Hoh Rain Forest
Hoh Rain Forest
Olympic National Park
Hall of Mosses
On a recent outing to Rialto Beach we made a side trip to a place I have been before and have never forgotten. I went on a long hike on the Hoh River Trail when I was younger and always wanted to go back. The opportunity arose when we were only about 20 miles away in Forks, so we decided to go on the Hall of Mosses hike. It’s only .75 of a mile, very short and no elevation gain. You get a taste of what the rain forest is in a shorter time, but you still have a chance to marvel at the mystical beauty that is draped all around. The moss on the trees cascade from tree to tree, and there is a creek that keeps you staring until you have to move along so that the people behind you can have their turn gaze. The creek is flowing with green plant matter and following the current of the creek. Purely captivating.
In the parking lot of the visitor center we saw many hikers either on their way in or coming out after what looked like many days spent in the rain forest. I remember that feeling of coming out to the car after four days of hiking in a place that feels like another world. I remember feeling quite hungry, disappointed that we had to return back to society, yet looking forward to a shower. I could only imagine what was going through those hikers minds as they pulled off their mud covered boots, and peeled off their wool socks to reveal the blisters that I am sure were there. It doesn’t sound like much, but trust me it is amazing what you take with you after a long hike into a place not many people are able to experience. Again I made a mental note that I would definitely put the Hoh River Trail on my list of hikes for next summer.
(Even the phone booth had rain forest characteristics.)
The Hoh Rain forest is located in the Olympic National Forest which is in the Northwest part of the Olympic Peninsula. It’s a temperate rainforest which means it has a mild coastal climate, usual heavy summer fog and lots of rain. It has an average rainfall of about 12-14 feet of rain annually. The trees of the rain forest can be up to 500 years old and are made up of the Sitka Spruce, the Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Big Leaf Maple, and the Black Cottonwood to name a few.
As we walked on the widely popular Hall of Mosses trail, I was excited that I was able to share this magical place with my daughter. I was also regretting that my other children had missed this but I reminded myself that next summer we would definitely be returning with the whole family.
It seemed as though everyone on the trail had a camera and quite a few had tripods as well. Of course it would be my luck that my camera batteries would die a few minutes into the walk after using it all day at Rialto beach. I usually carry extra batteries but this time of course I didn’t have any. My daughter had brought a camera as well so we were able to get a few good shots.
When we finished our amazing little hike we noticed that dusk was setting in, so we took one last deep breath and took a long look around to preserve it until next time.
As we drove through the Hoh Rain Forest on our way back to highway 101, the Hoh River was following along on our left. There are a few points along the road where you can get out and watch the river meander by through the gravel bars. The fog was just resting on the mountain tops getting ready to roll in, and the whole scene was very relaxing.
We were treated to a special added bonus to our day. A deer was grazing by the side of the river and I was able to get pretty close. Of course the picture isn’t too great, but the memory of it is. A great way to end our day in the Hoh Rain Forest.