Just 2.5 hours from Downtown Seattle, a gorgeous, often overlooked waterfall sits above the Duckabush River on the Olympic Peninsula. Murhut Falls is beautiful and a typical Olympic Peninsula waterfall. Surrounded by ferns, towering Douglas fir trees and moss covered rocks, this downfall-riddled waterfall is the epitome of beauty. With two tiers, each equally spectacular, Murhut Falls is a fantastic place to sit and watch the power of nature.
The trail to Murhut Falls is pretty basic, with a short trail that is just under a mile. It is dog-friendly, kid-friendly and is well used. There is some elevation gain, but I have seen hikers from the age of 2 all the way to 95 years old on the trail, so you can do it no problem. Bring water, snacks and a camera, as this is a fun trek for all. The trail is simple to follow, steadily climbing the first half, then dropping in elevation for the last bit after a nice long straight stretch. While walking the trail, keep an eye out for salamanders, squirrels, deer and the occasional owl.
For those more adventurous, small trail leads straight down 60 feet of scree to the bottom of the lower falls. From here, one can (and should) cross the stream and climb up the root system to the right of the lower falls. This will give you access to the upper falls. Be extremely careful if you decide to go to the upper falls, as the spray has made the rocks extremely slick. In the cold days of winter, this could be all ice. Please take your time and trust your footing in this section. Soon, you will be next to the upper falls, which is an excellent place to take pictures. When the upper falls is at a lower level of runoff, you will have the possibility to get behind the falls.
While the main waterfall, which pounds town two tiers that total 170 feet, is a great attraction, what makes this a must see destination are the lower falls below the main one. While no real trail leads to the lower sections of the creek, a scramble down to the creek has been done often enough by hikers to give you a pretty good route to the creek. You will need to use your hands and be able to trust your footing, but the trek down is well worth the effort. With small cascades, picturesque mini-falls and numerous logs to walk across for fantastic pictures, this destination is perfect year-round.
To make this an even better trip, stop and enjoy the area around Collins Campground. With fantastic views of the Duckabush River, as well as picnic tables and seasonally open restrooms, this is a must see area too. Get out stretch your legs and experience the largely forgotten about Duckabush River. (Depending on the season, the Campground may be closed, but park at the East Gate and walk in for great views!)
Check out the pictures below and go hike here as soon as you can!
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Please pack out everything you have packed in. This includes all food (including biodegradable items), human waste and trash. This is nature and should be left natural. I only mention this because on my last trip I found an entire garbage sack full of trash and orange peels left by careless visitors. I cleaned it up, but those responsible should be ashamed.
All this can be seen with less than 2 miles of walking.
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