It's time to visit the enchanting Hoh Rain Forest, a pleasant two-hour trip west of Port Angeles. You'll never forget your first look at this ancient, temperate rain forest, with its Sitka spruce, big-leaf maples, western hemlock, Douglas fir, western red-cedar – some measuring 25 feet around – towering 300 feet straight up! Many of these huge trees are 300 to 500 years old. Licorice ferns and club moss drape the trees, filtering the sun even on brightest days.
The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is open daily in the summer; open Friday through Sunday the rest of the year. Hours vary according to season. The Visitor Center offers information and interesting exhibits about the rain forests.
Hiking. There are self-guided nature trails and plenty of day hike opportunities. The Hall of Mosses and Spruce Trail takes you through a green cathedral of trees and are easily accessible for most people.
There are approximately 20 greens in a typical color crayon box, and you'll see all of them and more in a vibrant array at the Hoh. Bring an umbrella or a jacket, though – the recipe for these large, old trees includes plenty of rain.
Camping. The 88-site Hoh Campground is available year round on a first-come, first served basis. (Park campgrounds have no showers or hook-ups.) Overnight wilderness camping is also permitted, but you'll need back country reservations. If you have questions about trails, permits, reservations, maps, quotas, food storage requirements, weather or other Wilderness related questions, contact a park ranger at the Wilderness Information Center (WIC) in Port Angeles or the Forks Information Station. Animal resistant food containers are available at both locations.
The nearby town of Forks (approximately 31 miles north on Highway 101) offers more camping opportunities, lodging and activities including the Forks Timber Museum and a FREE Logging and Mill Tour, along with restaurants, gift shopping and grocery stores.
Getting there. From Port Angeles travel west on US Hwy 101, for approximate 2.5 hours, through the town of Forks, then on to the turn off for Hoh Road (on your left.) Travel 19 miles inland (east) on the Hoh Road to the Park entrance.