Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Vacation Day 7; Hoh Rainforest!

We woke up in the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park but had yet to explore. When we set up camp the night prior we were fairly tired and went straight to sleep.  After breaking down camp, we started out for the 5 mile island trail-head.  We were intending on hiking the full 5 miles in and 5 miles out.

Before heading down the hike we took a detour.  Hall of Mosses.  It was a short 1 mile hike but ended up being one of my favorite spots on the entire trip.  Hall of Mosses was magnificent, completely unlike anything I had ever seen before.  It was a true (temperate) rainforest experience.  There were massive old growth tree (hundreds of feet tall and some 40 feet around) covered in moss.  The sunlight barely (if ever in some places) touched the forest floor.  New tress grew from nurse logs, which are fallen trees that provide nutrients for small trees to grow and possibly make it to the top of the tree line.  This place was amazing.  I would hike it daily if I could.

The hike to 5 mile island was much of the same but significantly less dense.  To our right there was a river that broke the forest apart.  About half way to the 5 mile island (which is more of a marker then a destination) there was a really nice waterfall.  With the moss all around the green everywhere, it felt like a jungle falls.

After about 11 miles of hiking, we were taking the long drive back toward some civilization.  We got to the campsite just prior to sunset in the Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge, got a fire going and I took some pictures of the sun setting over the Pacific ocean.

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