Salmon Cascades

Olympic National Park / Port Angeles / Forks, Washington, USA

About Salmon Cascades

Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Date first visited: 2021-06-22
Date last visited: 2021-06-22

Waterfall Latitude: 48.02291
Waterfall Longitude: -123.9246

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Salmon Cascades is a short almost-roadside stop along the scenic Sol Duc Hot Springs Road.

As much as I was tempted to drive to our next destination, it was almost as if this well-signed nature trail wanted to keep us in Olympic National Park a little while longer.

Salmon_Cascade_007_06222021 - The Salmon Cascades
The Salmon Cascades

Anyways, the Salmon Cascades appeared to be a short 15-20ft waterfall where it was possible to see steelhead trout and Coho salmon attempt to jump their way past this obstacle to continue their exhausting, altruistic spawning run further upriver.

On my late June 2021 visit, I wasn’t fortunate enough to see this happen.

Apparently, I should have timed my visit for September and October for the Coho salmon or late March through May for the steelhead trout.

As for experiencing the Salmon Cascades, it was just a short jaunt from the parking lot (see directions below) to the signed lookout, which yielded a profile view of the waterfall.

Salmon_Cascade_004_iPhone_06222021 - More direct look at the Salmon Cascades from further downstream
More direct look at the Salmon Cascades from further downstream

I noticed that there was an informal (perhaps unsanctioned) trail-of-use that followed the Sol Duc River a little further downstream, which led to an area where I was able to get a more direct look at the waterfall.

I pretty much spent less than 15 minutes here, but I’d imagine if the steelheads or Coho salmon were present, then one can easily stick around for much longer to watch the spectacle.


The Salmon Cascades reside in Olympic National Park between Forks and Port Angeles in Clallam County, Washington. It is administered by the National Park Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Salmon_Cascade_002_06222021 - Approaching the signed lookout for the Salmon Cascades, which was merely a short jaunt from the parking lot
Salmon_Cascade_009_06222021 - Looking back at some tall trees around the lookout for the Salmon Cascades
Salmon_Cascade_010_06222021 - Looking downstream at the clear waters of the Sol Duc River as it rushed downstream from the Salmon Cascades
Salmon_Cascade_012_06222021 - Broad upstream look at the Salmon Cascades from an unsanctioned viewing spot further downstream of its sanctioned lookout
Salmon_Cascade_015_06222021 - Looking up towards the top of the tall tree that was next to the signed lookout for the Salmon Cascades
Salmon_Cascade_001_iPhone_06222021 - Looking across one of the tiers comprising the Salmon Creek Cascades
Salmon_Cascade_006_iPhone_06222021 - This was a slightly downstream view of the Salmon Cascades from a short jaunt away from its official signed lookout

The parking area for the Salmon Cascades is on the same road that leads to Sol Duc Falls.

It is about 7 miles on the Sol Duc Hot Springs Road from the US101 turnoff, or about 6.6 miles before the end of the road at the trailhead for Sol Duc Falls.

Salmon_Cascade_017_06222021 - The well-signed parking lot for the Salmon Cascades
The well-signed parking lot for the Salmon Cascades

There is an entrance fee station along Sol Duc Hot Springs Road.

The turnoff for Sol Duc Hot Springs Road is about a little over 8 miles west of the Storm King Visitor Center turnoff along the US101.

It was pretty much just west of where Lake Crescent ended.

It’s also about 28 miles west of Port Angeles or 28 miles east of Forks along the same highway.

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

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Left to right sweep of the entirety of the cascade before sweeping back the other way for a more zoomed in look

Slow right to left sweep from further downstream of the cascades

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Tagged with: olympic national park, salmon, port angeles, forks, sol duc valley, clallam county

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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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