Visiting the Sol Duc Valley
Old-growth forest, subalpine lakes, and snowy peaks populate the Sol Duc landscape, while the Sol Duc River serves as a key highway for coho salmon, running through the valley and ascending to the lakes and headwaters in the surrounding mountains.
The Sol Duc Valley is located in the northwest region of the park. Just 40 minutes west of Port Angeles, the Sol Duc is accessed by turning off Highway 101 onto the Sol Duc Road.
Places to Stay:
The Sol Duc campground, open year-round, has 82 sites in old-growth forest, right along the river. The concession-operated Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort has an RV campground and has lodging; reservations are advised. Lodging is also available in nearby Port Angeles or Forks.
For those looking to spend anywhere from a few hours to an entire day in the Sol Duc, there are a number of shorter hikes that may be suitable. From the parking lot, the walk through old-growth forest to the Sol Duc Falls overlook is just a mile. Lover's Lane (6 mile loop) and the climb to Mink Lake (5.2 miles roundtrip) can also be done in just a few hours.
The Sol Duc Valley has a number of longer hiking trails which explore both the valleys and the mountains. The High Divide Loop that passes through Seven Lakes Basin is a popular 2-3 day hike. The views of Mount Olympus are astounding on a clear day.
The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort has a variety of activities, including mineral pool bathing, massage, and dining.
The Salmon Cascades overlook is another popular destination during late October/early November. About 5 miles down the Sol Duc Road, visitors come to watch the determined coho salmon leap over the falls on their way to spawn upstream in the Sol Duc River.
Make sure to check the park's fishing regulations!
Just 20 miles north of the Sol Duc Valley is Lake Crescent. Both Heart O' the Hills and the Elwha Valley can be reached in about an hour.