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 (directions).
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 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!