Marymere Falls – A Short Hike to a Long Drop
Marymere Falls, located in Olympic National Park near Lake Crescent, offers one of the area’s easiest and most popular hikes. Best of all, it’s capped off with one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the Peninsula.
Lake Crescent, at the northern edge of Olympic National Park, is one of the state’s best outdoor recreation destinations. The glacially carved lake’s deep waters are pristine and surrounded by a world of stunning natural beauty. People come from all over to fish, hike, camp, swim, kayak, bird, geocache, and much more.
One of Lake Crescent’s most popular attractions is actually a short hike away from the lake: Marymere Falls.
Getting to the Falls
Marymere Falls is the result of the aptly named Falls Creek plunging over a cliff to the small pool below. The falls’ spectacular 90 foot drop is quite a sight and one that fills the surrounding air with a refreshing mist.
The falls are active and accessible year-round via a short hike on an easy, 1.8 mile loop trail.
To get to the trailhead, simply follow US 101 east from Manitou Lodge towards Storm King Ranger Station at Lake Crescent. The 44 mile drive should take just under and hour. Watch for signs or mile marker 228. You’ll have a hard time missing the turn and large paved parking area for both Crescent Lake and the falls. The lot connects Storm King Ranger Station, restrooms, and a boat launch.
The clearly signed trailhead for Marymere Falls Nature Trail is located approximately 200 yards past Storm King Ranger Station. The well-maintained, level trail leads you through a moss-laden forest of ferns and giant evergreens. You’ll cross both Barnes Creek and Falls Creek as well as a couple of junctions but clear signage will keep you on track.
You cannot miss the falls. The cascade can be seen from some distance as you approach. You’ll also hear the falling waters and smell and feel the mist as you gain proximity. The trail forms a loop at the base of the falls, offering two points of view.
The Lower Platform sits directly opposite the base of the falls and is within easy reach. The Upper Platform is located up the hillside and presents a chance to look down on the falls. Hiking up the vertical switchbacks to the upper platform is the only real workout you’ll get on this hike, and even this section is short and of moderate difficulty at worst.
The hike is an easy hour and a half for most – and with no gear besides good walking shoes. Be sure to bring your camera!
And Home Again
After some time soaking up the beauty that is Marymere Falls, you’ll be wanting to head back to your car. You can go back the same way you came in or you can switch things up a little.
When you reach that first trail junction on your way back, consider taking the trail that follows Barnes Creek downstream. It will show you a different part of the old-growth forest and link you up with the easy Moments in Time Trail. The Moments in Time Trail is a half-mile path running along the shore of Lake Crescent and leads back to Storm King Ranger Station.
Back at your car: are you feeling hungry? Would you like a pleasant respite before driving back to your comfie digs at Manitou Lodge? If the answer is yes, follow Lake Crescent Road not towards 101 but west towards Lake Crescent Lodge.
Here you’ll find a relaxing, lakefront dining room offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner from April 29th to January 2nd. Dinner reservations are recommended. Seasonal menu and hours – 360 928-3211.
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