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Sol Duc Falls

A stunning signature falls of national prominence in Olympic National Park.


Olympic National Park at the end of Sol Duc Road after a 0.8 mile hike.


Travel Instructions

Drive west from Fairholm on Highway 101 approximately 1.8 miles to the road for Sol Duc Hot Springs. Drive approximately 14 miles up the road to the parking lot at the Sol Duc Trailhead. Hike on an easy trail 0.8 miles, just past the rebuilt CCC era Canyon Creek Shelter (aka Sol Duc Shelter) and you will see (and hear) the falls, viewable up close on a bridge crossing the Sol Duc River.




This is a great year-round falls. In contrast to most falls on the Olympic Peninsula, this one is viewed from above stream level. In the rainy season and early spring runoff this falls can be spectacular as it thunders beneath your feet. Winter viewing may require a snowshoe hike as Sol Duc Resort and road close during the snowy off season.

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71 Responses to “Sol Duc Falls”

  1. Cinthia says:

    Is this ok for a day trip from Seattle with a 5 year old and 11 year old?

    • waterfalls says:

      Cinthia, Are you planning on doing the drive from Seattle, hiking up to Sol Duc Falls, and driving back to Seattle in one day? The drive from Seattle to the Sol Duc Falls trail head will take about 4 hours with no delays. Here’s a link to the Google Map showing the distance:
      It might be a bit much for the children to drive back to Seattle after the 1.6 mile roundtrip hike – but it could be done.

  2. Bob Webb says:

    Gorgeous and easy hike.

  3. […] Duc Falls Set within the Olympic National Park, Sol Duc Falls is an excellent excuse for some winter hiking. Tucked into the thick temperate forest, it meanders […]

    • waterfalls says:

      Sol Duc Falls is a great destination for a hike. In the winter, however, the road is usually closed to vehicle traffic. From Highway 101 to the falls is about 15 miles. Might be a good overnight or two hike. About 14 of the miles will be on the Sol Duc Road up to the closed resort and trail head for hike to the waterfall.

  4. Rosie says:

    Beautiful falls even this late in the summer. But I will say I am in ok shape and my husband is not. My husband did not find this short hike easy. More like light moderate. The day we went I had done a strenuous hour bike ride that morning and expected a flat walk. I was a bit suprised of the inclines involved and had two people ask us on our return how much further beacuse apparently they were suprised too. Also it did feel longer than .8 miles.

    • waterfalls says:

      Thank you for your input and insight into the difficulty of the trail. I’m sure others will take this into consideration when planning their hike. Everyone is different and interprets information differently, so we are thankful for your opinion. We hope the hike was worth seeing Sol Duc. Happy trails.

  5. Alex says:

    can you take a BOB stroller on the easy 1.8 mi trail?

  6. […] hike that weekend was to Sol Duc Falls, an easy 1.6 mile trek to a beautiful waterfall. I love this shot we got of the sun peeking through […]

  7. […] along, we took the road to Sol Duc Falls for a bit, although the actual Sol Duc area was still closed. There are several small hikes along […]

  8. P A Schreiber says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! This alone made the trip from Arizona more than worth it.

  9. […] of the images I brought home from Washington, the week before heading east. Like this one, from Sol Duc Falls. Aaahhhhh, it’s like a cool, soothing throat lozenge for the […]

  10. […] time we had, so we went on a 19 hour road trip to capture the most perfect images.  We traveled to Sol Duc Falls, Hoh Rainforest, and Ruby Beach.  It was a whirlwind trip with tons of walking and taking […]

    • waterfalls says:

      WOW! Nineteen hours! Walking and talking….sounds like a pretty perfect road trip. Happy that you got to hit some of the highlights of the OP. Would love to see some of your photos!

  11. […] Sol Duc Falls is yet another stunning place within Olympic National Park. […]

    • waterfalls says:

      Thanks for the comment! We sure agree that Sol Duc Falls is stunning. And, a soak in the mineral pools after the hike to the falls is a perfect way to relax.

  12. Hello i went to sol duc falls and shelter with the port angeles boy scouts and spent the night there in the late 1960’s,it was snowing and it was a happy place to be.I’m glad it’s still there,Smile.Hope my fellow boy scouts are still okay,hang in there,Smile.

  13. julie a. anderson says:

    in all of the pacific northwest, and in the Olympic peninsula, this is my favorite place. 4 generations of the hoag-roberts-anderson-davis-mcallister family have been going here. I want to live in the park if at all possible.
    the falls are invigorating, serene, and will make you look within yourself.
    I can not say how much I love sol duc falls.

  14. […] time seeing all the natural wonders.  Our last day in the La Push area brought about a trip to the Sol Duc Falls.  These easy hike led us to a spectacular view.  I actually enjoy walking among the trees more […]

  15. […] photo of Sol Duc Falls photo is courtesy of George Washington Inn and Olympic National […]

  16. Trista says:

    Is the trail to the sol duc falls something my 86 year old grandma could do? is it relatively flat? are there places to stop along the way or perhaps do you have wheel chair rental available for the trail?

    • waterfalls says:

      The trail to Sol Duc Falls might not be appropriate for your grandma. It has a 200-foot elevation gain and about 0.8 miles one way. There is a self-guided nature trail, about 0.6-mile loop through old growth forest that has no elevation gain.

      If it’s a waterfall she would like to see, Madison Falls in the Elwha Valley would be a good one. The trail there is wheelchair accessible!

  17. Lynette smyre says:

    are dogs allowed here

    • waterfalls says:

      Hi Lynette,
      No. Dogs are not allowed on the trail to Sol Duc Falls. They are allowed in the campground on a leash.
      If you are looking to hike with your dog, take a look at some of the places in Olympic National Forest, instead of the National Park!
      Leashes are required in developed sites, such as campgrounds and day use areas. In all other forest areas, please maintain control of your dog, but enjoy your time together.

  18. Laura White says:

    Is there a physical address that I can enter into my GPS so that I can get to Sol Duc Falls from my hotel in Port Angeles? Thanks.

    • waterfalls says:

      Sol Duc Falls is in the back country with just a short walk to view it. Here are the coordinates for the falls, although you will only be able to drive to the trail head.
      Latitude : 47.9514
      Longitude : – 123.8191
      Have a good hike!
      mary b.

  19. Laurie Nylund says:

    We are planning a trip for the weekend to visit on May 10-12, 2013. We will only have a half day in the area, can you suggest where we should go or see in that time?

    • waterfalls says:

      Hi Laurie, You haven’t let us know where on the Olympic Peninsula you will be visiting, so it’s hard to give you a 1/2-day suggestion. If you are in Port Angeles, I would recommend Hurricane Ridge (sadly, no waterfalls!). If you can stop at Lake Crescent, one of my very favorite places, there is Marymere Falls, which is about a one hour walk to the falls. Since you posted to Sol Duc Falls, perhaps you thinking about Sol Duc area and taking a soak in the hot springs. We’d be very happy to help you plan what’s right for you. Give us a call 360-452-8552! Happy travels!

  20. Jim says:

    We are planning to travel to sol duc this last weekend of December and am wondering if the trail is still open or accessible …

    • waterfalls says:

      Hi Jim,
      The road to Sol Duc is closed for the winter. You can hike up there, but it’s a long walk (about 17 miles), partly in the snow. I do not know when the Sol Duc will be opening in 2013, but a call to Olympic National Park closer to spring will have the information. 360-565-3103 Or check back with us!

      • hoquiam says:

        Isn’t there a five or six mile hike to a bunch of private and public ones in the side of the mountain? If so where abouts does that trail start on highway 101 like a mile marker location

        • waterfalls says:

          Hi! This is not ringing a bell. There is a 13-mile hike into Enchanted Valley that has waterfalls along a long stretch of the trail. It’s often called Valley of 10,000 Waterfalls. It’s an exaggeration, of course, and usually done as a backpack trip into Olympic National Park. Spring is the best time for this hike, which takes off from Graves Creek at the end of the Quinault road. If you have some other info about your question, I’d be happy to put out a request for info from our partners! You can always call us at 360-452-8552.

      • ONP WIC says:

        360.565.3100 is the correct # to call

  21. Elizabeth says:

    I’m traveling to the area in early November and planning on going to the coast and Hoh River trail on the first 2 days and then visiting Sol Duc Falls on the way back to Seattle. Will this be a good time… will the trails/road to the falls even be open at this time of year?

    • waterfalls says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      The road and trail should be open to Sol Duc during the time you expect to be here. The hot springs pools will be closed as of October 16. Of course, if we get a snowstorm the road and/or the trail may be impassable. You can check with the Backcountry Ranger at 360-565-3102 or the Sol Duc Ranger 360-565-3094. With the wonderful weather we’ve had this fall, I’m hoping it will last for your trip. Have a safe, wonderful time and post some photos if you can!

  22. Kent says:

    I will be out for a class the 1st of November and my wife is coming out to meet me. Will the trails still be open to get to the falls?

    • waterfalls says:

      Hi Kent!
      It depends on the weather. Usually the first part of November does not typically see enough snow to close the road to Sol Duc. You can tentatively plan to get to falls and keep your fingers crossed for no snow until then. Hope you’ll take some great photos to share! Please let us know if you need further information when the time gets closer to your visit. We’ll be happy to help you! or 360-452-8552

  23. Paul says:

    Best of all, what I saw! Fantastic nature! Amazing waterfalls!!!!
    Check out this article about interesting Olympic National Park facts ;))))

  24. First time says:

    I’m planning a trip to stay in Forks, but was hoping to take a day to explore the Sol Duc hot springs. I’ve tried to do a little research here & there in preparation, but I was curious to find out if anyone has personally been there & can offer some guidance. I have no idea where to even start our exploration. I’ve read there are 7 different locations? That are secluded, & also heard that these areas are clothing-optional. I’m wondering if anyone could offer advice or the area in which we should start? A specific link for the actual trails we could travel? Are these hot springs within a reasonable “hiking” distance from the falls, or lover’s lane that I’ve read about? Any information is appreciated! Thanks! (excited!!)

    • waterfalls says:

      Welcome to the Olympic Peninsula! Let’s see if I can help with your questions. First, taking a day to explore the Sol Duc area would be great. There is only one Sol Duc location. There are developed hot mineral pools and a large fresh water pool. Here’s a link to the area. Clothing is NOT optional! Hiking in the area is great with the two trails you’ve mentioned. Here’s a link to Olympic National Park’s info sheet for the Sol Duc area. The walk to the falls is a short hike.

      You may have heard about another hot springs in the area that is not in a developed area, however access to them is closed at this time for dam removal project on the Elwha River. Please give us a call if you need further information about the falls or about visiting the area in general. We’re here M-F 8:00 to 5:00 PDT!

  25. Eric & Connie says:

    Just got home from a weekend of hiking,soaking,resting,reading,sharing…..its been 10years since last here…..and still just as amazing as then! Top 5 FAV places to visit!!!
    Thanks for the memories!!

  26. Dave says:

    Just got back from Olympic – I loved Sol Duc Falls, as well as the little traversed Lovers Lane Trail. Here are some pics from the trip: and the gallery


  27. M. Foppiano says:

    My family and I have been hiking in The Olympics since I was a child. This is by far my favorite trail. It’s a nice and easy one for hiking with children and the views are amazing!

  28. P Stevens says:

    We are planning a trip to the olympic forest 4/6-4/8. Will the road be open?

    • waterfalls says:

      I’m not sure what road you are referring to in your question. There are many roads in the National Park and in the National Forest. If you can be more specific, I may be able to help. If you are concerned about snow, most of the roads should be open. But not knowing exactly where you are headed, I’m afraid I can’t help much.

  29. zhulays says:

    I am heading over the Sol Duc Falls tomorrow for a day trip with my wife. It doesn’t seem like the weather is going to be great, but should be a nice day trip.

    • waterfalls says:

      Hope you had a good time visiting Sol Duc Falls. It’s a beauty in all weather! We were just up to the resort and had a good soak in the mineral pools. What a relaxing way to end a great day.

  30. Lorena Hernandez says:

    Hello, I am visiting Seattle and I am planning my trip to the falls in early April. What do you think? Am I going to be able to hike without snow on the trail? does it really worth it? Do I have to pay any fee?
    Thank you so much.

    • waterfalls says:

      Is it worth the trip and hike? Yes, definitely. As of 3/22 there is still snow on the trail to the falls. The resort is opening on the 24th, so the road will be open at that time. Yes, there is a fee to enter Olympic National Park. You can check their website for admission details. I’d suggest giving the Park’s Visitor Center a call for the most up-to-date trail information. 360-565-3130. Hope you have a wonderful trip to the Olympic Peninsula.

  31. bob says:

    I love the outdoors but my wife doesn’t. Thinks a used winnebago is roughing it. Very high b.p. and generally in poor health. definitely not a hiker. how far would we hike to get to the falls? her brothers ashes are there and she would really like to go.

    • waterfalls says:

      Sol Duc Falls trail is about 1.5 mils round trip. The trail is not particularly challenging (no steep inclines or big roots), but of course it is always best not to go beyond your experience or physical ability. I’d suggest maybe taking a look at the trail to see if your wife could manage it. The falls definitely are worth the walk. If you are in no hurry, just take your time and rest when appropriate. HaHa, funny about the used winnebago. My husband thinks hotel without in-room coffee or fluffy robe is roughing it! Good luck. I hope you all can make it up to the falls.

  32. Brandon Salle says:

    How do I get a pass for the park

  33. […] that we went to SolDuc trailhead. Left the Subaru there. Packed up and piled into the van and drove to Hoh Rainforest. We had to do […]

  34. chris says:

    this place is breathtaking and i will be visiting this place quite often.

  35. Robin Hollenhors-Fritz says:

    It’s still the most beautifull place in the world!