Heading to Olympic National Park’s Sol Duc region in May of 2019? You may be in for a surprise. Without so much as a press release, Olympic National Park officials announced via their website that the foot bridge over Sol Duc Falls will be closed from May 15th through the 22nd of 2019. If you are reading this after May 22nd, 2019, ignore everything past this sentence.
The bridge at Sol Duc, which offers easy access to the viewing area of the iconic waterfall, is closed for a replacement during the the week of May 15-22. During this time, the only way to get beyond the bridge and on the other side of the river to the viewing area is by taking the 6-mile round trip Lover’s Lane Trail, which starts at the Sol Duc Resort. This is obviously much longer than the 1.6 mile round trip trek that one can usually take to reach the bridge and falls. Keep in mind that it appears as if the Sol Duc Falls trail will still be open, but you won’t be able to cross the bridge or take in the best views.
Again, you can hike the regular trail to the falls, but you won’t be able to cross the bridge!
While inconvenient for those visiting during the week of the closure, this bridge replacement is part of many projects that need to be done around Olympic National Park. The month of May is a great time to complete these projects, especially since it will be completed before the crowds return over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The repairs should be completed on schedule and by the time summer kicks off, this week long of the Sol Duc Falls bridge closure will have been forgotten about, replaced with the awe that Sol Duc Falls offers all who view it.
We aren’t sure why Olympic National Park didn’t issue a press release to get this information out, nor notify anyone (as far as we can tell. We didn’t receive any notification) about this project. This is an issue because Sol Duc Falls is an incredibly popular area. Olympic National Park is one of the most-visited National Parks in the country, with people visiting year round from all over the world. If this was at any other park, the public and local press would have been notified. Luckily, locals around the area constantly are looking at the website and caught this, otherwise it could come as quite a shock. Hopefully, now that the park is getting more staffed, we will get more announcements about things like this.
Hopefully, news of this closure doesn’t impact your plans.Worst case, you’ll be hiking four more miles along an absolutely gorgeous forest to a breathtaking waterfall. Then you may just have to take a dip in the Sol Duc Hot Springs afterwards. How rough, right?
If this closure does impact your trip to Olympic, we can help you still have an amazing time in this amazing National Park. Pick up a copy of our guidebook, full of classic and new classic hikes all around Olympic National Park and Forest.
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