It’s Wednesday, so let’s dive into one of the premier waterfalls near Port Angeles, Washington: Sol Duc Falls.
Water is one of the key ingredients to the distinct beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Get a taste by venturing out to gush over Port Angeles’ most breathtaking waterfalls. There is no shortage of these plunging stunners; the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail boasts more than 20 falls.
Be sure to check the Olympic National Park’s “updates and conditions” page for the most current road conditions.
Distance from Port Angeles: 43 miles, 1 hour drive
Trail Distance: 1.6 mile round trip, out and back
Elevation Change: 200 feet
Dogs Allowed: No dogs allowed on trails within the Olympic National Park
WHAT YOU’LL SEE ALONG THE SOL DUC FALLS HIKING TRAIL
Amble along a wide, easy trail through a thick forest of old growth trees. Breathe in that moist rainforest air as you cross a sturdy wooden bridge over a quiet mossy-rocked creek. Descend past a rustic log shelter to Sol Duc Falls as they roar over a 50-foot drop. There is a wide platform that allows you to admire the cascade from several viewpoints.
Looking for a longer loop to hike? Continue along the Sol Duc Falls Trailhead for the Seven Lakes Basin Loop, which is a 19-mile backcountry loop. From Sol Duc Falls you can continue to Deer Lake and Lunch Lake. If you take a left at the trail towards Sol Duc Falls, you’ll follow the Sol Duc River and end up at Heart Lake which is almost 8-miles in.
WHY WE LOVE SOL DUC FALLS
This is one of the only falls around the Olympic Peninsula with a birds’ eye view. Sturdy railings allow you to look over the rush and the gush safety. Depending on the season and water level, the falls fracture into several channels as it tumbles down those 50 feet. For maximum rush, visit in the spring.
While you are here, make your way downstream to Salmon Cascades where you can see Coho salmon jump up the falls in September and October, or watch Steelhead leaping from March to May.
RESTAURANT STOP AT GRANNY’S CAFE
As you head west from Port Angeles, you’ll find a charmingly tiny drive-in cafe serving up love since 1956. Granny’s Cafe is a delicious breakfast stop for golden hotcakes or an omelet.. For lunch, dive into a stacked deli sandwich and a local cider or beer. As you make your way back to Port Angeles, be sure to swing back into Granny’s for homemade pie and ice cream.