Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sol duc falls, Olympic Peninsula

Sol duc is a beautiful waterfall located in the Sol duc valley in the heart of Olympic national park. The waterfall is located at the end of a short hike of about a mile from the Sol duc campground parking lot. Sometimes in winter due to heavy snow or tree debris the national park service closes the road near the hot springs resort. This will add a couple of miles to your hike. As always please check the road conditions before you head out on your trip.

Waterfall on the way to Sol duc falls

Equipment: Canon 5D Mark 2, Canon 100-400mm

Image details: 190mm, f/32, 8sec, ISO 100
The trail is wide and mostly flat - you walk through pristine old growth temperate rainforest that is so typical of the pacific north west. The average annual rainfall on this side of the Olympics is about 200 inches! Even though the hike is only about a mile it usually takes me an hour or so to make it to the falls. There are a number of beautiful small streams and waterfalls on either side of the trail. I love to stop and photograph these streams. In some cases I like to use my telephoto lens to isolate small portions of the streams/falls. Depending on the situation I like to vary the shutter speed to achieve different levels of "silky" flow of the water.

Once you get to the waterfall the first thing you realize is that it is a rather difficult waterfall to photograph. The waterfall is located in a small canyon at an angle.Once you get close enough to be able to see the falls the water spray is pretty intense making it really difficult to photograph. I've been there a few times but don't really have a good picture of the falls. The next time I'd like to use the wooden bridge across the falls in my composition If any of my readers has some tips I would love to hear!

On the road to Sol duc falls parking lot you pass the Sol duc hot springs resort and the Sol duc campground. The resort and campground are usually closed for the winter and usually open at the end of March. Another interesting point along the road is the Salmon cascades. The Salmon Cascades is reached via a .1-mile gravel path that leads to a wooden platform overlooking the Sol Duc River. The river supports an unusual stock of coho salmon, which begin to return from the Pacific in late summer (most coho return in the fall). The salmon must negotiate more than 50 miles of river, rapids and pools to reach Salmon Cascades before continuing to quieter pools above Sol Duc Hot Springs.

Directions to Sol Duc falls


Tim Cray said...

Great stock photo !!!!!
This is nice falls blog .Thanks for sharing this blog ...........
Stock foto

Leon' Carter said...

Great photo! Did you use an ND filter for this image?

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