A coho salmon bursts out of the water at the Salmon Cascades during a fall run. Opposite page: A creek runs through mossy rocks in the Sol Duc Valley. At a quarter mile, the trail jogs across an old logging road and soon enters old growth and an underbrush of huckleberry. At two miles, the trail rounds a spur at about 2,800 feet before gently meandering
toward the lake. Past the lake, the trail passes a marshy area and eventually ends where it intersects the Bogachiel Trail at Little Divide. From there, you can hike on to Deer Lake to the west.
For those who want to get some miles under their proverbial belt, also consider the North Fork Sol Duc Trail (10 miles, one-way), one that aptly follows the north fork of the Sol Duc to several good camping spots, such as Fryingpan Camp (three miles in) before descending into unmaintained trail for several miles before the North Fork Sol Duc Shelter at nine miles. The trail falls just short of Boulder Lake. Or try the Sol Duc Trail, an 8.5mile path that parallels the river to Bridge Creek, then follows that stream to Sol Duc Park and the High Divide where it joins the High Divide-Bailey Range Trail. Call the Wilderness Information Center (360-565-3100) for information on wilderness camping permits and bear canisters. It should be noted that Sol Duc Road, the entryway to the Sol Duc Valley off U.S. Highway 101 outside of Port Angeles, is closed to vehicles for the winter season. Visit www.nps.gov/olym for more information about accessibility.
HOT SPRINGS HISTORY
An Olympic National Park resource describes a Native American Indian legend that explains how Olympic and Sol Duc Hot Springs cam to be. Two dragons — one living in the
Sol Duc Valley, the other in the Elwha — were exploring the forest when they, for the first time, came face-to-face on top of the ridge separating the valleys. “They exploded with anger as each accused the other of invading its territory,” the legend goes, and “the fight was brutal as the dragons thrashed and ripped at each other to win back their territory.” After years of fighting and clawing at each other, the dragons frustratedly withdrew to caves in their respective valleys and are still crying over being defeated. Their hot tears are the source of the hot springs. Parratt notes in “Gods and Goblins” that sometime during the 1880s, a Quillayute Valley settler named Theodore Moritz “discovered” mineral water seepage in the Sol Duc Valley after being taken there by a grateful native to whom he had given medical assistance. He built a cabin there and filed a claim on the land. In 1910, an entrepreneur named Michael Earles formed the Sol Duc Hot Springs Company with four others, constructed a road from Fairholme on the west end of Lake Crescent to the springs and then spent about $500,000 on a health spa. This four-story, 165-room hotel opened May 15, 1912.
Winter 2017 LOP 7