Day 5: Lake Crescent, Waterfalls and Hot Springs
The legend of the well-matched dragons that fought nearly to the death, and whose hot tears of anguish created the hot springs of today lends a magical touch to the Lake Crescent area.
This picturesque glacier-carved lake offers swimming, boating, and fishing along with diverse hiking trails. Hike along a shoreline path that was once a railroad grade, ascend to breathtaking vistas or stroll through the forest to a waterfall. Waterfalls in the area include Marymere Falls, a one-mile walk from Storm King Ranger Station at Barnes Point; Sol Duc Falls, one of the most photographed spots on the Peninsula, is .8 mile walk from the end of Sol Duc Hot Springs Road (13 miles off of Hwy 101 at the west end of Lake Crescent). East of Lake Crescent on the Elwha Road you’ll find Madison Falls on a paved 600 foot accessible path, park near the toll-booth and stroll left to see this cascade.*
Pedal boats, rowboats, canoes, kayaks and motorboat rentals are available seasonally at the resorts and store on the lake. On the north shore of the lake, a 4-mile trail follows the old Spruce Railroad grade and is one of two trails in the Park that allows mountain bikes.
The hot springs resort at Sol Duc features three hot pools and a swimming pool and is open seasonally.**
Take time to enjoy the many soft adventures including whitewater rafting and kayak tours.**
Just east of Lake Crescent, the 13-mile Mt. Muller Loop on US Forest Service Land offers a challenging 2700 foot elevation gain and several vistas, and is open to use by mountain bikes, stock and dogs (US Forest Service).*
*Fees for use in Olympic National Park or Olympic National Forest may apply, for information and a map call (360) 565-3100 or visit the National Park Service or Olympic National Forest, or call (360) 374-7566.
** For brochures, maps mentioned, referrals and/or seasonal information contact the Forks Chamber of Commerce.