Trails at Hoh Rain Forest - Exploring My Life

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Trails at Hoh Rain Forest

Trails at Hoh Rain Forest Washington

The Hoh Rain Forest gets as much as 14 feet of rain a year. The prevalent fog and mist contribute the equivalent of another 30 inches of rain, resulting in one of the world's lushest rain forests, hence its designation as one of the wonders of Washington State. The western slopes of the Olympic Mountains are the first area to get hit with the moisture-laden wind and rain storms that come in from the Pacific Ocean.

Hanging moss and ferns in Hoh
Hall of Mosses Trail in Hoh
Hoh Trails
Trails at Hoh Rain Forest
Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock in Hoh

The Hoh Rain Forest offers two short loop trails as well as an out-and-back trail through the forest near the Hoh Visitor Center. 

The Hall of Mosses Trail (.8 miles/ 1.2 km) is an iconic loop that takes you through old growth forest and features a grove of maples trees draped with abundant club moss.

The Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 miles/ 1.9 km) is a diverse trail that loops through both old and new growth forest as you walk alongside Taft Creek and the Hoh River.

The most common types of trees that grow in the Hoh Rain Forest are Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock (Washington's official state tree), which can reach over 300 feet high and seven feet in diameter. Most of them are covered with huge clumps of hanging moss and ferns. Moss is an epiphyte, which is a plant that grows on another plant without harming it (as opposed to a parasite). Epiphytes get their moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, fog, and debris that accumulates around them.

The Hoh River trail is the area's main hiking trail. This out-and-back trail can be taken as far as one desires. Taken all the way, it leads past multiple camping areas, the last being Glacier Meadows at 17.3 miles (27.8 km), and ultimately ends 18.5 miles/ 30 km out at the Blue Glacier moraine looking up at Mt. Olympus. 

Sitka Spruce Hoh Rain Forest
The Hall of Mosses Trail

The Hoh Lake trail branches off from the Hoh River trail just after the ranger station and ascends to Bogachiel Peak between the Hoh and the Sol Duc Valley. For those wanting to explore this area as a day hike, there are additional popular turn-around points along the trail.

·         First River access (0.9 miles)

·         Mineral Creek Falls (2.7 miles)

·         Cedar Grove (4.0 miles)

·         5 mile Island (5.0 miles)

Western Hemlock Hoh Rain Forest
Hoh Rain Forest Near Seattle

How to Reach Hoh Rainforest: The Hoh lies on the west side of Olympic National Park, about a two-hour drive from Port Angeles and under an hour from Forks. The Hoh Rain Forest is accessed by the Upper Hoh Road, off of Highway 101 (directions).

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