Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park - A Temperate Rainforest Full of Lush Scenery and Enchanting Trails

The Hoh Rain Forest lives up to its name throughout the winter season as rain falls frequently throughout the forest. Yearly contributions of rainfall total 140 to 170 inches or 12 to 14 feet of precipitation each year. As a result, the forest boasts a lush and green canopy ofboth coniferous and deciduous species. Blanketing the ground and surface areas are mosses and ferns that add another dimension to the enchantment of the rainforest.

The rain forest can be found along the stretch of the Pacific Northwest that once spanned the Pacificcoastfrom southeastern Alaska to the central coast of California. The Hoh is one of the finest remaining examples of temperate rainforest in the United States and is one of the park's most popular destinations. Crowds can accumulate but there is enough room within the forest that you are not likely to bump into your neighbor often.

Hoh lies along the west side of the Olympic National Park and is about a two-hour drivefrom Port Angeles, Washington. TheHoh Rain Forest is accessed by the Upper Hoh Road, off of Highway 101. Easy access to the forest is available.

The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is located at the end ofthe Upper Hoh Road and is the perfect place to initiate your rainforestjourney. The knowledgeable staff provides ideas for your visit and awide array of exhibits will help explain what makes the area so special.The center is open dailyduring the summer, andgenerally Friday through Sunday during theremainder of the year. Center hours may vary depending on the season.

There are two short trails that loop the forest near the Visitor Center. These trails are known as the Hall of Mosses which spans .8 miles and the Spruce Nature Trail which extends 1.2 miles. The major hiking trail in the area is called Hoh River trail which leads 17.3 miles to Glacier Meadows along Mount Olympus. Several coastal areas within the Olympic Park are located nearby and further hiking is available.

There is a campground within the rain forest that is open year round with approximately 88 campsites situated in the old growth along the river. Campsites include fire pits with grates, picnic tables, accessible restrooms, water sources, animal-proof food lockers, and an RV dump station. There are also various places to stay outside the park boundary, as well as in the town of Forks - just an hour drive via car. Further informationabout lodging can be found through the Forks Chamber ofCommerce website.

Pets are not allowed on the trails and must be on a leash at all times. Safety precautions have been established for the preservation of the area and the security of the park's guests. Visitors are strongly discouraged from approaching elk or any other wildlife. Swimming and boating on the Hoh River can be extremely dangerous and is not recommended.

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