Hiking to the Sol Duc Falls with Friends

Port Angeles, WA

One day last week we drove west of Port Angeles to the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort and joined friends, Eric and Laurel (Raven and Chickadee), for a hike on the Lover’s Lane Trail to the Sol Duc Falls.  To get to the hot springs we drove 25 miles west on US 101 and turned south on Sol Duc Hot Springs Road for 12 miles.  The trailhead to Lover’s Lane Trail and the falls is in the north end of the parking lot of the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.

Sol Duc Resort

Pam and Eric at the trailhead

It was cool and misty as we began hiking, giving the woods a weird primordial feeling.

The trail crossed a number of rapidly flowing streams on old, but very sturdy bridges.

What a strange tree!

A slow hiker we passed on the trail

The nimble hiker struts her stuff

After about three and half miles, we came to Sol Duc Falls.  While we didn’t see many hikers on the trail, the area around the falls was quite crowded.  This is because you can avoid the longer 7 mile hike and drive to a trailhead that is less than a mile from the falls.

Sol Duc Falls

Looking back from a spot by the falls to the bridge (see anyone on the bridge?)

Laurel had spoken with someone who had hiked this trail a few weeks earlier. She was told it was a difficult hike due to the number of large trees that had fallen across the path over the winter.  But a crew must have been working overtime recently as we found the trail almost totally clear of trees and passed many spots with evidence of recent chain saw activity.  We only found a few spots where we had to do some detouring.  Some of the downed trees were quite large and must have made incredible noise as they fell.

A “small” tree blocks our path

On US 101 we passed Crescent Lake on the  drive to the trailhead and again on the drive back to the motorhome.  What a difference the sun makes!  On the drive to the trailhead it was raining and the cloud cover was quite thick, giving the lake a gloomy look.

The skies cleared and the sun was shining brightly on the return drive, giving the lake a totally different appearance.

We really enjoy hiking in the open spaces of the southwest so sometimes a trek in the woods doesn’t do much for us.  But the Lover’s Lane Trail has such a wide diversity of terrain, water crossings, and plant life that we found it to be a very interesting experience.  Plus its helps to be hiking with Laurel and Eric, who have a tremendous knowledge about plant life and can identify every bird they see!  We really enjoy hiking with them and plan at least one more adventure before they leave the area.

More on that later . . .

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18 Responses to Hiking to the Sol Duc Falls with Friends

  1. Jeff Pierce says:

    We wanted to do this hike, but there was no parking even for our little RV, we should have tried again another day. Your pictures and descriptions really show we missed a special spot. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ingrid says:

    Fascinating and lush terrain. It’s always a joy to explore and share the experience with knowledgeable friends.

  3. pmbweaver says:

    Now I would actually cross that old, but very sturdy bridge. Looks cool.
    That slug is GROSS!
    I love that falls. I actually love everything about Lover’s Lane Trail. What a great find.

  4. Susan Bank says:

    Looks like a wonderful day. The lake views are wonderful no matter the weather.

  5. I love those long log bridges in Olympic Nat’l park area! And that giant barrel on that tree is pretty bizarre looking! Such fun being able to hike with folks who have knowledge of birds or plants or geology, etc!

  6. Laurel says:

    That was such a fun day of hiking! Great scenery and equally excellent company. 🙂 You got beautiful shots of the waterfall — and of the nimble hiker on the stream crossings. (LOL at the banana slug slow hiker.) Thanks for the nice comment about hiking with us….I’m happy you didn’t say anything about being forced into bird and plant identification, haha!

  7. It’s always fun to hike with friends who can identify plants and birds, since we aren’t very good at it ourselves. Looks like a great hike despite being in the woods!

  8. Jodee Gravel says:

    Beautiful falls and forest and pink jacket. Glad to see my hiking buddy out there on the trail, good thing you didn’t step on him! Crescent Lake is wonderful with its changing colors – I love that area.

  9. Juicy Greens!!! And so oppositional to hiking in the southwest…

  10. SR says:

    Hello,
    We loved this area when we visited in 2016, wish we could have stayed longer. If I can make a few suggestions. Drive the loop at Lake Quinault. It becomes very narrow and gravel but it is beautiful, a nice area to park and spend some time on the lake. We also enjoyed an afternoon at Rialto Beach. So many other places there to see but these were a few we enjoyed. Safe Travels
    SR

  11. Gay says:

    Just awesome! Love the old log/wooden make-do bridges…sure adds a lot of excitement to water crossings! So great to have friends that identify plants and birds along the way!

  12. Sherry says:

    Can’t blame you at all for loving to hike with Eric and Laurel. They are such great birders. This hike looks fantastic to me. Just the kind I love, green with big trees and water. Boy they sure do grow slugs big out there. Great comparison with the end of your hiking pole. Terrific picture of those fantastic falls. Love your two lakes pictures. What a difference.

  13. Upriverdavid says:

    Some years ago I took my bike from the campground on the back trail to the falls. Dealing with the downed trees I made it..Then I was getting the dirtiest looks from folks on the trail..I took the easy way back to the road and there was the sign..no bikes…How was I to know?
    Oh Well!
    Upriverdavid

  14. Debbie L says:

    We love our walks in the woods so I know we’d love this one! Great waterfall reward! We’re still looking for the trail maintenance workers and their donkeys. We’re in awe at some of the places bridges have been built-always wondering how they got the supplies there.

  15. The Olympic Peninsula is a great area. Haven’t been there since the 80’s. Awesome views from Hurricane Ridge on a clear day if you get the chance. You can see our home town of Victoria, BC from there. Enjoy!

  16. geogypsy2u says:

    Seems the Olympics are usually misty and gray. I’d consider you lucky to see any sun at all. Last time I was there a friend and I hiked to the hot springs in a wind blown rain storm and I remember being rather apprehensive crossing one of those half log bridges that tilted so much. But it was worth it.

  17. LuAnn says:

    We really enjoyed this hike and fortunately didn’t have to deal with any downed trees. Banana slugs are always a delight to find!

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