Magazine article Sunset

Meet the Rush: Most of the 26 Cascades That Make Up the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail Flow All Year Long. Some Require Backcountry Excursions, Others a Boat Trip. Here Are Three You Can Hike to in a Day

Magazine article Sunset

Meet the Rush: Most of the 26 Cascades That Make Up the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail Flow All Year Long. Some Require Backcountry Excursions, Others a Boat Trip. Here Are Three You Can Hike to in a Day

Article excerpt

SOL DUC FALLS

The most stunning waterfall (or is it?) on the trail is also one of the most accessible. At the end of Sol Duc Road, follow the 0.8-mile path to a footbridge that puts you above the stream. Once you've had your fill, take the 6-mile Lover's Lane Trail as it traces the Sol Duc River, where coho make their spawning runs late summer through fall.

LUDLOW FALLS

This two-tier waterfall descends a staircase of boulders into a creek just outside the village center in Port Ludlow. The half-mile interpretive trail has a few steep patches, but if you get winded, you can rest at one of the benches made from felled trees that sit above the falls. Come back in autumn when the maples and alders blaze with color.

STRAWBERRY BAY FALLS

Named after the bay into which it plunges, this is the trail's only hikeable waterfall right on the coast. Start your trek at the Third Beach trailhead, then curl 1.3 miles through lowland forest before getting spit out on the sand. At the southern end of the beach, you'll see the falls as it cascades 100 feet into the Pacific. killing ourselves just to better see a thing we've basically been drowning in for three days: waterfalls.

Two of the final three waterfalls we visit, Murhut and Rocky Brook, are truly earth-pounding. Life-changing. Far from having anything close to waterfall fatigue, my husband declares at Murhut Falls, "Winner." But then at Rocky Brook Falls, not more than an hour later, he shakes his head and asks, "Number one?"

"What do you think about when you look at a waterfall?" I ask him. I already figured it out myself, after being mesmerized by Marymere, and doing nothing but being mesmerized by Marymere--then noticing the chatter in my brain pick back up as we walked away. I know what he's going to say, even before he says, "Nothing."

Nothing. …

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