Heading south on US 101 out of Forks, the first attraction you’ll reach is the Hoh Rain Forest. After you turn off the highway, a 19 mile drive takes you along the Hoh River, and eventually back into Olympic National Park.
If you’re budgeting your time, I recommend the Spruce Nature Trail first, and the Hall of Mosses trail second. Both begin near the visitor’s center.
The Spruce Nature Trail is probably the more interesting of the two paths. You’ll see plenty of moss hanging from trees, fungus growing from stumps, and lots of contorted tree trunks.
I found the Spruce trail more interesting than the Hall of Mosses, since it leads out to, then briefly runs beside, the sparkling Hoh River.
There’s no shortage of greenery, everywhere you look.
Roots don’t grow very deep here. They don’t need to, since there’s so much rain. In this case, though, the dirt has washed away, leaving the roots dangling over the river.
It’s easy to find fungus along the trail. While everything else is green, this parasite’s pink and yellow hues jump right out at you.
Check this out. These trees are all lined up in a row, and there’s a good reason. They all took root in another tree, which decades ago, fell and began decomposing.
This part of the trail gives you some perspective on the size of these giant trees. The path runs between two felled logs, then underneath one of them. Many old tree trunks are as wide as you are tall.[prev] [next]
Note: This trip was first published in 2004.