Friday, August 14, 2009

Hoh Rain Forest

Today was a real treat. We drove the 80 miles or so to the Hoh Rain Forest for a hike.

Olympic National Park is charged with protecting and preserving the diverse ecosystems which exist within its boundaries.  One of these ecosystems is the Hoe Rain Forest.  This temperate rain forest consists primarily of Sitka spruce and Western Hemlock.  Today was dry, the sun even came out for a short period of time, but this area of the park gets an average rainfall of about 150 inches a year.  All that rain and dampness has resulted in everything being covered in moss and/or lichen.  This is truly a remarkable place.
Even the phone booth is covered with moss

For our hike, we sauntered up the Hoh River Trail from the Visitor’s Center to the Mount Tom Creek waterfall.  The trail closely followed the Hoh River upstream so we had some great views of that, as well.

This is the most popular trail for climbers of Mount Olympus.  It is 17 miles just to get to the foot of the glacier, so this is a multi-day trip for those so inclined to climb.  But the trail is relatively flat for the first 10 miles with numerous backcountry campsites along the way.  We spoke with several hikers who had either been or were going just to the glacier and not to the top.
Hoh River

On our way home, we stopped in the small community of Forks.  Yes, that is the one and the same that is the featured setting for the popular Twilight series by author Stephenie Meyer.  You will not be surprised to hear that Twilight movie posters, actors’ photos, or just the word “twilight” was on just about every store window as we drove through town.  We even saw the “Twilight Zone”.  Who remembers that?

Mount Tom Falls

We’ll go back to Hoh before we leave here.  It was great.

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