Friday, June 8, 2012
The Hoh Truth
This weekend is Free Admission to the National Parks and State parks, as well as the Wildlife Refuges in Washington! Usually I would say for you to go wherever you want and enjoy life to the fullest, but with the weather being called “June-uary”, (On Tuesday, June 5th, the low in Olympia was 34 degrees) we have to get creative to someplace that is, if not dry, amazing. I would say go to Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, Mt. Ellinor, Staircase or even Murhut Falls, but this weekend, I highly encourage you to go to someplace truly wonderful.
The Hoh Rainforest is a one of a kind destination. Located nearly 4 hours from Olympia, this is a trip for the dedicated (and probably young child free) adventurer. I can hear you now complaining about the 4 hours of driving and the high cost of gas prices and that you might miss some sporting event or other something rather on television, but I have to tell you to ignore that voice. That voice telling you to stay home is the one that told you not to ask that guy/girl to dance in High School. That voice is the one that is responsible for all those places you could have been that were so amazing, but you listened to it and missed out. Ignore that voice this weekend, hop in your car, cover your eyes when you fill your tank and go do something that will leave memories on your brain until your dying days.
While the drive is long, the hours in the car are made up for in many ways. This drive allows you to see many different things, from the logging boom cities of Aberdeen and Hoquiam, the impressive national forests, the Peaks of the Olympic Mountains glancing over Lake Quinault to the majestic view of the Pacific Ocean from Ruby Beach. This doesn’t even include the final push down the road to enter the Hoh Rainforest, which cruises along a river usually dotted with elk, eagles and occasional black bears. 4 short hours from a major city and you are in the middle of the woods, seeing how life was in the area for the last thousands of years.
As you enter the Olympic National Park don’t be surprised to be swept away by all the greens your eyes will take in. Kermit the Frog said it wasn’t easy being green, but he obviously had never laid eyes on the Hoh Rainforest. With so many trees, mosses hanging off of branches like natural blankets put out to dry; your senses will be overwhelmed by the sheer brilliance and magnificence that the area ives you in every direction.
As far as trails go, there are a few short ones or many overnight hikes. Between the Hall of Mosses Trail, The Spruce Trail and the Hoh River Trail, you have miles of walking on the land of the giants, and after a storm like we have had, you may just be lucky enough to smell the wet moss, ferns and cedar trees that cover the Peninsula like goose bumps on your skin the first time you saw a tree as big as a skyscrapers.
The Hoh Rainforest is more than can be put down in words. It transcends text and is something that must be experience. If it was in Tibet, it would be a Holy place, where month long fasts and meditations would take place, after weeks of walking to get there. You need to stop reading right now, grab your friend, lover, family member or neighbor and go experience the Hoh Rainforest this weekend, especially since it is free (If you are reading this on June 9th or 10th 2012). You will fall in love, trust me…I am an expert.
- Hall of Mosses- Distance= 1 Mile
- Spruce Nature Trail- Distance= 1.25 Miles
- Hoh River Trail- Anywhere from 1 to 50 miles, but the best place is 17 miles one way
- From Olympia= 162 Miles
- From Seattle= 169 Miles including Ferry
- From Portland= 255 Miles
- From Des Moines Iowa= 2,014 Miles
Stop reading now. Call Exotic Hikes and book a tour! Go outside, enjoy the Pacific Northwest, the Olympic Peninsula and love the Hoh Rainforest!
See you on the trails,