Do you remember how I gushed over the beauty and ethereal quality of the Hoh Rainforest not all that long ago? Well, I have to admit, Sul Doc Falls rivals that beauty, and is somewhere that should not be missed on a visit to Olympic National Park.
The name Sol Duc (or Soleduck as the original spelling), comes from the Quileute language, and means “sparkling waters”. The river itself is followed along by Route 101, before finishing in the town of Forks.
The trail to the falls is a relatively easy hike, following a winding path through hundreds of years old trees dripping with lichens and moss. Dappled light shines through the occasional gap in the thick forest edge, casting beams of golden warmth down onto the dark, mossy floor.
We visited in the late afternoon, when the trail was almost empty, and the light was just beginning to waiver.
Our path took us past teepees made from branches and moss, allowing us to dream of woodland spirits or inhabitants of the forest from many years passed.
The attraction itself is mostly a majestic, low centred stream, cascading gently over smooth pebbles and mossy boulders. A rustic bridge allows you to stand above the flowing water and to see the path from which it has wound its way down. Further along the path you’ll find the culmination of the falls as the water comes together to form a powerful waterfall.
As with many other places we’d visited on this trip, the water was not sectioned off or protected by any kind of fencing. If you fancied it, you could inch up close and even dip your toes into the cool water! Alas, we weren’t quite that brave…
Bring a tripod! In order to get a long exposure photograph of the falls, you’ll need a tripod to keep your camera steady. There’s plenty of dry ground to rest it on. We set ours on the little bridge to capture the water flowing over the mossy rocks before the main falls.
Visit in the late afternoon/early evening. This way the light isn’t too harsh and the trail will be quieter. Be careful with visiting early though, once the sun has risen, the light becomes harsh quickly, so you’ll want to arrive not long after sunrise if you’re more of an early bird.
Enjoy the journey! The trail to the falls was a beauty in itself, and we were pausing every few minutes to stop and look at something lovely.
You can see a little more of Sol Duc Falls on our YouTube channel at the link below:
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