Canyon Creek Shelter
Soleduck Falls shelter is located approximately one mile east of the termination of the Sol Duc River road. It was evaluated in 1998 and 2006.
The design of the Soleduck Falls Shelter was a radical departure in style from the earlier Forest Service and National Park Shelters. It is "T" shaped in plan, with a rectangular main body (twelve feet by twenty-five feet) and a projecting cross gable covering a fire ring. The central opening into the shelter is only one third the length, creating small side alcoves at each end of the structure. The design appears though to have drawn on a small feature often associated with earlier shelters. The earlier shelter design did not formalize the location of a fire ring immediately in front of the shelter opening, but it is implied by NPS descriptions of shelters, "...the front is open to the friendly warmth and light of the campfire." 1 What NPS did was adopt this motif of a campfire at the open front of the shelter, but protecting it with gable roof incorporating a sheet metal hood for the climate conditions of the Olympics.
Stylistically, the new shelter design had nothing in common with earlier shelters. The walls were
solid log, peeled and drawn to a near perfect uniformity. Log extensions at the corners alternated
in short and long lengths, each with a chisel end face. The foundation was concrete. It utilized a
standard gable roof with extended plate logs and ridgepole to support an exterior log rafter. The
gable end walls were notched vertical half logs with lancet ends.
This structure, while conceptually following the premise of the National Park Service Rustic Style of using native materials, was featureless in character. Everything was smooth, uniform, precise, and measured. It was not well received by the public.
On August 29, 1938, less than three months after the creation of Olympic National Park, Assistant Landscape Architect Max Walliser arrived for duty as Resident Architect. 2 By December of 1938, the Landscape Architect had completed preliminary sketches for three different types of shelters and the Superintendent has selected sites for additional shelters. 3 Both the resident Engineer and the Landscape Architect visited the selected locations for the shelters to select siting and orientation. By July 1939, the Soleduck Shelter, constructed by the CCC, was 90 per cent complete. 4
Little information shows up in NPS files on the maintenance of the shelter until the 1970's, when the shelter is listed by type as "P.S. Massive." It is noted as having twelve (12) bunks, the largest of any shelter before or after. Three years later, in 1974, a shelter inventory judges the shelter to be in poor condition and by 1980 maintenance records indicate "Renovation to be done." Maintenance repairs must have been undertaken sometime in the 1980's. The Cultural Resource Inventory Form for the shelter notes that new bunks were installed in 1981-82. The 1998 assessment it found to be in good condition. On site, one can see where crown ends of wall logs have had new ends replaced using epoxy connections. This work is assumed to be associated with the repairs from a tree fall in 2002. By 2005 some serious areas of deterioration had developed.
Bearing on a concrete foundation, the wall logs vary from 9" to 12". They extend beyond the saddle
notch corners with chisel face crown ends. A 12" ridge log supports 8" rafter poles with 2" x 6"
rough sawn shake nailers. The front gable extension is supported on two 12" diameter log columns.
Good, Albert H., Park and Recreation Structures, Part II, page 96.
2 Report from Preston P. Macy, Asst. Chief Ranger, to O. A. Tomlinson, Supt. Mount Rainer National Park, 2 Sept. 1938, Superintendent's Monthly Reports, on file archives ONP.
3 Memo from Acting Supt. To Supt. Tomlinson, 2 Dec. 1938; on file archives ONP.
4 Memo from Acting Supt. To Supt. Tomlinson, 9 Aug. 1939; on file archives ONP.