North Fork Sol Duc River – 13.2mi / 21.2km
This hiking gem takes you up the solitary North Fork Sol Duc River drainage. The initial, steep 400ft/120m climb up the ridge passes through massive trees and a wide array of ferns on the forest floor.
After a short traverse across the ridge, you drop down through a fabulous drainage to the North Fork Sol Duc River. A necessary ford makes for a dangerous crossing in the spring, but a manageable crossing in summer.
The trail levels out as it cruises along the river through mosses, ferns, and stands of huge trees. One sublime section of the river features deep pools smoothly carved in the rock. After traveling up the river with a few small climbs along the way, the trail ascends approximately 300ft/90m up a drainage of a tributary, eventually coming to another ford. The water here cascades and swirls in pools and is a perfect place to turn around.
Trailhead: Just east of Lake Crescent, turn onto the Sol Duc Hot Springs Road from Hwy 101. At 8.2 miles, look for the trail sign with parking on the southwest side of the road.
Elevation Gain: 1,700ft / 510m – Elevation Loss: 1,700ft / 510m