Salmon Cascades in June 2016
The Salmon Cascades aren’t probably a waterfall that I’d go out of my to visit if it weren’t for a few things. First, it’s a quick stop along the way to the very impressive Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park. Second, if you show up at the right time of the year, you may see salmon jumping up the falls to go further upstream. Hence the name Salmon Cascades.
The falls themselves are only about 5′ tall, so they’re nothing to get too excited about. Depending on how you classify waterfalls, they might not even fall into that category. It’s such a quick stop and short hike to the river, though, that there’s no reason not to take a look.
- From US-101, turn onto Sol Duc Hot Springs Road. If you’re heading west along US-101, it’s a left turn.
- Drive just over 7 miles to the Salmon Cascades parking area on your right. It’s not a big parking area.
- The falls are a very short jaunt from the parking area.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: negligible (essentially roadside)
Where in the World is Salmon Cascades?
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 Falls, Madison Falls, Bunch 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.
- From US-101, turn onto Sol Duc Hot Springs Road.
- 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)
Hike: 1.5 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Sol Duc Falls?