Hiking to Sol Duc Falls, Olympic National Park
We recently spent 4 days exploring Olympic National Park along the coast of Washington. The park is absolutely breathtaking! You drove along highway 101, a winding road surrounded by mountains, ice cold lakes and pine trees larger than most of the buildings downtown.
We stayed in the town of Port Angeles in the most adorable Airbnb we could’ve asked for. It was a little one bedroom cottage just outside of town nestled on a backroad overlooking a river. I don’t think we could’ve made it up if we tried.
Sol Duc Falls is about an hour drive from Port Angeles. We ran into some road construction on the way that made it a little bit longer. But considering we were stuck next to Lake Crescent, we weren’t too bummed about it.
Once we got to the turn off for Sol Duc, we had to pay $30 to enter the park with our car. I fully support giving funds to keeping the parks clean and maintained, so to me, it’s worth however much it costs!
There is a lot to see along the 14 mile scenic drive to the parking lot and trail head to the falls. You can stop along the way and see the Salmon Cascade Overlook, where we saw pools of wild salmon getting ready to jump up a series of mini waterfalls.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see the salmon jump, but we were able to see them just under the surface! Not to mention, the forest path leading down to the river was like something out of a fairytale. But we weren’t sure when (or if) the salmon would jump, so we decided to keep moving on.
The hike up to see Sol Duc Falls is casual and very relaxing. There are some minimal stairs at the beginning and the end of the trail which I would equate to about a flight or two at the most. If you’re thinking about bringing little kiddos, the stroller will have to stay in the car for this hike. The trail was so incredibly beautiful! I don’t think the pictures will even really do it justice.
The hike is 0.8 miles and perfect for families and small groups. We passed a few school groups on the way - they were learning about all the different plant life along the trail (TBH I wanted to tag a long!) Alas, we continued along the path and as we passed, one little boy said ‘Happy Hiking!’ and my heart filled with joy. Don’t worry little friend, we did hike happily indeed!
We reached the bridge that over looks the falls a short while later. The water was raging down into a deep gorge that made my stomach drop a little as I looked over the railing. It was actually so strong we felt the mist blowing back up onto the bridge.
We kept walking a little further down the path and down to the river bed to make ourselves lunch. For the record, Bread + Cheese + Salami is delicious and absolutely the perfect thing to eat down by the river.
I highly recommend a trip up to see Sol Duc Falls if you ever find yourself in Olympic National Park! Happy Hiking Friends!