Hall of Mosses, Hoh Rainforest Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Hall of Mosses - 0.8 miles
Hoh Rainforest Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||0.8 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||587' - 664' (max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+77' net elevation gain|
Hall of Mosses - 0.8 Miles Round-Trip
The Hall of Mosses (.8 miles) and Spruce Nature Trail (1.25 miles) introduce visitors to the Hoh Rainforest's complex ecosystem and unique arboreal tapestry.
Both trails begin at the Hoh Rainforest Ranger Station and loop through diverse swaths of rainforest above and along the Hoh River.
The Hall of Mosses circles an older section above the river, where moss-draped hemlock, spruce and fir stand over 200' tall. Joining them is bigleaf maple, a large deciduous tree with distinct gnarled limbs.
The Spruce Nature Trail enters a lower, younger forest along the Hoh River. This bottomland ecotone is dominated by Sitka spruce, western hemlock, red alder and a rich collection of ferns.
The trail offers river access, where you're free to explore its braided gravel bars and cobbled rock banks. Look for elk and otter along the river and its tributaries.
The Hoh Rainforest
The Hoh River is born on the slopes of Mount Olympus and drops 7,000' over 50 miles to the Pacific Ocean. The glaciers of its birth grind rock into glacial flour, giving the Hoh its distinct milky blue color.
The west-facing Hoh River Valley is optimally positioned to capture rain and fog from the Pacific, with 140â€+ of rainfall each year. Clouds, fog, and the forest canopy itself help trap moisture and regulate temperatures within.
Douglas fir, red cedar, western hemlock, and Sitka spruce dominate the canopy, joined by big leaf maple and red alder. The understory nurtures a variety of berries, ferns, and mosses, which support robust populations of Roosevelt elk, bear and deer. Top predators include mountain lion, bobcat, river otter and bald eagle.
Annual salmon runs bring vital food and nutrients back to the forest each fall, sustaining reliant inhabitants through the long rainy winter.
- N47 51.626 W123 56.065 — Hoh Rainforest Trailhead
- The Hoh Rainforest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.
- A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.
- Hoh River Seasons: All species June 1 - April 15. Catch and release only during this period, except 2 hatchery steelhead may be retained. Hatchery steelhead can be identified by a healed scar where the adipose or ventral fins have been removed.
- Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).
- The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $15 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($30 annual pass).
- Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
The Hoh River Trail begins at the Hoh Rainforest Ranger Station in the west central quadrant of Olympic National Park. The Hoh Ranger Station is located 85.5 miles from Port Angeles, and 30 miles from Forks.
From Port Angeles, drive west on US 101 67.5 miles to Hoh Rainforest Road. Turn left (east) and drive 18 miles to the trailhead parking lot. From Forks, drive 12 miles south on US 101 to Hoh Rainforest Road, and 18 miles east to the trailhead.
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798
Visitor Information: 360.565.3130
Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131
Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)
Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center
Forks Information Station
360.374.7566 or 360.374.5877
Quinault Wilderness Information Office