“a lush primeval forest that will leave you spellbound”
Olympic National Park is a pretty spectacular place, but one of the coolest hikes in the park is actually one of the shortest. The Hall of Mosses Trail is one of a few trails that traverse the park's Hoh Rainforest, and at only .8 miles, it's pretty easy. But, just because it's short doesn't mean it isn't impressive! Hikers are entirely surrounded by lush greenery-- moss covers the ground, the tree trunks, and even drips from the branches. It's easy to imagine that you're in another time or place (seriously, it's so overgrown that it feels like civilization is miles, or even centuries away) and not in the middle of the Pacific Northwest. You'll see more than a few fallen trees along the Hall of Mosses trail-- but don't worry! The mosses didn't kill the trees; it was the rich soil that did them in. When the soil in a forest provides lots of water and nutrients for a tree, its roots don't have to grow down as deep to find them. Shallow roots means a less sturdy tree, and a less sturdy tree means that it doesn't take more than a strong windstorm to blow it over. The other trail through the Hoh Rainforest is the slightly longer, but still easy Spruce Tree Trail, which is 1.2 miles. This hike offers views of the stunningly blue Hoh River-- it's fed by glacial melt, which contains pure water and ground up glacial rock, giving it a distinctive opaque blue that contrasts perfectly with the green forest. It might seem weird to imagine a rainforest so close to a glacier, but Hoh is a temperate rainforest, not a tropical one. Besides, the Pacific Northwest is a pretty unique place! The Hoh Rain Forest is all that remains of a massive forest that once stretched from California to Alaska. It still receives about 140 to 170 inches of water a year, so bring along a rain jacket just in case! The Hoh Rainforest also has a Campground which you should take full advantage of, because honestly, nothing sounds more relaxing than camping out in one of the country's most verdant forests. - Roadtrippers
Shorter than the Hoh River Trail. Really good for kids or if you're short on time-- it really is just as nice as Hoh River. You actually do feel like you're in Jurassic Park! Keep an eye out for mushrooms and slugs and all kinds of other quirky little oddities.
Beautiful, short trail just off the ranger station. Pictures don't do it justice. We saw plenty of banana slugs as well a a heron catching fish at the end of the trail.
FYI - this trail is at the same point as the Hoh Rainforest. It shows as a point on the map miles earlier so keep going. Also, you probably know this but just in cars, you have to pay to get into the national forest
Fun little trail. You get to see lots of very cool stages of life and death in nature. Quite crowded! Well maintained roads leading into the park, and its a very busy area! I was hoping to find a quiet secluded area off the trail to be alone, but had no luck here. I was also quite concerned about facing a bumpy dirt road in the middle of nowhere, but was very pleasantly surprised! Would recommend this area!
Perfect length walk. Has picnic area. Very unique. Trees are as huge.
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Hall of Mosses Trail
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