Called the most beautiful falls in Olympic National Park, and situated just a few miles from Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort and Campground, Sol Duc Falls is a treasure year-round. Unlike other falls on the Peninsula, you view it from above on the brink as it falls 50 feet into the slot canyon below. In the autumn rainy season and early spring runoff this falls can be spectacular as it booms beneath your feet.
The resort down the road opens for the season in late March. In winter, the Sol Duc River Road can close because of snowfall, so check online before you head this way.
You’ll hear the thundering sounds of Sol Duc Falls before you see them. If you are lucky and the sun is out, you’ll see rainbows in the mist surrounding the falls. Don’t forget to look in the river for cutthroat and steelhead salmon that run in the fall and winter.
The Sol Duc Falls Trail
The hike to the falls is a short and easy one. From the roadside Sol Duc trailhead, the walk through an old-growth forest to the falls overlook is just under a mile (1.6 miles round trip.) It’s a mostly level trail with boardwalks and an occasional handrail fence making it suitable for hikers of all levels.
From Highway 101 near the Fairholme Campground on the north side of the park, drive south on Sol Duc Hot Springs Road past the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort to the trailhead parking lot (approximately 13 miles.)
Lover’s Lane Loop
For a longer hike, start at the Mink Lake Trailhead on the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort property and do the 6.1 mile round trip Lover’s Lane Loop. This trail follows the Sol Duc River through a lush old-growth forest. With downed logs and ferns that almost cover the path, at times it seems as if nature is reclaiming this quiet trail. Cross a wooden bridge and boardwalk along the way.
You can get to this trailhead on the Sol Duc Campground Loop B road. The non intrusive, almost hidden trailhead on the right is past the camp bathrooms and has roadside parking for half a dozen vehicles.
Need an Olympic National Park map? Buy the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Olympic National Park map at REI.com. The map includes clearly marked trails and points of interest such as scenic views, campgrounds, trailheads, boat launches, picnic sites, ranger stations and more printed on waterproof, tear-resistant material.