Monday, July 14, 2008

Hoh Rain Forest

About 60 miles west of our campground on Lake Crescent is the Hoh Rain Forest. This is one of the largest temperate rain forests in the world. The road follows the Hoh river up into the Olympic mountains, leading into the rain forest.

It's about 14 miles inland from the coast, gaining slightly in elevation. The further you drive along the road, the larger and closer the trees are together and the deeper is the moss. There's a visitor center, campground, and hiking trails. We got there in time to join a ranger led walk through the Hall of Mosses.

We learned a lot about the different types of moss. The forest receives 12 feet of rain a year, but very little snow because it's so close to the ocean which keeps the temperature above freezing. We also saw examples of nurse logs. These are logs on the ground from trees that had fallen due to winds or age. New trees grow on the logs, and as the nurse logs rots away, the new trees roots extend down to the soil creating unique root structures.

It was very interesting and a great learning experience. As you can see, there's a lot of different areas in the Olympic National Park which allows for a very diverse visiting experience.

We had a great sunny day, which is very unusual weather wise. If you want to see some of the other photos, please click on the following link:

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