Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort
Sol Duc Road, U.S. 101, PO Box 2169, , Washington, 98362, United States
One star quality, five star price
I generally dislike National Park lodging. Except for the obvious benefit of convenience, it is always overpriced. So, I know that going to any NPS lodging will likely be a disappointment for me. But, in some parks, there is no nearby alternative if you want to have a roof over your head. Since I knew I was doing part of this trip solo, I didn't pick the campground because I wasn't crazy about the idea of camping alone.
I liked the idea of this place when I booked it. Except for the price tag attached to this particularly rustic property. The Sol Doc "resort" is a great example of the rule of thumb that NPS lodging is bound to be an overpriced disappointment and why camping would be a better alternative.
The resort consists of a series of cabins, which, as of July, 2006, cost $160 per night and up. These tiny cabins have running water (not hot water, but water), electricity and bathrooms. The kitchen was a nice perk and a great way to avoid the overpriced restaurant by preparing our own meals.
There are no phones or tv's here, and that part was just fine for me. I have no problem with rustic, but rustic should not come with a 5 star price tag. There is no air conditioning, which makes sense, but a ceiling fan would have been welcome as it does get pretty hot during the day and daylight lasts until about 10 p.m., making it tough to sleep when it is actually hotter inside your cabin than outside.
The cabins are extremely thinly walled as well. We had a family of 5 staying in the two bed cabin next to ours. How they fit in there is beyond me, but it appeared that sleeping was not on their agenda. They were extremely loud and disruptive until pretty late at night. Since the main lodge and front desk shut down at 9 pm, there was little we could do about it. This could happen anywhere, especially a campground, but, generally, when you pay this much per night, there is something you can do about it.
Unique Quality: The room rate does come with access to the hot springs and swimming pool, but that alone is not enough of a reason to stay here. We were given the cabin closest to the lodge. Since there was no parking space assisgned to our cabin, we had to park at the back of the lot, quite a distance away, as all the spaces were filled by people coming to visit the hot springs during the day.
I'm not saying this place was terrible. The staff was extremely friendly and the restaurant had pretty good food (see restaurant tips for more information). The "resort" was simply overpriced. The campground a half mile away would be a great alternative as would any of the Olympic campgrounds. Personally, I would choose one of those options if I returned to this park.
Directions: Take Hwy 101 to the Sol Duc turnoff. From the park entrance, it is 12 miles to the hot springs resort.
More about Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort
Avoid Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort
We were extremely disappointed with this so-called "resort". Our cabin was in very poor condition - old worn carpeting and bedding, inadequate lighting, and none of the standard amenities like coffee maker, hair dryer, etc. The room was also unacceptably dirty when we checked in - so bad that we had to ask them to clean again and it was only marginally better afterwards. They didn't even follow up to ask if we found the room adequate. The men's shower outside the pools was filthy and poorly maintained. The pools themselves are very disappointing as well. The hefty price tag of $125 for this place is an outrage. The next night we spent the same amount for a room at Crescent Lake Lodge and were VERY pleased there - very clean room with the simple amenities that you expect for the money. Do yourself a favor and make Crescent Lake Lodge your home base for visiting this part of the park.
Salmon Cascade.....no jumping fish this time
The roads thru Oly Nat'l Pak are awesome and one of the little stops on the way to Sol Duc hot Springs is Salmon Cascade...supposedly jumping salmon in Sept. either way its beautiful
Olympic National Park Tip
Sol Duc entry point from the North has some interesting features. There is the Sol Duc Hot Springs where you can take a dip at the resort for around $7. Another point of interest is Sol Duc Falls, pictured below. There is also the Eagle camp area. All these places are very close to each other.
Olympic Hot Springs Trail
Don't want to pay for the Sol Duc Hot Springs or mind hiking? Then try this 4.8-mile round trip trail along an old road bed to the Olympic Hot Springs. The trail starts at the Boulder Creek Trailhead and leads through a forest of firs past a few creeks to the hot springs, which used to be part of a resort. However, the resort burned down, and wasn't reconstructed, and the road was abandoned, thus creating this trail. The National Park Service warns against soaking in these pools because the prescene of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.
camp at an alpine lake paradise
Lunch Lake Campground has to be one of the prettiest in all the National Park system. This pristine lake is fringed by craggy peaks and within a short stroll of countless more. Seven Lakes Basin is a very appropriate name. The spots are well-spaced and due to popularity, highly restricted. You can see some wear and tear but the park does its best to ensure it is not completely ruined by overuse. We lucked out, there was only one other person the night we camped there and we did not see them until the morning we left. It's that spread out. We got a primo spot, on a small hill, surrounded by trees, with a view of the lake. It was fairly close to the chemical toilet and if it was a busy night at the campground it might not have been as perfect. The bear wire was a fair walk away but with a view like we had, it was well worth the effort. It's about 8 miles and 3000 feet from the Sol Duc Visitor Center so doable in a day even with a backpack but we hiked in from Deer Lake so we only did 4.2 miles and about 1500 feet. You do drop into a bowl to reach Lunch Lake itself so if you are doing day hikes from it, you will be doing a fair amount of climbing in and out of camp. Not that you get tired of the view hiking back down into it!
Olympic NP North Side: Port Angeles
Port Angeles is a good base for exploring the north side of the park. The Olympic NP Visitor Center and entrance to Hurricane Ridge is right in town, and Elwha (11 miles), Lake Crescent (18 miles) and Sol Duc Valley (about 40 miles - 1 hour ) are reasonably close for day-tripping.
We chose this motel for the price, amenities, and decent reviews on Trip Advisor. It's right on the main drag and nothing fancy but the rooms are large, very clean, and came with a refrigerator and microwave for $75. They said they had trouble with people ripping off hairdryers and coffeemakers so you have to check them out at office but they're free. Breakfast is minimal - coffee, tea, and a tray of bananas, granola bars and pastries on the desk in the office - but enough to get you going. Rooms range from single queen (probably the smallest rooms) to two-bedroom family units with small kitchenettes (no stove), and you can review layouts/rates on the website. We chose a 2nd floor king bed and had lots of room to spread out, good shower with decent water pressure, and didn't hear enough road noise to bother us.
It has its quirks, such as some interesting religious material in the room, but overall was a good, reasonably priced option with all the things we needed and none of the frills we didn't. I'm not sure ALL rooms have a fridge/microwave so check with them when booking, if those are must-haves. All rooms are non-smoking - don't even think about puffing inside or near an open door or window. The price: excellent compared to National Park accommodations. Somewhat dated but very clean and spacious. The cheerful lady at the office is known for upgrading rooms when possible so be nice to her - you might strike bonus. I'm not giving a PP cost as prices range depending on season and room sizes.
Sol Duc Falls
Sol Duc Falls
Sol Duc Falls
Sol Duc Gorge
Four Days Around Thanksgiving
I'm going up to Gig Harbor for four days over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Am thinking Paradise at Mt. Rainier or perhaps the Forks area and visit the Hoh, Hurricane Ridge and Sol Duc, if it is still open (I am assuming that certain areas won't be accessible due to snow coverage). Perhaps Ape Cave on the south side of Mt. St. Helens. I'd rather settle on one place to stay and then just go on short day trips to local areas. I land early Thursday morning and am flyin out after lunch on Sunday, so realistically, I have three full days to enjoy area. I'd prefer to be up in the mountains or in a a forest area.
Thanks in advance for any helpful replies.
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Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Sol Duc Springs
- Sol Duc Hot Springs Hotel Olympic National Park
Address: Sol Duc Road, U.S. 101, PO Box 2169, , Washington, 98362, United States