NW DESTINATIONS - SOUTH FORK HOH RIVER TRAIL...2.7 MILES
CONNECTS TO: HOH LAKE TRAIL
DIRECTIONS TO : HOH RAIN FOREST TRAILHEAD - MILEPOST 179
NEAREST CAMPGROUND: Hoh Rain Forest Campground.
RANGER STATION : Pay phone, toilets, water and permit registration all located at or near Hoh Rain Forest Ranger Station.
CAUTION.......Upper stretches of the trail are snowbound until mid- to late summer. Don't venture toward High Divide without an ice ax and the ability to use it.
INFO ABOUT TRAIL :
.....Absolutely beautiful hike, filled with banana slugs, wild pheasant, a few bear, hawks, deer, elk, marmots, and about 20 mountain goats at the Hoh lake! The goats seemed to take particular delight in running repeatedly through our camp site knocking over clothes lines and cooking pots!! The hike up from the Hoh river was beautiful and the views along the high divide are something Sue and I will never forget. And yes, you were definitely right about the bugs. Although above about 3500 feet they appear to be completely immune to all forms of bug spray, hearty little buggers. Nothing that long pants and a few layers on top couldn't abate however...per C.C.
........Hoh River Valley--Up to 17 mi. one-way. Easy to moderate in the lowlands, more strenuous further inland. Access: Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. This is one of the most heavily traveled trails in the park, at least in the lower elevations, and it won't take you long to figure out why. Huge Sitka spruce hung with moss shelter the Roosevelt elk that wander among its lowlands. The first 13 miles, through the massive rain forests and tall grass meadows along the Hoh River Valley bottomlands, are relatively flat. The number of fellow walkers drops off after the first few miles.
Happy Four Camp (6 mi. in) and Olympus Guard Station (9 mi. in) provide excellent camp or turnaround sites. Continue eastward into the hills for the remaining 4 or 5 miles. If you connect with the Hoh Lake Trail, you can eventually find yourself at the edge of the famous Blue Glacier on Mount Olympus, elevation 7,965 feet. Be careful. After July, hiking near the park's glaciers can be dangerous because of snowmelt.
.....Hall of Mosses Trail is .75 mile round trip, beginning at the Visitor Center at the end of the Hoh road. Nearby is the Spruce Nature Trail, 1.25 miles round trip. Short uneven grades on both trails. Both are excellent examples of rain forests with dense lush vegetation. Elk and deer are sometimes seen in the area. There is also a paved .25 mile mini trail.
.....Spruce Nature Trail, 1.25 miles round trip. Short uneven grades on both trails. Both are excellent examples of rain forests with dense lush vegetation. Elk and deer are sometimes seen in the area. There is also a paved .25 mile mini trail.
.....Among the only temperate rain forests in the Northern Hemisphere, the Hoh Rain Forest is a not-to-be-missed attraction on the West Side of the Olympic Peninsula. Moisture-laden air from the Pacific brings over 150 inches of annual rainfall to the Hoh Valley, (record of 211 inches). Nineteen miles inland from Hwy 101 you'll find the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. Three loop trails near the Visitor Center are easy to stroll and give a great sampling of the area: The Hall of Mosses Trail is 3/4 mile and shows the moss-draped maples, magically green in the spring, spectacular with color in the fall and a treat any time of year; the 1 1/4 mile Spruce Trail follows the Hoh River along red alder and maple "bottom", and shows the landscape carved by this glacier-fed river; and a paved 1/4 mile path suitable for a wheelchair or stroller. The Hoh Visitor Center is the starting point for many longer and more challenging hikes to the alpine meadows and glacier fields.
.....The world's largest Western Red Cedar tree is located off Hwy. 101 on logging roads. The Rain Forest Country Adventures Map shows the route, as well as the beaches, attractions and services in the rain forest area. Scenic shores with easy access are found in the Kalaloch (pronounced clay-lock) area, 15 miles south of the Rain Forest Road on Hwy. 101. Beach Trail 4 is a pebble beach with a dramatic surf (beware of the strong undertow), tidal pools and is a popular place to dip for smelt (schools of small fish that spawn in the surf in warm, calm weather and can be caught with a large net). Picturesque Ruby Beach with a meandering creek, dramatic sea stacks, and drift logs is named for its sometimes garnet-colored sand. A gold mining operation was located here in the early 1900's.
.....GORP SAYS "..At 7,965 feet, rugged Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in the Olympic range, but don't let its relative lack of stature fool you. Mount Olympus is the first major peak that Pacific storms encounter. A lot of snow and harsh weather in general occurs here. In the continental United States, only Mounts Rainier and Baker have more extensive glacial formations. To safely climb the mountain, you need high-alpine and crevasse rescue experience. Ascents of Mount Olympus usually begin at Glacier Meadows, 17 miles up the Hoh River Trail. From here on, much of the remaining climb is on glaciers and along craggy escarpments. Most people make the ascent from June to early September, the peak weather window, although adventurous souls begin to climb as early as April."
.....Here we learned that the "moss" isn't really moss but rather a fern with very tiny leaves.
.....BY ROBERT ROSS "...The Hoh rain forest on the western edge of the Olympic National Park in Washington has one of the most magnificent hiking trails in the nation, if not the world. Thick green moss hangs from alder and pine trees as the sun trickles through a dense forested canopy. Ferns line the hiking trail as though years were spent planning their every position. Around each bend is what can only be described as an artist's palate, with a hundred shades of green being viewed in one glance. A dozen or so yards off the trail, the churning of the Hoh river is heard, heard but not seen . . . the lush forest blocking its view. Water, rivers, rain, trees, the seasons, all in unison creating a work of art, a work that is ever changing. Each season brings with it its own purpose . . . birth, growth, dormancy, growth again, change, the cycles never ending."