Olympic National Park: Hoh Rainforest

The upper Oregon coast was stunning, and we would have liked to spend a little more time exloring Seaside and Astoria, but that day, we were on a mission.
I thought it might take us a half day to drive from Nehalem to Forks, Washington, but like every other day on this journey, it took us almost twice as long as I intended, even with our reduced side explorations this day.
I chose Forks because it was the town closest to the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, which was really the prime destination of our trip.

I found myself explaining randomly to someone why I was so focused on Olympic National Park. It’s one of those stories that is so typical of me, but makes other people wonder if I am not a little crazy ;-). Some years ago, I was struggling with unhappiness, possibly either depression or a really bad marriage. I wondered if things would ever get better, if there was ever any hope for a light at the end of this tunnel. One night I had a dream. In the dream, I was happy. And when I woke up, and for years after, I had this idea if I could just get to the place I dreamed about, I would be getting to the point in my life where I was happy.
So if you go to the link to that story, you will see that maybe I am not exactly “there” yet. This was not the same situation. But for some reason, I needed to know if I was right, about some of it at least. I wanted to see if this place resonated with any part of my being. Somewhere I had seen a picture of the Hoh Rainforest, and I thought that was the place my dream took place in.

Going there, I can say now that, although I am not certain, I don’t think this place was the place from my dream. However, it was a place from some kind of dream. It was surrealistic, damp and dreamy, with trees that towered up as high as the redwoods we had seen, and that draped themselves over pathways as if they were alive. I truly felt like the trees here had spirits, and although I wasn’t particularly afraid, I was feeling a thrill of being out in it.

We walked through the Hall of Mosses area, and along the Hoh Rainforest Loop Trail. We didn’t hike as long as I think I wanted to, though. We had already checked into our cabin in Forks, and it was looking really comfy when we left it. J wanted to go through some pictures. It was drizzly and wet, go figure, and I think we both kind of wanted to get dry. Also, we were contemplating trying to make it out to Ruby Beach before the sunset, and still wanted to get dinner. So I think we were only out here for an hour, when I could have spent days.

This National Park is not a good park for exploring by car. All the points of interest are twenty miles down different roads, which takes up a lot of drive time. We would have accomplished so much more by hiking in and camping instead of staying in town.
So, my plan is this: having tasted this “water”, I have to have some more. I want us to get in really good hiking shape, get some good backpacks, work up to longer backpacking trips, and come back out here when we can just hike for days and really get to see the inside of this park and what it has to offer.

One thought on “Olympic National Park: Hoh Rainforest”

  1. I can definitely relate to testing this water and wanting to go back! We loved the little bit we saw of the Hoh and wanted to continue further. We did about 3 miles down the Hoh Rainforest Trail to a waterfall and then came back but wow, I would have loved to of gone further for a backpacking trip.

    Chris even said this was his favorite part of our stay in WA.

Comments are closed.