Sitting at the end of the long Upper Hoh Road is The Hoh Rain Forest – although it starts much earlier than the National Park boundary. It is though once you cross the boundary that the logging stops, and the green becomes intense. The way I look at it though, is if you have driven this far out, to the middle of nowhere, what is a few more miles down a long road? 😉 The first time I visited the Hoh, my oldest son was a year old…which led to this hike.
It had been I realized 16 years since I had hiked the Hall of Mosses trail in The Hoh:
Which led me to something: As my oldest grew up, I rapidly turned my back on what I perceived as “nature trails”. We would hurriedly walk through the parking lot and escape the masses – to get onto the “main trail“. Well…if there is one thing I have learned, the masses in late November, out in the middle of nowhere….might be 2 other people. Who were super worried about the safety of me and my kids 😉 Apparently normal parents don’t haul their kids out on late fall days to hike in the middle of nowhere 😉
The creek that flows out to the Hoh had salmon in it. Late but woot!
A handrail into a lush temperate rain forest?
The Hall of Mosses is a lollipop loop trail, that weaves up into an old bench above the river valley.
Walker and Alistaire next to the benevolent creature tree –
16 years ago, with my oldest, when he was 1-year-old, at the same tree:
The tree has aged beautifully. In an area that receives 12 to 14 feet of rain annually, trees slip away rapidly.
If you want moss, draping moss, covering maple trees, this is where to go.
Being dwarfed by old-growth is a wonderful feeling.
Nothing but the wind, the animals, the water shaking off the trees from an earlier rain….and a whole lot of very clean air.
If you want to enchant two small children, take them under a nature arch.
In temperate rain forests, life grows upon life. Every inch has something growing! New evergreens, lichens, fungi and more cover a stump that is rapidly decaying.
On top of the same stump, red huckleberry plants take to life….
A sudden crashing had a family of Roosevelt Elk thundering across the trail. It is hard to see them in the photo below, but there was 7 or 8 of them.
Nurse logs are fun to point out to children – how they support life, even though their life is done. Some of the trees are old enough that where the nurse log once was, is now gone. And the standing tree has cool “standing” roots.
A most welcome “nature trail” that has a bit of elevation, is a loop and keeps the kids entertained – but most of all, asking questions. Salmon, owls, elk, squirrels? It was a good hike…..