|Scenery:||(4.0 / 5)|
|Difficulty:||(1.5 / 5)|
A short hike through majestic temperate rain forest leads to sublime views of 119-foot Marymere Falls, where Falls Creek cuts through a high cliff notch and horsetails down for the upper half of its drop before fanning out into a mossy green amphitheater below. While you won’t likely be alone—Marymere Falls is one of the top attractions within Olympic National Park—it’s well worth a stop and the short hike to get there.
Starting out from the trailhead at Storm King Ranger Station, the trail meanders down to the shoreline of Crescent Lake—a nice place to indulge in a cool dip on a hot day—before crossing through a round metal culvert foot tunnel under US 101. After walking through the tunnel, stay right toward Marymere Falls at a signed junction (GPS: N48 03.144’ / W123 47.322′) with the Barnes Creek Trail. Cross one then another footbridge over Barnes Creek, keeping an eye out for some of grandest old-growth western red cedar trees on the planet. Then start ascending on well-maintained rough-hewn stair steps up to a ridge. Look for views (and listen for the sounds of rushing water) off to the left of the lower and section of Marymere Falls. Keep zig-zagging up via a series of three switchbacks. Then head left at the signed “Falls Loop” junction.
Within 100 feet, check out the lower viewpoint of the Marymere Falls, then continue up another series of stair steps that dead-ends at a fenced overlook that yields views of the middle and upper sections of Marymere Falls. After snapping a few pics, turn around and follow the other way down in the “Falls Loop,” which starts out as a steep trail and eventually turns into more stair steps before rejoining the main lower section of the trail that leads back to the trailhead and parking lot.
From US 101 about 20 miles west of Port Angeles, turn north onto Lake Crescent Road, and take the first right (east), following signs to the parking area at the Storm King Ranger Station. Park and walk toward the quaint old ranger station building’s front porch to access the marked trailhead.
For more info, contact: Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, WA; (360) 565-3130.