Sol Duc Falls Trail is a short hike to a waterfall in Olympic National Park. This waterfall is unique because it cascades in three adjacent sections into a short boxy ravine. Best of all, the bridge to the brink of the falls gives you a spectacular view of the waterfall.
The 1.6 mile trail to Sol Duc Falls starts in the Sol Duc area of Olympic. This is a short road west of Lake Crescent on the north side of the park. Though it is a bit of a drive for this one hike, the waterfall is so wonderful and unique that it is worth it.
Parking can be an issue at Sol Duc Falls. There is a moderately sized parking lot, but it fills up quickly. If you can arrive early or late in the day, that may help you find a spot. We arrived in the middle of the day and managed to find someone just pulling out, but other cars weren’t so lucky.
The trail to Sol Duc Falls is short and flat. It runs just 1.6 miles roundtrip to the waterfall and back. There isn’t much change in elevation, although the trail does go up and down. We saw hikers of all ages and abilities along the trail.
This area of the park is much more mountainous unlike the rainforest on the western side of the park. As we hiked along, we enjoyed the trees and the peace, though the trail was quite busy. After about three-quarters of a mile, we came to a designated shelter. It wasn’t really worth the walk up to it, though there was a place to sit and a building to shelter you, potentially from rain, we guessed.
Just a few yards farther a narrow bridge crossed the creek. This is the perfect viewpoint to snag a picture of the falls. The falls cascade down and right in three separate chutes into a narrow gorge. It was a really unique look, like no waterfall we’d seen before. After crossing the bridge, you can continue up the trail to the right for another vantage point. This spot is almost as good as you can stand at the brink of the falls as it cascades over the rocky surface. We spent about thirty minutes taking pictures and watching the falls before hiking the 0.8 miles back to the car.