Tucked away on the Olympic Peninsula is the Hoh River Valley, far from most anything. It’s a long drive whichever direction you choose to come from, and the end of the road is 18 miles from the highway. Over the years I have hiked the valley many times but it was a hike in the late fall of 1998 that changed me. My Mom was watching a local show about the Olympic Peninsula and it talked about the Hoh Rain Forest. She desperately wanted to see it, so I agreed to drive her there with my family. For one….I had until that moment had no clue that we had temperate rain forests in Washington State. I wanted to see what it would like. I had just started to hike as a hobby. My oldest son had just turned a year old and I had found this awful shoulder/neck killing used kid carrier from the 1980’s to use. I walked the Hall of Mosses front country trail in pure awe. I stopped at the sign for the Hoh River Trail.
It was like a pure light going off in me. This would happen. Suddenly I wanted to backpack again (I had backpacked a couple of times in college). It would take me a few years to come back, but when I did, Ford came with me and hiked the Hoh for many miles upriver.
That pack was so awful I redonated it the next week….
It was a good time. No Instagram back then….
We were out on the Olympic Coast for the weekend and decided to stop at the Hoh and show the boys around. The last time they had been there they were both little ones, not old enough to walk far.
After leaving the visitor center and crossing over the creek, which was full of fish.
Red Huckleberry growing out of a nurse log.
Tree or benevolent tree angel?
Walker and Alistaire.
In the Hoh every bit of land or tree/rock has something growing on it.
Magical tree arches.
A herd of elk.
Full grown trees growing out of a massive nurse log, a long dead Douglas Fir.
Two little boys, dwarfed by the massive trees, covered in moss and ferns on every inch of the trees.
The Hoh is magical, and must be experienced in the off season when the green glows so brightly.