HIKE DESCRIPTION: Murhut Falls is a short hike with a big reward.
The trail cuts through a lush green section of Olympic National Forest. In late winter and spring, the sounds of water will keep you company for almost every step.
Water runs along the trail. Small waterfalls and ponds sit just off the route. And, it doesn’t take long until the thunderous noise of Murhut Falls can be heard through the trees. A short descent into the ravine includes views of the lower falls before the trail ends at a bench with a view of the two-tier falls.
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The largest tier of the falls plunges 130 feet. The upper falls is tucked back into the ravine. They are easily viewed from the trail, but there are obvious signs of visitors leaving the trail to get a closer (or different) look. Visitors are reminded to stay on the trail to avoid causing damage or falling on the uneven and sometimes slippery ground.
The trail is well-maintained and climbs gradually, making it an easy, awe-inspiring walk for most children.
DIRECTIONS: Take U.S. Highway 101 north from Shelton or south from Quilcene. Near Milepost 301, follow the signs to the Duckabush Recreation Area by turning northwest on Duckabush Road and drive for 6.3 miles. The paved section ends as the road enters Olympic National Forest, leaving you to dodge potholes for several miles. After crossing the Duckabush River bridge, turn right at the junction and drive for another 1.5 miles. A sign points the way to the falls, but slightly underestimates the mileage.
DIFFICULTY RATING: 1 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest).
MILES ROUND TRIP: 1.9.
ELEVATION GAIN: 350 feet.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year-round.
MAP: Green Trails 168: The Brothers.
PASS: Northwest Forest Pass.
ALSO: Pets are permitted, but must be on leashes. Trail users are required to pack out all trash. An earthcache is located near Murhut Falls and other geocaches are located along the trail and in the area. For more information, visit geocaching.com. Camping is available at several locations along Hood Canal. The closest campground is Collins Campground. It is scheduled to open for the season on May 20. Fees are $14 per night at this first come, first served campground.