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Sol Duc Falls

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An easy loop from the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, perfect for early or late-season hiking. Ramble beneath towering old trees to a misty, mossy ravine that the Sol Duc River careens into. Watch determined dippers hunt for insects in the splash zone. Return along the pristine river until the fetid smell of sulfur signals you've arrived back at the springs.

This is a social hike from the hot springs resort through campgrounds and finally to the falls. Start by walking over the Sol Duc River Bridge, locating the trail on the northeast corner. Closely following the river, the trail first travels through the resort's RV park before emerging in the lower loop of the Sol Duc Campground after 0.4 mile.

Follow the campground loop road a short distance, picking up the trail and following it to the upper loop of the campground. Once again, walk a short distance on pavement to pick up the trail. Then through big timber, saunter 1.3 pleasant and peaceful miles to a junction. The trail left leads 0.25 mile to a large parking lot-the reason for the hordes of people you'll now be encountering.

On a well-trodden path continue for a nearly level 0.5 mile to a Civilian Conservation Corps-built shelter where the thundering sound of swiftly moving water barreling over a ledge announces that you've reached the falls. The best views are from the mist-sprayed bridge-quite inviting on a warm summer's day. The Sol Duc fans into two, crashing 50 feet into a narrow chasm where the sun rarely shines.

After enjoying the spectacle, cross the bridge and climb a small bluff to a junction. Hang a right onto the Lovers Lane Trail, although it's open to all, lovelorn, loveless, and loved alike. In a short distance cross Canyon Creek, which drains Deer Lake high above. Follow the peaceful path through lush bottomlands, crossing a couple more crashing tributaries before arriving back at the resort at 2.8 miles from the falls. Your nose will tell you when you're close.
Driving Directions:

From Port Angeles follow US 101 west for 29 miles, passing Lake Crescent. About 2 miles beyond the Fairholm store, turn left onto the Sol Duc Hot Springs Road. (From Forks head east 28 miles on US 101, and turn right just past milepost 219.) Follow this road for 12 miles (passing the park entrance booth). Just past the Eagle Ranger Station turn right into the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Parking is located to the far right (west) of the main lodge.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 23 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Sol Duc Falls — Oct 24, 2009 — halffast
Day hike
Features: Fall foliage
Issues: Blowdowns | Mudholes | Water on trail
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One of my other passions along with hiking is running. Specifically trail running. Yes I know this...
One of my other passions along with hiking is running. Specifically trail running. Yes I know this is a hiking site but I will report on a trail.

This weekend was the last weekend for the Sol Duc Hot Springs resort and I decided since I am out on the Oly Pen this weekend that I should head on up there. I could not just go sit in the hot spring pools without doing something in the exercise arena first. Hence my running the Lovers Lane loop that goes from the resort on one side of the river to the Sol Duc falls and then back to the resort on the other side of the river (6 miles round trip, there is some elevation but it is minimal).

My preference is the campground side of this trail up to the falls and today I decided not to do the loop but just enjoy an out and back. The trail was in fine shape, especially for this time of year. There is some water, some mud and quite a bit of roots and rocks as well as three blow downs but no problem getting around them. Whether you are hiking, walking or running you do need to watch your footing.

I enjoyed the Sol Duc falls which were quite spectacular for a couple of minutes and then headed back for some soaking in the natural hot springs. It was a great day.

There were some hikers on the trail and everyone I passed seemed to be enjoying themselves, the scenery and nice weather. It really is a very beautiful trail which I would recommend. There are lots of huge fir trees, fall colors and an added bonus of being able to hear the river a lot of the way.

Happy hiking…
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Sol Duc River — May 24, 2009 — Darceyoh
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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My niece and I decided to go to Sol Duc Falls, and with the gorgeous weather we were having, it adde...
My niece and I decided to go to Sol Duc Falls, and with the gorgeous weather we were having, it added so much more to the day. Along the way, we stopped several times, viewed Salmon Cascades, wandered through Ancient Groves, and took in the river views. We arrived at the trail parking lot about Noon. Because of the holiday weekend, there was a lot of people in the area.

We ate lunch, then headed out. There are several creeks to cross along this trail, all of which are completely passable with the mini-bridges over them. The groups of people on the trail seemed to come and go. In a way it was nice to know we weren't the only ones out there, but waiting to cross the little bridges, or waiting to get your chance at a picture was annoying.

We arrived at the falls, and they are massive. Again a lot of people, but at the time, it didn't matter. We explored the area, looking down from the bridge, overlooking the entire area. Be careful when you go to the platform, spray from the falls is abundent, soaking us.

We turned around, and headed back out the same way we came in. Although we stopped to check out the shelter area. It was a blast!
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Sol Duc River #40 — May 25, 2008 — kinderhoff
Day hike
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Started up the trail at the end of the road ""shortest hike to the falls"". The trail was a little d...

Started up the trail at the end of the road ""shortest hike to the falls"". The trail was a little damp but in great shape. Lovers lane return trip not so bad either. Loved the falls, all in all a beautiful hike along the river. The only bad thing is the smell of the hot springs but that is just my opinion.

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Sol Duc River #40 — Apr 06, 2008 — Kevin Koski
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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Myself and three friends were up in Sol Duc Park this weekend. There was about twelve feet of snow o...

Myself and three friends were up in Sol Duc Park this weekend. There was about twelve feet of snow on the ground at 4,000 feet, and it was snowing hard. The snow was up to the bear wires. It looks like it might be a long time until this area melts out!

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Sol Duc River #40,Sol Duc Falls — Sep 20, 2004 — Robert Michelson
Day hike
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Sol-Duc Falls 9/20/2004 An easy trail of just under a mile and nearly level leads thru the forest ...

Sol-Duc Falls 9/20/2004

An easy trail of just under a mile and nearly level leads thru the forest of Olympic National Park to Sol-Duc falls on the Soleduc river. Traveling east to Neah Bay on the Strait of Juan de Fuca this falls is an easy detour off of hiway 101. Also a good spot to visit on the Soleduc road is the salmon cascade, a series of rapids and pools on the river where it is easy to watch the migrating fish jump up thru the rapids.

Sol-Duc falls is a 4 star attraction (waterfall lovers scale) and is the most powerful falls on the Olympic peninsula. It is also one of the most beautiful and photogenic. The fall foliage on the road side was very good (yellows and oranges) plus we saw a black bear crossing the road as we were leaving the valley.

Robert Michelson

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so duc falls david elderkin.jpg
Sol Duc Falls. Photo by David Elderkin.
Location
Sol Duc River (#40)
Olympics -- North
Olympic National Park, Wilderness Information Center
Statistics
Roundtrip 5.3 miles
Elevation Gain 400 ft
Highest Point 2000 ft
Features
Waterfalls
Old growth
Established campsites
User info
Good for kids
Dogs not allowed
National Park/Refuge entry fee required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails Seven Lakes Basin-Mt Olympus Climbing No. 133S
Custom Correct Seven Lakes Basin-Hoh

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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