#1 and #2: Visit the Temperate Rain Forest in the Hoh Valley of the Olympic Peninsula
Among the only protected temperate rain forests in the Northern Hemisphere, the Hoh Rain Forest is a not-to-be-missed attraction on the West Side of the Olympic Peninsula. Moisture-laden air from the Pacific brings an average of 140 inches of annual rainfall to the Hoh Valley, (record of 190 inches) in addition to condensed mist that contributes another 30 inches. Nineteen miles inland from Hwy 101 you’ll find the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. Here, three loop trails are easy to stroll and give a great sampling of the area: The Hall of Mosses Trail is 3/4 mile and shows the moss-draped maples, magically green in the spring, spectacular with color in the fall, and a treat any time of year; the 1-1/4 mile Spruce Nature Trail meanders through the late-secessional (younger) forests of red alder and cottonwood, showing the landscape carved by this glacier-fed river; and a paved ¼-mile nature path suitable for a wheelchair or stroller. Rangers are available for interpretive walks and children can participate in the Junior Ranger Program, ending by being sworn in as a Junior Ranger by one of the Olympic National Park rangers.
- Hoh Rain Forest: http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/visiting-the-hoh.htm
- Junior Ranger Program: http://www.nps.gov/olym/forkids/beajuniorranger.htm