Nearest City: Port Angeles/Forks
Best Season: Spring
How Far: 1.6 Miles
Elevation Gain: 300ft
Many know Sol Duc Falls from numerous magazines. Highlighted worldwide as one of the prettiest waterfalls in Olympic National Park, the location of Sol Duc Falls is pretty remote, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. Hikers of all levels and ages will love standing on the wooden bridge, looking down an amazing canyon in one direction and upstream toward one of the more memorable waterfalls of your life. Check it out, you will not be disappointed.
At less than a mile to the waterfall, this well-maintained, family-friendly trail is sure to be a favorite for explorers of all ages and abilities. For beginning hikers, the trail opens up a wonderland of nature, transporting one to a land of fairy tales. For advanced hikers, this trail is the perfect start to get deeper into one of the more gorgeous regions of Olympic National Park, the 7 Lakes Basin.
The trail weaves through a magical feeling forest on the way to the falls, crossing over small creeks that cascade down the hillside over moss-covered rocks and logs. Contrasted off of the browns of the dirt and trees and the blue of the water, the entire scene is nearly impossible to describe or capture on a camera. Cross log bridges and take in the awe of the Sol Duc Falls trail.
Situated just a few miles from Sol Duc Hot springs Resort and Campground, Sol Duc Falls is a gem, tucked away in the remote Sol Duc River Valley. Driving here, you are “close” to Lake Crescent and the Hoh rainforest, just an hour or so in either direction. Even if you just want to spend time in the Sol Duc, numerous trails, sights and sounds are available to make this a perfect weekend or day trip.
On 101 west of Port Angeles, pass Lake Crescent and follow the signs to Sol Duc. The turn will be on your left, 29 miles from the city of Port Angeles. Once on the road to Sol Duc, head to the very end, passing the campground before arriving at the trailhead parking area.
If you catch Sol Duc Falls at the right light, it can be truly brilliant. When you arrive, stand upstream from the falls, and watch the sunlight dance and play as the mist rises from the three-tiered natural wonder. With beams of light shining directly on the falling water, secrets of the universe seem to unlock and a better connection with nature is possible. With the sun slowly lowering along the trees behind you, watching Sol Duc Falls during the late hours of the day is something everyone should do. As the sun drops toward the Pacific, stand on the wooden bridge and watch the light hit the mist rising from the falls. As the light and mist interact, rainbows will start appearing over the falls, making this already beautiful and magical place somehow even more spectacular. Bring a loved one and take in this view wrapped in each other’s arms.