Olympic National Park 2009: Camping at Sol Duc, hiking Lover’s Lane, Sol Duc Falls, and a quick view stop at Hurricane Ridge
This was our second trip to the Olympic National Park. We’ve camped a few places, and this is our favorite campground so far. It will probably always be our favorite though, since we got engaged on this trip.
Sol Duc is one of the most popular campgrounds, and all of Olympic National Park‘s campgrounds are first come, first serve except for Kalaloch Campground, which takes reservations.
If you’re planning on coming in July or August, don’t show up on a Friday night expecting to find a good spot. Whenever we head here in the summer, we try to go on Thursday or by Friday morning. A ferry is involved, so it can be a bit of a trek. Allow plenty of time. From Seattle you can reach the Northern Peninsula by taking the Edmonds/Kingston Ferry. There are a few other ferry routes to the peninsula, but we find this one to be the most direct.
Sol Duc Campground has pit toilets, and a gift shop that sells firewood, ice, and other necessities. Make sure to stock up on food and other items before heading out here though, as it is a long drive from any town. Sol Duc also has a resort with small cabins for rent, a restaurant, and a developed pool fed by the natural hot springs. I’ve looked into renting one of the cabins there in the fall, but the price always seems unreasonable for what you get. I’d rather just camp in the summer.
Accessible from the campground is the trail to Sol Duc Falls, which is a popular tourist spot. From the falls, you can continue on a beautiful flat 6 mile hike called “Lover’s Lane” through the rainforest, which takes you back along the river to the resort and campground. The falls overlook bridge was packed, but when we continued on through the forest on the Lover’s Lane trail, we only saw one other couple the whole time. It was magical. I half expected to see elves and faeries.
On the way back to the ferry, we drove up to Hurricane Ridge near Port Angeles to check out the view from the visitor’s center. We’d like to go back and do some light hiking at some point.
Olympic National Park is one of our favorite national parks in the country by far. There is so much to see. We will be back soon for sure.