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?

Madison Falls, Washington

Madison Falls in April 2008

There are a number of waterfalls in Olympic National Park that are fairly easy to get to, and Madison Falls is one of the easiest to get to. There is a paved trail leading right to the falls, and the trail is very short. As you walk along the trail, pay attention to all of the different plant life around you. There is a multitude of ferns, along with a number of different flowering plants.

Madison Falls is taller than it looks in the picture. The view is rather deceiving. There may also be more to the waterfall than can be seen from the platform, but that platform prevents any movement. This is probably a good thing, as otherwise man-made erosion take its toll. The area is extremely beautiful, and should be kept that way.

Directions:

  1. From Port Angeles, take US-101 heading west.
  2. Turn left on Hot Springs Road, heading south. Head a short distance to the parking are for Madison Falls, which I believe is clearly marked. This parking area is right before the fee collection booth for the park, so there is no fee to view the falls.
  3. Follow the trail to the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 76′
Length of Hike: 0.25 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Madison Falls?