Hiking to Murhut Falls in Olympic National Forest

There are many stunning waterfalls flowing through the lush forests of the Olympic Peninsula, and Murhut Falls is one of the cascades you shouldn’t miss! Though this waterfall is tucked deep in the woods several miles down a dirt road, it is still quite popular for its beauty and fairly easy trail. Here’s everything you need to know about hiking to Murhut Falls!

Lush scenery around Murhut Falls
Lush scenery around Murhut Falls

Getting to the Murhut Falls Trailhead

From US-101, turn west on Duckabush Road (NF-2510). This road soon becomes dirt and was definitely the worst road we drove in the area. We aren’t sure if this road ever gets graded, but when we were there in early April, the potholes were pretty bad. You don’t necessarily need a high-clearance vehicle, but take it slow if you don’t have a vehicle suited for off-road adventures. The extended portion of Duckabush Road may close due to weather conditions in the winter and early spring, so check the National Forest page for updates.

Just after crossing over the Duckabush River, you’ll encounter a fork. Take the upper road (NF-2530) and you’ll come to a couple dirt pullouts on the left. We parked then crossed the road to start the Murhut Falls Trail. From the 101, the trailhead is 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) down the road. The trailhead is marked on Google Maps.


Murhut Falls sits in Olympic National Forest, so a pass is not required to hike here.

Long exposure of falls among the vegetation

Hiking to Murhut Falls

Hike Overview

Hike Type: Easy out-and-back trail

Distance: 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) round trip

Elevation Gain: 250 feet (76 meters)

Hike Duration: 1-2 hours

Regulations: Pets are permitted, but must be leashed. No stock or mountain bikes allowed on the trail. Drones are not permitted.

The Hike

We arrived to the Murhut Falls trailhead midday after adventuring around Staircase Rapids and Lake Cushman. The small parking area was almost full, but we were glad to find a couple open spaces. The dirt trail immediately begins with a steady incline through the forest. Though walking uphill, the trail is short and well-maintained, making it great for families and hikers of all skill levels.

Matt walking through the woods leading to Murhut Falls
A peaceful walk through the woods leading to Murhut Falls

The trail offers a little breather as you descend towards Murhut Falls. Though the waterfall was not visible, the roaring of the waters could be heard through the trees. We soon reached the base of the waterfall. Here, there is a short trail that climbs upward to an overlook across from the waterfall and a lower trail that goes along the river below the falls. There was a large group at the upper overlook, so we wandered around the lower cascade. Watch your footing down here because the rocks are mossy and wet!

When the crowd cleared a bit, we wandered to the upper overlook for a better view of the Murhut Falls. Water plunges over 100 feet through the dense forest, making for a pretty stunning view. From the top, there is a little trail that climbs down the hill to the base of the falls. It’s a little slick and a bit of a scramble, but we thought it was the best view of the falls.

After you’ve taken in the view for a bit, follow the trail back the way you came.

Standing at the base of the stunning Murhut Falls
Standing at the base of the stunning Murhut Falls

What to Bring

Water: A good thing to have on any hike, no matter the distance.

Layers: This area of Washington is frequently rainy, so bring a rain jacket! You also may get slightly wet from mist if standing close to the waterfall. Even in the summer, other layers may be good to bring or wear on those chilly mornings and evenings.

Sturdy Shoes: Heavy-duty hiking boots are not necessary for this trail, but it can be a little muddy when wet and slick on the rocks around the falls, so it’s best to have some solid tread.

Camera: The area around Murhut Falls is beautiful to capture!

The tall waterfall plunging through the thick forest with multiple logs fallen in front of it

Extra Notes on Murhut Falls

Murhut Falls is a popular spot for good reason. We advise arriving early-ish in the morning or later in the afternoon when it is quieter. The small pullouts offer limited parking. If the lot is full, you shouldn’t have to wait long for a spot since the hike is fairly short. There are no restrooms or other facilities at the trailhead.

There are other activities in the area, such as the Duckabush trail or hanging out along the river. Just down the road, there is a rope swing under the Duckabush Road Bridge. This is a great spot to swim in the blue pool on a warm day before or after your hike to Murhut Falls. This isn’t a maintained space, so please do your part to keep it clean for others to enjoy.

The Duckabush rope swing
The Duckabush rope swing

Overall, Murhut Falls is a beautiful spot and a great hiking option for those with kids and those looking for a fairly easy trail with a rewarding view.

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