Marymere Falls

Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

About Marymere Falls


Hiking Distance: 1.6 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 60-90 minutes

Date first visited: 2011-08-21
Date last visited: 2011-08-21

Waterfall Latitude: 48.04985
Waterfall Longitude: -123.78864

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Marymere Falls was a waterfall that we knew had a lot of fanfare prior to our visit.

We suspect that the reason for its notoriety was because it was said to be the tallest waterfall in Olympic National Park.

Olympic_Peninsula_067_08212011 - Marymere Falls
Marymere Falls

We’re not sure if that’s a true claim or not, but the amount of literature devoted to it as well as the number of people we saw on this trail certainly made us think that was the case.

In fact the popularity of this waterfall was apparent to us the moment we pulled into the parking for the Marymere Falls trailhead and found out that it was full.

Luckily, someone pulled out of a spot right in front of us so the parking lacked the anxiety that I had anticipated.

As for the waterfall itself, it was gracefully thin and tall with a main plunge of around 90ft or so.

Olympic_Peninsula_033_08212011 - Partial view of some lower cascades downstream of the main plunge from Marymere Falls
Partial view of some lower cascades downstream of the main plunge from Marymere Falls

There was also an additional lower tier, which was harder to see given the twisting nature of the gorge it was in.

Nonetheless, it was one of the prettier waterfalls we had seen during our time in the Olympic Peninsula.

Hiking to Marymere Falls

Once we started the hike from the parking lot (see directions below), we took a mostly flat 1.6-mile round trip hike that we leisurely did in 90 minutes including photo stops.

The trail initially provided glimpses of Lake Crescent before going under the US101 and re-emerging in a forest full of tall trees.

Some of the trees had a girth that seemed wide enough for that dwarfed-by-a-tree photo op.

Olympic_Peninsula_020_08212011 - Looking out towards Lake Crescent on the way to Marymere Falls
Looking out towards Lake Crescent on the way to Marymere Falls

We also noticed a handful of other trails joining the Marymere Falls Trail including one leading to a lodge as well as another climbing steeply onto the difficult-looking Storm King Trail.

When we reached Barnes Creek, the trail crossed over a modern-looking bridge and then a more rustic narrow log bridge.

Immediately thereafter, the trail climbed steeply as it split into the so-called waterfall loop.

The left branch of the loop hugged the twisting gorge offering glimpses of the lower tier of Marymere Falls before reaching the official lower viewpoint in front of the main tier of the Marymere Falls.

Olympic_Peninsula_025_08212011 - On the Marymere Falls Trail, which was surrounded by towering trees in the temperate rainforest of the Olympic Peninsula
On the Marymere Falls Trail, which was surrounded by towering trees in the temperate rainforest of the Olympic Peninsula

Stairs ascended steeply as the trail switched back a couple of times before joining up with the upper part of the waterfall loop.

That was where the upper viewpoint gave us a more top-down look at the main falls.

Then, the trail completed its loop by descending steeply back towards the start of the loop, where we then picked up the track we came on from the parking lot by Lake Crescent and returned the way we came.

It’s worth noting that final descent required caution as Julie had a small slip given the steepness and slick footing.

She wasn’t alone as apparently someone else we saw on the trail also had a fall and cut her shin.

Authorities

Marymere Falls resides in Olympic National Park. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Olympic_Peninsula_017_08212011 - Looking back towards part of the Storm King Parking Lot towards part of Lake Crescent
Olympic_Peninsula_018_08212011 - The Storm King Visitor Center as we made our way up to Marymere Falls
Olympic_Peninsula_019_08212011 - Sign letting us know about what we were in for regarding the Marymere Falls Nature Trail
Olympic_Peninsula_022_08212011 - Going through a tunnel beneath the US101 en route to Marymere Falls
Olympic_Peninsula_023_08212011 - On the pleasant nature walk surrounded by tall trees on the way up to Marymere Falls
Olympic_Peninsula_027_08212011 - Some trees along the Marymere Falls Nature Trail have a pretty wide girth
Olympic_Peninsula_029_08212011 - Looking up at some moss-covered trees along the way to Marymere Falls
Olympic_Peninsula_031_08212011 - Looking ahead at a footbridge at the bottom of the short loop taking in Marymere Falls
Olympic_Peninsula_033_08212011 - Partial view of some lower tiers of Marymere Falls on the ascent up to its viewpoint
Olympic_Peninsula_034_08212011 - On the waterfall loop getting a glimpse of the lower tier of Marymere Falls in context
Olympic_Peninsula_036_08212011 - Approaching the lower viewpoint of the Marymere Falls
Olympic_Peninsula_038_08212011 - Frontal view of Marymere Falls from above its main lookout area
Olympic_Peninsula_052_08212011 - The Marymere Falls from the lower viewpoint
Olympic_Peninsula_064_08212011 - Context of Julie looking at the Marymere Falls from the main viewpoint
Olympic_Peninsula_072_08212011 - Looking down at Marymere Falls from the upper viewpoint
Olympic_Peninsula_074_08212011 - Julie on the steep and slippery descent after having our fill of Marymere Falls (even though the photo here doesn't do it justice regarding the slip risk)
Olympic_Peninsula_075_08212011 - Traversing the narrow log bridge at the bottom of the short loop for Marymere Falls

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The signed turnoff for the Storm King Visitor Center and parking lot for Marymere Falls is about 22 miles west of Port Angeles along US101 near Lake Crescent (about 12 miles west of the Elwha Valley turnoff).

The turnoff is on the side of the road closest to the lake (to the right as you’re heading west on the 101).

Olympic_Peninsula_016_08212011 - The parking lot by Storm King and the trailhead for Marymere Falls backed by tall mountains
The parking lot by Storm King and the trailhead for Marymere Falls backed by tall mountains

If you’re coming from the west, the turnoff is about 8 miles east of Fairholm on your left.

For context, Port Angeles was 82 miles (or 2.5 hours drive including a ferry ride [so it would take more time than this]) from Seattle. Coming from the other direction, Port Angeles was about 57 miles (over an hour drive) northeast of Forks.

Top down sweep of the falls from the official lower viewpoint


Bottom up sweep of the falls from one of the upper vantage points of the falls loop

Tagged with: olympic, national park, clallam, port angeles, washington, peninsula, waterfall, lake crescent, storm king



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