The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is in the Olympic National Park in the stunning Sol Duc Valley, about an hour's drive from Port Angeles.
The resort consists of three hot mineral pools, a swimming pool, restaurant, poolside deli, gift shop, and modest cabins. Day trippers can visit the pools, even if they're not staying at the resort.
Directions: To get to the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, take the exit to Sol Duc off Highway 101 (the main highway around the Olympic National Park). It's then an easy 40 minute drive to the resort. A National Park entrance fee is required.
Resort & road closure: The resort is always closed over winter. Check road conditions to see if Sol Duc Road is open, especially after storms.
10 best things to do at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort
1. Swim in the freshwater pool.
The large freshwater pool is just steps from the 3 hot springs soaking pools, and is open to all ages. The depth ranges from 3 to 10 feet deep, and the temperature varies seasonally from 50 to 85 degrees fahrenheit. There's also plenty of deck chairs around the swimming pool to soak up the sun.
2. Relax in the 3 hot springs soaking pools.
You don't have to be a guest at the resort to use the hot spring soaking pools, but tickets must be purchased in person at the resort's front desk (check rates & sessions). The mineralized waters are from snowmelt and rainfall that mix with gases in volcanic rocks, and are released to the surface by fissures, releasing a strong sulfur smell.
There are 3 outdoor soaking pools to choose from, with different temperatures and depths. The first two are for ages 4+ only, and the third is for all ages. The pools are closed over winter.
- Small pool: 6-8" deep, 99 degrees fahrenheit, all ages.
- Medium pool: 3" deep, 104 degrees fahrenheit, 4+ only.
- Large pool with fountain: 3" deep, 101 degrees fahrenheit, 4+ only, wheelchair accessible.
3. Book a cosy cabin or riverside suite.
These cosy cabins comfortably house four people, and come with or without a kitchen, and there's also the option to stay in a riverside suite in a building. Hot springs and pool access is complimentary if you book accommodation (make a booking). Please note, there is no TV, WIFI, cell service or air-conditioning.
4. Stay in the Sol Duc RV and campground.
The Sol Duc Campground is located adjacent to the resort, with 81 campsites in a forested area, and 17 RV sites in a gravel parking lot (make a booking). Access to the hot springs and pool is not included, and a separate ticket will need to be purchased at the front desk of the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.
5. Eat at the resort's restaurant or poolside deli, and stop at the gift shop.
The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort has a lovely dining room, serving both breakfast and dinner, and a poolside deli. There's also food and drink items for sale at the adjacent gift shop. Check hours.
6. Learn about the fancy hotel that once stood here.
A magnificent 165-room hotel once stood at the site of the modern day resort, built between 1910 to 1912 by mill owner and lumber magnate, Michael Earles, who had acquired the land from an early homesteader, after claiming that the mineral hot springs had cured him of an illness. The resort was world renowned, even attracting patrons from Europe. It had a grand lobby, and a massive veranda that surrounded three sides of the building.
However it's key draw was an 100 bed sanatorium, that promised to cure its well-to-do visitors of ailments like alcoholism and rheumatism, by soaking in and drinking the special mineral waters. The restorative qualities of these waters had long been recognized by the Quileute Indians. There were other attractions at this health spa too, like tennis and croquet courts, golf links, a bathhouse, ballroom, theater, and beautifully manicured gardens.
Unfortunately the resort burned down in 1916, and after a few more modest attempts at re-building, the National Park Service took over in 1966.
The current building was constructed in the 1980s.
7. Drive down the road to the Sol Duc Falls Trailhead.
The Sol Duc Falls trailhead is five minutes drive down Sol Duc Road from the resort. It's then a 20-minute hike to the waterfall through old growth forest (0.8 miles one way). Learn more about the hike here.
8. Hike the Lover's Lane loop, between the resort and Sol Duc Falls.
If you're feeling more energetic, hike the 6-mile loop between the resort and Sol Duc Falls. The trail starts at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort and follows the river upstream, through lush forests of Douglas Fir and Hemlock, before crossing the footbridge at the falls, and looping back to the resort.
9. Hike to remote wilderness lakes.
There's also some longer day hikes to remote alpine lakes, like Mink Lake (5 miles roundtrip from the resort) and Deer Lake (8 miles roundtrip from the Sol Duc Trailhead). These should only be attempted by more experienced hikers with adequate food, water and equipment provisions, and have left a trip plan with a friend, and have thoroughly checked weather conditions with the park ranger.
10. Drive up the road to the Salmon Cascades.
The Salmon Cascades is an overlook on the Sol Duc River, just 5 miles north of the resort up Sol Duc Road. The viewing platform is a short distance from the parking lot, and easy to get to. In late summer and early fall it's possible to stand on a platform above the Salmon Cascades, and view chinook and coho salmon leaping up the cascades to return to their spawning grounds.
Other things to do in the Olympic National Park
See the the Top 10 attractions at the Olympic National Park, including Sol Duc Falls.
You can also check out these places near Sol Duc Falls:
- Lake Crescent Lodge (50 minutes NE)
- Hurricane Ridge (1 hour 30 minutes east)
- La Push (1 hour 30 minutes west)
- Second Beach (1 hour 25 minutes west)
- Rialto Beach (1 hour 30 minutes west)
- Ruby Beach (1 hour 30 minutes SW)
- Kalaloch Beach (1 hour 40 minutes SW)
- Hoh Rain Forest (1 hour 40 minutes SW)
- Lake Quinault (2 hours south)