the hot springs resort.
Nearby: The Salmon run cascades
*Make sure to stop by the Salmon run cascades as well for a glimpse of salmon and trout swimming up river. The fall will bring more viewing possibilities, but even in August I watched at least 10 fish make the 6 foot jump up the cascades in about 30 minutes.