Immerse yourself in the lush, primordial environment of this carefully preserved temperate rain forest with its extraordinary range of plant and animal life.
Wander through Hoh Rain Forest and discover the serene atmosphere and bountiful greenery hidden within. Before setting off, stop at the visitor center and gather extra information about this complex ecosystem. Browse the displays and learn more about this rare type of forest. The center is open daily in summer and from Friday through Sunday during the rest of the year.
The cool and misty Hoh Rain Forest is home to an incredible variety of trees. Maple and alder are common, but it’s the tall evergreens that dominate the landscape. Look skyward at Sitka spruces, Western hemlocks and Douglas firs. These giant trees stand as tall as 300 feet (90 meters), with some trunks measuring more than 20 feet (6 meters) in diameter.
Hike along one of the well-marked trails beneath towering giants that are hundreds of years old. There are several hiking trails, which range in difficulty. The short Hall of Mosses Trail and the 1.2-mile (1.9-kilometer) Spruce Nature Trail are relatively easy, while the South Snider-Jackson Trail offers a more challenging route at 11.8 miles (19 kilometers). As you make your way along one of the trails, pause to observe the various mosses that hang from branches and the lichens that cling to trunks. Look closely at rotting logs on the forest floor. New roots grow and take shape around these decaying fallen trees, which are known as nurse logs because they nurture continuing growth.
The forest is alive with animal and bird species. You might encounter roaming herds of Roosevelt elk or black-tailed deer. More dangerous creatures, including black bear and cougars, also call this area home. Bring binoculars if you want to go bird-watching. Look for gray jays, pileated woodpeckers and the endangered spotted owl hiding among high branches.
Come to the Hoh Rain Forest prepared for rain. Precipitation here averages about 150 inches (380 centimeters) every year. In fact, it is this prevalent moisture that nurtures and feeds the lush plant life.
Hoh Rain Forest is located about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Forks.