The Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park

Photo by Doug Dolde

The Hoh Rainforest is a lush temperate rainforest on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Each year, the forest gets from 140 to 170 inches, or approximately 12 to 14 feet, of rainfall. The area is home to a variety of coniferous and deciduous trees, as well as an abundance of mosses and ferns. Even fallen trees play an important part in the ecosystem as nurse logs that foster new plant life. The river that runs through the rainforest is a breathtaking steel blue, a result of the glacial silt that originates high in the Olympic Mountains.

The campground in the old-growth forest is open year-round with 88 camp sites, giving visitors the opportunity to sleep under the stars, or the rain, regardless of when they visit. Picnic tables are located near the visitor center, making dining easy for campers and people just spending the day.

Visitors can spend the day exploring the park’s trails. For those who are looking for shorter hikes, the Hall of Mosses and the Spruce Nature Trail are two loops that are each less than two miles, and there is a wheelchair-accessible trail that is 0.1 mile. For more experienced hikers, the Hoh River Trail is a 17.3-mile trek and climbs 3,700 feet to Glacier Meadows on the other side of Mount Olympus. Whichever trail you take, keep an eye out for herds of magnificent Roosevelt elk.

For more information, visit nps. gov/olym. To find out more about visiting the Olympic Peninsula, go to olympicpeninsula.org.