Best Rainforest Hikes in Olympic National Park
While the word rainforest might evoke steaming jungles, the Pacific Northwest is in fact home to the world’s largest temperate rainforest. Ancient cedar trees can live up to 2,000 years, and towering Douglas fir trees can reach 300 feet into the air. And with several trails through the wondrous forests, Olympic National Park has some of the best rainforest hiking in the world.
Olympic National Park is famous for the Hoh Rainforest, but in fact there are four distinct rainforests in the park. Each major river valley draining to the west contains its own unique rainforest: the Hoh, the Bogachiel, the Quinault, and the Queets. These valleys capture weather coming off the Pacific Ocean, concentrating moisture and precipitation. As a result, some parts of Olympic can receive up to 14 feet of rain annually!
While these rainforests are wet most of the year, the dry summers are delightful times to visit. And, staying at low elevation, they are a delight to visit in the gray winter months as well. Whenever you decide to visit, these are some of the best hikes in the magical rainforests of Olympic National Park.