Twenty-one of us—extended family and friends—gathered together for a glorious mid-May three-day weekend at Sol Duc Hot Springs in the Olympic National Park and Forest on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. We’ve experienced an unusually wet spring here in the Northwest, but we lucked out on the weather with bright, sunny days, allowing us to spend treasured time outdoors.
Most of the group occupied accommodations at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, either at the large “River Cabin” or in smaller cabins. Bruce and I opted to camp with our truck and camper at the lush campground, about a quarter-mile down the road. We felt we had the best of two worlds—visiting with family and friends during the day and spending the night in a quiet unique Hoh Rain Forest campground.
The Hoh is one of the finest remaining examples of temperate rainforest in the United States and is one of the park’s most popular destinations. The Hoh Rain Forest is aptly named. During the winter, rain falls frequently in the Hoh, contributing to the yearly total of 140 to 170 inches (that’s 12 to 14 feet!) of precipitation each year. The result is a lush, green canopy of conifer and deciduous trees. Mosses and ferns blanket the surfaces, adding another dimension to the enchantment of the rainforest. We had the best of both worlds—camping in a rain forest, but with no rain.
The resort itself offers a multitude of activities including hot mineral-spring pools, massage therapists, poolside deli, restaurant, gift shop, and convenience store.
A pleasant walk through old-growth forest to the Sol Duc Falls overlook is just a mile from the resort.
There are no modern distractions like cell or wifi coverage, telephones, televisions, or radios at Sol Duc, allowing a refreshing change of pace and a feeling of getting back to nature.
The Olympic National Park is a great destination, and Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort and Campgrounds make a perfect place to call base camp.