Singin’ in the Rain…Forest
By Laura Michaels
SET OFF ON AN ADVENTURE IN WASHINGTON’S HOH RAIN FOREST
An olive green carpet of stair-step moss blankets the forest floor, creeps up tree trunks and weaves among the sword and lady ferns.
The leaves of Sitka spruce and Western hemlock trees reach out to one another, creating a lush canopy 200 feet above. Bobcats and Roosevelt elk roam between the layers.
This is the Hoh Rain Forest. Stretching along the western edge of Washington state’s Olympic National Park, Hoh is among the finest temperate rain forests in the world.
Here, the yearly rainfall total ranges from 140 to 170 inches (12 to 14 feet) and many of the trees are approaching their 300th birthday. Two nature trails—Hall of Mosses Trail and Spruce Nature Trail—loop through the rain forest near the visitor center. Elsewhere the Hoh River trail leads hikers 17 miles to Glacier meadows, hugging Mount Olympus. The park’s 88-site campground is open year-round and offers potable water and a dump station. For more information, call 800-833-6388 or visit http://www.nps.gov/olym.