Sol Duc Falls:
Sol Duc Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park. The water cascades 40-60 feet through multiple channels creating a unique and picturesque scene.
The short .8 mile trail (1.6 mile round trip) is well maintained and easily suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
Traveling through beautiful old growth rain forest you’ll gain approximately 240 feet of elevation before reaching your first glimpse of the falls and viewing bridge. Cross the bridge to another viewing platform for a different perspective.
There are five species of salmon that migrate from the Pacific Ocean to the rivers of Olympic National Park to spawn. Different species spawn at different times of year with fall being one of the best times of year to witness the salmon migration, when chinook, sockeye and coho salmon swim upstream.
Coho salmon spawn in rivers throughout the peninsula and are most plentiful in Olympic National Park. The largest variety are the chinook salmon spawning in both spring and late summer in the Hoh, Queets, Quillayute and other rivers. The red sockeye salmon swim up the Quinnault and Ozette river tributaries in November and December.
If you are visiting Sol Duc Falls be sure to plan a stop at the Salmon Cascades Overlook, it provides a great vantage point to view coho salmon making their 11 foot leap over the falls toward their spawning grounds further up the Sol Duc River. They enter the river in July when water levels are low and the cascades can be better navigated.
By recalling river scents, ocean temperatures and salinity, magnetic fields and the angle of the sun as their guide, these coho salmon return to their birthplace up the Sol Duc River from late summer to early fall.
Travel to Sol Duc-Hot Springs Rd located off of Olympic Hwy (101) between Forks and Port Angeles. From there travel approximately 20 miles to the parking area for Sol Duc Falls. The trailhead is located at the back of the parking area. Plan to arrive early as parking spaces can fill quickly.