We stayed four nights in Olympic National Park’s Sol Duc campground, a remote hideaway adjacent to natural hot spring pools and the energetic Sol Duc River that was swollen with spring’s snowmelt.
We’ve been happy for months tromping around coastlines and mountains, rivers and deserts. But really? Hot springs? Who wants that?
It turns out, we did. Our skepticism melted away as soon as our toes first dipped into one of the three steamy, soaking pools. The temperatures ranged from 98º to a ferocious 105.7º, hot enough for even Rachel.
Whether after a day hiking up to the magnificent and torrential Sol Duc Falls or a drive to the chilly Hurricane Ridge, we found that an hour in those those hot spring pools was the perfect end to our days in this towering landscape.
But before earning the soak time, we first had to get out in the world and capture it on camera, including the impressive, 48-foot falls and the salmon cascades along the namesake Sol Duc River.
At every turn in this valley in late spring you find falls roaring over steep drops, cascades weaving around moss-covered stones, or cheerful brooks babbling along the trail as the Olympic Mountains shed their snowy winter mantles.