Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Review – Summer 2012

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Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Overview

Is the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort really a resort lodge? Well, if you have been on a wilderness trail for the past 10 days, well, yes, this is a resort lodge. If you just drove in with your luxury SUV, well, you will describe it as quaint and rustic. But, since there is nothing like it for miles, it becomes a resort. Share your comments on the Olympic National Park Facebook page.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Note that since the resort sits inside the Olympic National Park you will have to pay for national park admission. For most people the 7 day pass is the most cost effective option.

I feel compelled to mention this to you since you are reading this online…There is no TV, no cell service, no wifi, no internet, but there is a stack of the Seattle Times by the front desk. Even though it is so 80’s, but the Times is the only link to the real world.

Many units have kitchens and allow pets. There are no laundry facilities.

You can use the resort as the hub for local activities such as hiking Sol Duc Valley and visiting the famous Sol Duc falls.

Friendly staff as all the staff lives on campus during the tourist season. When the season ends, they just leave and go and find their next job.

10+ Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Tips – Thoughts

Unwired: I know, I know… this first tip defeats the entire reason for going, but you may want to download an iTunes movie or bring DVD for the laptop, as there is no cell phone service, no wireless, no internet, no TV…

Children Of A Lessor Resort God: For the day trippers, unlike the resort guests, they have to bring, or buy, their own towels.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Pool

Save A Buck: Reduce admission rate after 7pm for campers from the campgrounds next door.

Check-In Early: Check-in is at 4pm, but if you arrive before your cabin is ready, you still can “wait” in the hot springs until your room is ready.

Pack It In: The nearest real grocery or shopping is at least 30 miles away (although there is a very small “grocery” in the lobby of the resort). You check list should include things like wine openers, favorite snacks, cold cuts, your favorite beverages, snacks and definitely stuff for kids.

Cheap Boyfriend Detector: Since the pools have sulphur don’t wear silver jewelry unless you want to prove that the “white gold” necklace that your cheap boyfriend of yours gave you isn’t really white gold. Silver jewelry will turn black almost immediately.

The Drive In: Rarely is driving to a destination, but in this case, especially if you drive from Port Angeles, the drive is MAGNIFICENT. The winding roads along Crescent Lake will make you think you are in Switzerland and then, even if the thought has never crossed your mind, you will say to yourself, “This would be a great motorcycle ride.”

Free Towels: Remember that old adage, you get what you pay for. The “free” towels for resort guests are closer to hand towels than bath towels in size.

Critters: This isn’t really a con, but you need to be aware that bears live nearby as well as raccoons. I am no scatolgist but I saw lots of deer droppings.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Bear Warnings

Bugs: There is a river adjacent to the spa and there are mosquitoes.

Sol Duc Falls: Visit the beautiful waterfall just a short hike away.

English: Sol Duc Falls, a waterfall in Olympic...

Sol Duc Falls, a waterfall in Olympic National Park.  

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Check-In

The resort lodge has no spacious waiting room or places to sit. There just is the front desk which triples for check-in, register for the general store (wine, beer, chips, cans of soup, mustard, toothpaste, soap) and also serves to watch over the unattended gift shop across from the register with maps t-shirts and books.

Check-in is at 4pm (check-out is 11 am). We arrived early because you can use the hot springs until your cabin is ready. By the time 4pm rolled around our cabin still wasn’t ready, so the front desk comped us a free breakfast.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Cabins

When you arrive and look at the cabins, they look like the architect took 20 rocks and dropped them on the site layout and said, “This is where the cabins go.” The cabins are reasonably spaced and somewhat private.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Cabins

Even though we saw the four twenty-something males in the adjacent cabin each carrying a six-pack of beer,we heard nothing all night.

  • 21 Non-Kitchen Sol Duc cabin rentals, each accommodates a maximum of 5 guests
  • Six duplex-style Sol Duc cabin rentals with kitchens, each accommodates a maximum of 5 guest
  • One 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher and microwave, 3 living rooms and dining area with a deck on 3 sides, accommodating up to 10 people.

The beds reasonably new and comfortable, although my wife didn’t think so.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort – Sulphur Hot Springs

The hours are 9am to 9pm. Pricing is in the picture below as of 2012.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Pricing

There are some paid lockers for your clothes but most just use the free hooks on the wall.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Pools

So what do sulphur hot springs smell like? If you have met my wife, imagine she cooked you her famous green chile burrito and then had 3 shots of tequila, and it is about three hours later – you get the idea. You get used to it though…

There are four pools: A swimming pool that is about 80 degrees and deep enough at one end to swim laps, with the shallow end for kids. Most visitors use this as the “cold pool.” There is a small circular warm pool, maybe 90 degrees for kids that is knee deep. There is a large hot springs pool that was 102 degrees. Finally, there is a smaller, hotter pool, at 107 degrees.

When we there in the hottest pool it rained (surprise – it is in the middle of a temperate rain forest) and since the air temperature was 63 degrees and the hot springs 107 degrees, the raindrops felt like tens of faux acupuncture needles bouncing off your skin.

Just who goes to the hot springs? There is quite a diversity from German speaking guys in Speedos, to elderly regulars with sensible sunglasses and wide brimmed hats to day hikers just off the trail with dirt encrusted feet who forgot to see the rinse-off sign to young females with discretely placed tattoos wearing bathing suits just revealing enough to provide the equivalent of a movie trailer preview to families of Asian descent where hot springs are a way of life.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort – Good For What Ails Ya’?

Some say because heated water can dissolved solids, and hot springs also often have a very high mineral content, containing everything from simple calcium to lithium to sulphur, that these waters can help heal whatever ails you. Whether it does or doesn’t you always feel rested and relaxed after a session in the hot springs.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Dining & Food

The resort serves breakfast and dinner with rustic seating overlooking the hot springs pools. Lunch is available via a spa-side grill.

Breakfast: Eggs, oatmeal, breakfast burrito, yogurt and similar fare. Good food.

Lunch: The spa-side grill has burgers, turkey sandwiches, fish chips and the like for pricing mostly in the $6 to $10 range.

Dinner: Nothing overly fancy from burgers to salmon to sashimi to fish chips to steak, mostly priced $8-$25. Almost everyone we talked to said the food was way better than they expected.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Historical

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