Monday – August 8, 2016
Olympic National Park
Hoh Rain Forest
Pictures To Be Added Soon
Temperate rain forests grow along the coast and in ocean-facing valleys. Drenched in over 12 feet of rain a year, west-side valleys nurture giant western hemlock, Douglas-fir and Sitka spruce trees. Moss-draped big-leaf maples create a magical scene that obliterates all sense of time. Roosevelt elk often visit the riverbanks at dawn and dusk.
This was our introduction to the Hoh Rainforest, located on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington state. It is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the United States. Within Olympic National Park, the forest is protected from commercial exploitation. This includes 24 miles of low elevation forest 394 to 2,493 feet along the Hoh River. The Hoh River valley was formed thousands of years ago by glaciers.
The dominant species in the rainforest are Sitka spruce and western hemlock; some grow to tremendous size, reaching 312 feet in height and 23 feet in diameter. Coast Douglas-fir, western red cedar, big leaf maple, red alder, vine maple, and black cottonwood are also found throughout this magnificent forest.
Many unique mosses and lichens are also present in the rainforest, such as lettuce lichen, which requires the cool, moist conditions found under the canopy of old-growth forests and is consumed by deer, elk, and other animals.
Many native fauna also make the Hoh Rainforest their home, including the Pacific tree frog, northern spotted owl, bobcat, cougar, raccoon, Olympic black bear, Roosevelt elk, and black-tailed deer.
Near the visitor center is the Hall of Mosses Trail, a short trail, 0.8 miles, which gives visitors a feel for the local ecosystem and views of maples draped with large growths of spikemoss. There is also the Spruce Nature Trail, 1.2 miles, which includes signs that identify various trailside trees and plants.
Tomorrow another adventure begins.
Departed: South Beach Campground
Departure Time: 10:00 A.M.
Arrived: Hoh Rain Forest Campground
Arrival Time: 12:30 P.M.
Campground: Hoh Rain Forest
Type: National Park
Latitude: N 47.85944
Longitude: W 123.93611
Camping Fee: 20.00 (50% discount with Senior Pass)
Campsite Hookups: None
Campground Amenities: Flush Toilets, Water Spigots, Trash Dumpster
Dump Station: Yes - $10.00 fee (50% discount with Senior Pass)
Total Campsites: 81
Cellular Service: Verizon – 3G-2 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – No Service
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service
Total miles traveled today: 43
North on US-101
East on Upper Hoh Road to Campground