Ben There, Done That: Hoh Rainforest

The latest edition of Ben There, Done That is the Hoh Rainforest, suggested by Beverly Richardson.

The latest edition of Ben There, Done That is the Hoh Rainforest, suggested by Beverly Richardson.

The Hoh Rainforest is located in the western part of Olympic National Park, one of the wettest places in the country.

While most hikes in Washington are the best on a clear, sunny day, that's not the case at the Hoh Rainforest. It seems strange being here when the sun is out, but it’s called a rainforest for a reason. This part of the state measures on average 12 to 14 feet of rain per year. It’s because of this rainfall that the western slopes of the Olympics are as lush and green as we know them.

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The Hoh Rainforest is the starting point for those hiking to the Blue Glacier and Mount Olympus. However, it's not a day hike. From the visitor center, it's an 18-mile trek up the Hoh River before you reach the first glimpse of the glacier.

The Hoh Rainforest is home to gigantic trees such as the Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock. These can grow to over 300 feet high. And speaking of large, you might even spot one of the local slugs (I’ve been told these can grow up to 10 inches long).

Here, water flows straight from the Olympics and is quite cold. However, it's some of the clearest water you’ve ever seen.

If hiking 18 miles isn't for you, the Hall of Mosses is a short loop from the main visitor center and is a great hike for any age group. This place lives up to its name. Moss covers every plant and tree, living or dead. Moss might even grow on you if you stand still enough. Remember the phrase, "Moss only grows on the north side of the tree?" Yeah, that doesn’t apply here.

As you make your way, you may feel like at any moment a Sasquatch is going to pop out, or maybe a vampire. After all, Forks is less than an hour north of here.