<< Along the Elwha

10/25/17 - Sol Duc Fall Color

We heard that the salmon were making their way up the Sol Duc River. We haven't been getting out to Sol Duc all that much lately because they are doing some serious and much needed road work on route 101 along Lake Crescent. We made our way out over the weekend, and there were only a couple of relatively short one lane traffic lights to slow us down.

We stopped at the salmon cascade on the Sol Duc road and spent some time looking into the whirlpools and rushing waters of the river where it passes through a narrow gap. Then we saw the first flash of a salmon leaping. It was in the narrowest, wildest part of the wild waters. We concentrated our attention on that area for a while longer. There was another salmon, this one leaping high enough and long enough to sparkle in a rainbow of color.

We watched for a while longer and saw a few more salmon leaping, some barely more than a gray flash, others more dramatic. Then we headed up to the trailhead at the end of the road and walked through the forest to Sol Duc falls. There were waterfalls and fall color, and then there were the falls proper. There were no salmon leaping here. Instead there was the incessant roar of the river and its mist and spray.

We had come shortly after those torrential rains earlier this month, so the Sol Duc River was running in full spate. Even the little feeder streams roared. The fall leaf color too was in full spate, much more brilliant than in most years. The leaves have yet to fall, and the forest and roadside have been illuminated with leaves of bright yellow and some of orange and red. If you can, time your visit for the weekend and enjoy the Sol Duc River at its autumn peak.

Looking up the Sol Duc River

A little waterfall

The salmon cascade

Another view

Fall color

More fall color

Another waterfall

Sol Duc Falls

Looking downriver

A forest scene

Sol Duc Falls again

Keywords: salmon, sol duc, waterfall