The Olympic Peninsula offers some of the most breathtaking waterfalls in Washington State. The falls mentioned here are easily accessible in a single day trip. Spring rains provides a great time to get the full effect of the rushing water of these falls. Most of the trails are easily accessible – from paved, wheelchair accessible pathways, to a scenic byway and forested trails.
Glaciers helped carve the cliffs and valleys of the Peninsula. Today, more than 60 glaciers in the Olympic Mountains join to feed our abundance of waterfalls. The following waterfalls could all be visited in a single day, but I’d recommend spending few hours at any of these destinations. Bring a lunch, enjoy the sound of the waterfalls and birds, and breathe in the fresh air of the evergreen trees.
1. MADISON FALLS
From Port Angeles travel west on Highway 101 to the Olympic Hot Springs Road. Two miles up the road, turn left into the parking lot, just before the entrance to Olympic National Park. This year-round falls is wheelchair accessible on a short, paved, 200-foot path to the base of the falls. Stay for a picnic and enjoy the scenic Elwha River across the road.
For our next stop, keep your eyes open along the drive for wildlife, and even more seasonal cascades draining into Lake Crescent. There are many places to pause along the lake for a photo opp. Be sure to bring your camera!
2. MARYMERE FALLS
3. SOL DUC FALLS
From Highway 101, drive approximately 14 miles up Sol Duc Hot Springs Road to the parking lot at the trailhead. Hike on an easy trail 0.8 miles to the falls, viewable up close on a bridge crossing the Sol Duc River. In contrast to most other waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula, this year-round falls is viewed from a bridge above. Three channels of water crash into a narrow canyon below, stirring up a fine mist. In just the right afternoon light, you’ll see rainbows in the mist. In the rainy season and early spring runoff this falls can be spectacular as it thunders beneath your feet.
4. BEAVER FALLS
Privately owned, with public access along the scenic byway of Hwy 115, about 12 miles east of Forks. This block-type falls spans about 20 feet across Beaver Creek at peak flow. It’s not as tall as the other waterfalls, and would be most impressive after a heavy rain.
Remember, our parks have limited resources, so please keep the trail litter free and enjoyable for all! For another wonderful place to explore on the Peninsula, check out my blog post on Robin Hill Park.For more waterfalls and more information, visit OlympicPeninsulaWaterfallTrail.com
If you have any questions about moving to the Olympic Peninsula, please feel free to contact me at:
Windermere Real Estate/Sequim-East
Sheryl Payseno Burley, Broker
(360) 460-9363 Cell