Sol Duc Falls, Washington

Sol Duc Falls (13)

Sol Duc Falls in June 2016

When I first visited Olympic National Park eight years ago, for some reason I skipped Sol Duc Falls. I visited Marymere FallsMadison FallsBunch Falls, and Merriman Falls, but not Sol Duc. I’m guessing it had to do with the required out-of-the-way drive to view the falls.

So when I decided to hop on a plane with my nephew and fly to Seattle, I figured a visit to Olympic National Park was in order. Even with it raining much of the time during my previous visit, it is still one of my favorite places. And now I would get the chance to visit Sol Duc Falls.

We ended up visiting Sol Duc Falls later in the day. We started by driving up Hurricane Ridge, which I had not done the last time (as it was in April). We then stopped by Madison Falls and Marymere Falls, and we still had some time to visit Sol Duc Falls. Honestly, the drive to the falls might be just as long as the hike to the falls. It’s a 12 mile drive to the falls, and then a 12 mile drive back to US-101. The hike, on the other hand, is only about 3/4 of a mile one-way (approximately). I found the hike to be extremely enjoyable, and you’re rewarded with a pretty awesome waterfall. It was much taller than I expected…Based on the pictures, I thought it was smaller.

Directions:

  1. From US-101, turn onto Sol Duc Hot Springs Road.
  2. Drive 12 miles or so to the parking area for the falls. It’s essentially at the end of the road. (The resort parking is before the falls parking, though you can reach the falls from the resort also.)

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 48′
Hike: 1.5 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Sol Duc Falls?

Bunch Falls, Washington

Bunch Falls in April 2008

Bunch Falls isn’t one of the most memorable waterfalls I’ve seen, but the scenery around it is amazing. Bunch Falls is found in Olympic National Park, which has a beautiful temperate rain forest setting. Bunch Falls is the third of three noticeable waterfalls along South Shore Rd.

In order to get to Bunch Falls, you have to drive down a more than passable dirt road. It’s a few miles from US-101, though, and the road is relatively narrow. There weren’t a significant number of other cars when I visited in late April, but every once in a while somebody would pass.

Directions:

  1. From US-101, turn onto South Shore Road.
  2. Continue on South Shore Road for a ways and you will pass other waterfalls before coming to Bunch Falls. I would just keep paying attention to the right side of the road, as this is where all of the interesting falls are. You’ll just have to stop on the road somewhere (possibly try to pull off), as there are no parking lots near the waterfalls.
  3. You can either turn around at the bridge crossing the Elwha River, or continue onto North Shore Road, which is just as pretty.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 60′
Length of Hike: roadside

Small falls near Bunch Falls

Where in the World is Bunch Falls?