A temperate rainforest in the United States, Hoh Rainforest is located in the state of Washington. This rainforest receives various visitors every year and includes several sights, flora, fauna, and activities that you can be a part of.
To learn more about the specificities of where the Hoh Rainforest is situated along with what it includes within it, you can go through the following sections. This can help you know what to expect if you ever wish to visit it.
Visiting Hoh Rainforest
The Hoh Rainforest is located within the Olympic National Park in the state of Washington. In particular, it lies along the Olympic Peninsula in the state and belongs to the Pacific Northwest rainforest that once used to cover a large stretch of land.
Although this rainforest is situated within the Olympic National Park, it technically lies slightly toward its western region. It is closest to the town of Forks in Washington, lying about an hour or so from it. It is also a couple of hours from Port Angeles.
You can travel to this rainforest by car, ferry or by taking the train. The Upper Hoh Road and Highway 101 are some of the easiest and most accessible ways in which you can make your way to this rainforest.
Of course, depending on where you are traveling from, accessing the location might be a bit different based on the route you will need to take. Since the rainforest is also close to the Greater Puget Sound region, you can access various modes of transport nearby.
Even within the rainforest, there are numerous locations that are worth visiting. Moreover, the Pacific Ocean is also quite close to the rainforest, situated almost right next to it. This way, you can also access the forest from the ocean and vice versa.
Olympic National Park Visitor Center
3002 Mount Angeles Road
Port Angeles , WA 98362
The Hoh Rainforest is one of the largest and few remaining protected rainforests in the country or even the entire hemisphere. It contains several elements that add to the beauty of the forest that you can take a look at. A large part of the forest is also inaccessible due to conservation efforts.
Managed by the National Park Service, the Hoh Rainforest has numerous notable features that are worth knowing about. You can go through some of these details below for a better idea.
There are several conservation efforts in place in this rainforest, especially due to the large-scale logging that has destroyed a major part of it already. As a result of this, commercial logging and exploitation are no longer permitted inside the rainforest.
Since it is also one of the few remaining temperate rainforests in the country that also covers a large area, this rainforest has also been given the recognition of serving as a biosphere reserve and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It holds this distinction as part of its inclusion within the Olympic National Park.
This also helps protect the flora and fauna within the forest without the risk of much damage to the habitat by external and manmade forces.
Geographically, there are numerous features and landscapes that constitute this rainforest. The forest itself spans 24 miles of 39 km and forms a vast region of a low elevation rainforest. Since it rains almost throughout the winter as well as some other months of the year, the forests are all dense, verdant, and thriving.
Another important geographical feature of this rainforest is the Hoh River which was formed in the first place due to glacial actions. This river originates from the Hoh Glacier on Mount Olympus and courses through the forest before merging into the Pacific Ocean.
Mount Olympus in the Olympic National Park is another unique feature that you can access from the Hoh Rainforest.
The ecosystem of the Hoh Rainforest includes diverse flora and fauna, most of which continue to coexist well due to the efforts of conservation taking place here. With the frequent and consistent rainfall, cool temperatures across the year along with undergrowth, forests and canopies, the following kinds of flora and fauna are found here.
- Flora: Sitka spruce, red cedar, bigleaf maple, western hemlock, Coast Douglas-fir, black cottonwood, red alder, vine maple, lettuce lichen, ferns, and mosses are some kinds of flora found here. Many of these also serve as essential food and nutrition to the animals and birds living here.
- Fauna: Roosevelt elk, river otters, cougars, raccoons, bobcats, spotted owls, black bears, American robins, barred owls, coyotes, various species of slugs, black-tailed deer, red foxes, opossums, and Canada jays are some animals and birds that you can find here. Many other creatures also possibly thrive here.
There are various sights and structures within the Hoh Rainforest that can add to the experience of the region. Some attractions that are located here and that are popular places for visitors include:
- Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center
- Hall of Mosses trail
- Mile Island hike
- Spruce Nature trail
- Hoh River trail
- Glacier Meadows
- Sol Duc Valley
- 72 campsites
- Picnic areas
Each of these can allow you to explore the region leisurely and can give you access to different parts of the rainforest. The visitor center also tends to host several events like exhibits, shopping markets, educational sessions, and more.
You can also take some guided tours that can take you through the forest while also providing some vital information about it.
Apart from the hiking trails spanning the forest, there are numerous other recreation options here, such as camping, backpacking, boating in the river, visiting the hot springs, zip-lining, and more. Many of these are also a part of the Olympic National Park, whose proximity can add to the experience.
Hoh Rainforest is a part of the Olympic National Park lying along the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington. It is close to the town of Forks and is accessible by various means and routes. It is a protected rainforest with various kinds of flora and fauna that add to the thriving ecosystem here.