Trip Report: Olympic National Park : Hoh Rainforest

I do not pretend to be an expert on the nearly one million acres that make up Olympic National Park, and encompass the wettest area in the lower 48. Here is a brief recap of my 6 day journey. Day 1 follows here; I'll add links to rest of the posts as I go.

Part 2: Sea Stacks
Part 3: Hurricane Ridge

Hoh Rainforest

If you happen to be in the Seattle area, it is worth the approximately 3 hour drive west to see the Hoh rainforest. The Hoh on average receives 12-14 feet of rain per year, and is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the United States. It is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hoh River Trail
Hoh River
There are two main trails in the Hoh area, as well as a visitor center. You can take the shorter Hall of Mosses loop, or take a stroll of variable length down the Hoh River Trail. The Hoh river trail is an out and back trail which is part of a backpacking route up to Blue Glacier. About 3 miles into the trail is a waterfall. A little further past this is the "one square inch of silence," the quietest place in the US.

When you enter the rainforest, you are greeted by exuberant ferns, rich moss-covered trees, and very little bare space anywhere. The color green takes on new depths and meanings. You can feel the ferocious will to grow echoing up through your boots as you step across the loamy soil. When light strikes through the trees, the forest appears alive, electric; as the clouds scatter the sun, you will be shrouded again in the shadows of the giant trees. Here, we are visitors.

You may also see Elk on this trail (please abide by park signage and common sense and do not attempt to feed/touch/approach wildlife).

The trail runs alongside the Hoh River, and you are able to detour and walk by the river itself (a pretty good spot for lunch).

Trail Overview:
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Best time of year: July - September is the dry season in the Olympic peninsula
Fees: Park entry fee, $25 good for 7 days
What to bring: Water, rain gear

Carry on, lovely hikers! Make sure to subscribe here and also follow me on instagram @rhandthebeast to see the rest of the photos!


Popular Posts