View of Sol Duc Falls , where 3 streams of water flow over rocks into a pool below in Olympic National Park

Sol Duc Falls: The Best of Olympic National Park Waterfalls

Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Washington State. Located in a remote valley along the Sol Duc River, this waterfall, that is actually 3 waterfalls side by side, plunges into a wide pool below. Lush rainforest, mossy rocks everywhere, multiple options to add on to the trail, together with easy access means this is a great stop for all levels of adventurers!

Sol Duc Falls Location

The Sol Duc River Valley runs through Olympic National Park in Washington State. It is a popular spot for fishing, camping and hiking, and the views are stunning. The area is known for its river rapids, waterfalls, old-growth forests, and alpine meadows. You can find your way to the Sol Duc Falls trailhead through any of the entrances to Olympic National Park. However, you will find that driving the US 101 West from Port Angeles to Lake Cresent or East from Forks are the easiest ways to get to the falls.

Trailhead & Parking

Parking for the trail to the falls is in 2 places: at the end of Sol Duc Road and at Sol Duc Hotsprings Resort. Albeit, if you park at Sol Duc Hotsprings, the trail and hike will be longer.

The trailhead for this Olympic National Park waterfall is located at the East side (far end) of the Sol Duc Road parking lot. To get to the trailhead, you will turn off of the US 101 highway, 27 miles (43 kms) East of Port Angeles Washington onto Sol Duc River Rd. After this, follow Sol Duc River Road to the end; you will drive 14 miles (22kms)to the Sol Duc trailhead parking lot.

Sol Duc Falls Trail Map

Sol Duc Falls Trail Map
Trail map at the Sol Duc Falls Trailhead

Hiking to one of the Best Waterfalls in Olympic National Park

Distance: 2.7kms/1.6mi roundtrip

Elevation: 85m/278ft

Terrain: Mostly flat with some very small roots and rocks along the trail.

If you are looking for easy hikes in Washington, Sol Duc Falls is a no brainer. It’s relatively flat, short, and really, really beautiful. Although this is an easy hike, it is one of my favourite places in Olympic National Park.

The trail begins at a paved parking lot, where you will follow a well maintained trail through lush, green rainforest. There are large old growth trees surrounding the trail as well as lots of birds and small wildlife. While there are some roots and rocks on the trail, it is not overly technical (unlike many hikes in the PNW!) Sol Duc Falls trail is not wheelchair accessible, but you will find that it is a family friendly trail in Olympic National Park that many people who are able to walk can enjoy.

A child walking through the rainforest on the Sol Duc Falls Trail

The trail follows along the Sol Duc River, with green everywhere, you will pass a beautiful emergency shelter that is currently under renovation. Eventually you will come to a bridge that crosses over the stunning Sol Duc River with views of the waterfall. It’s breathtaking!! The falls split into 3 falls cascading over rocks into deep pools below. Remember, the water is fast moving so you’ll want to keep pets and small children close by. Even though you will see folks moving out onto the rocks above the falls for photos please keep in mind is that there have been scary incidents. In 2016 a young man fell off the rocks over the falls. Miraculously, he survived.

Olympic National Park backpacking trails

  • Sol Duc Loop/High Divide: 30kms/19mi A true ridge walk, great for wildflowers in the summer and fall colours in the autumn. There are beautiful mountain views, and many mountain lakes. Bears frequent these trails, they are filled with berries. You will finish up at the hotsprings, just in time for a good soak! If you choose to go a permit is require to camp in the back country in Olympic National Park.

Nearby hiking trails (options to add on to this easy Olympic National Park hike)

  • Deer Lake-a great add on to Sol Duc Falls if you are wanting to go further/more of a challenge.
  • Seven Basins Loop
  • Lover’s Lane (an add on to Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail)
  • Sol Duc River Trail
  • Ancient Groves-Along Sul Duc River Road this is a 1km loop trail through old growth rainforest.


Do I need a reservation or pass to go to Sol Duc Falls?

Because the Sol Duc Valley is located within Olympic National Park, you will need a National Parks Pass available here. Reservations are not required to use the trail. There are 5 fee-free days where entrance to Olympic National Park is free this year

  • Monday, January 16:  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Saturday, April 22: First Day of National Park Week
  • Friday, August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • Saturday, September 23: National Public Lands Day
  • Saturday, November 11: Veterans Day

Are dogs allowed on Sol Duc Falls trail?

In order to protect wildlife, dogs, and people, dogs are not allowed on the trails within Olympic National Park.

What is the weather like in Sol Duc Falls, WA?

Temperatures range from mild to cold, and rain showers are common any time of year. Visitors should always come prepared with rain gear and warm clothing regardless of what season it is. The area experiences some snow during the winter months, so it’s important to dress accordingly. During summer months, the temperature are mild and pleasant during the day, but cool off considerably at night. Be aware of changing weather conditions and check the forecast before you go!

Where can I Stay close to Sol Duc Falls?

Looking through the trees at Sol Duc Hotsprings Campground
Camping at Sol Duc Hotsprings campground in Olympic National Park

📍Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Located just a few miles away from the falls and offers rustic cabins, RV camping, and tent sites. They also have a swimming pool that overlooks the mountains and an onsite restaurant. Additionally, there are numerous front country campsites available that can be booked through the National Park Service.The hotsprings are open May to the end of October each year.

Where to stay close to Olympic National Park

How long is Sol Duc Falls hike?

Sol Duc Falls trail is a relatively short hike. It is 2.7kms/1.6miles round trip. There are plenty of options for longer trails, or trails to add on.

Is Sol Duc Falls worth seeing?

Definitely!! Because of it’s location in Olympic National Park, nestled in the rainforest, this is a beautiful trail, and has been called one of the best waterfalls in Olympic National Park.

Is the road to Sol Duc Falls open?

Currently, the road is open and there are no restrictions on the trail. There is a fire ban in place (September 2023). Be sure to check for road closures and restrictions before heading out.

Can I swim in Sol Duc Falls?

Sol Duc Falls is not a safe place to swim, however, there are plenty of other swimming holes along the Sol Duc River with less currents.

Can I fish in Sol Duc Falls?

Presently, you cannot fish anywhere in the Sol Duc River. Check for current restrictions before making plans to go fishing in Olympic National Park.

Do I have to walk to the falls or can I drive?

There is no way to drive to the falls, Sol Duc trail is a short 2.7km/1.6 out and back trail that leads to the falls.

In Summary

If you find you have the opportunity to travel through Washington State, Sol Duc Falls is well worth a stop! The turquoise water along the entire river is stunning and the trail offers many beautiful views along the way. Put the Sol Duc River Valley on your list and see beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park.

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