The Hoh Rainforest, in Olympic National Park in Washington State, is a sprawling patch of temperate rainforest between the mountains and the sea, where the Hoh tribe was created by a shape-shifting transformer, K’wati, according to tribal oral tradition.   The meandering Hoh River runs here, gradually transporting clean glacial water from Mount Olympus out to the Pacific Ocean.  It rains and rains and rains in this forest; the constant moisture and mild winters make for a complex green-machine landscape of huge trees luxuriously clad in epiphytes, with ferns and mosses growing everywhere.  A trail can be followed up the Hoh all the way to alpine meadows in the mountains, from about 600′ elev. to 4300′, with a length of 17.5 miles. Sorry to say I walked only a scant mile of it; having already explored another trail earlier, I wanted to save time for nearby Rialto Beach.

This reflection shot was taken straight down into a creek that feeds the Hoh. It wasn’t raining, thankfully, in fact, the sun – if you could find a slice of sky between the trees overhead – was shining.  The little creek moved fast and was full of plants – I counted five different underwater plants at this spot.

After I got home I processed the photo in Lightroom to enhance the painterly quality of the reflections. Here’s a straight photo of the creek from the trail above it; running wide and shallow, with thick growth under the surface, it is a bright spot in the forest:

One of these days – soon – I’ll post more photos from the Hoh Rainforest, and from Rialto Beach. Oh, and Second Beach, just up the coast, and Hurricane Ridge in the mountains – we covered them all in two days’ time. I don’t recommend that pace; we both collapsed when we got home…but it was worth it!


    • It was a little crazy – caught an early ferry out of Edmonds, stopped for snacks at the Longhouse outside of Port Angeles, then up Hurricane Ridge, spent a few delightful hours there, then on down, over to Forks, check into hotel, and out to Second Beach for a low tide late afternoon. Next day, over to the Hoh, then eating sandwiches on the go, out to Rialto at high tide. Finally, we worked our way back, missing a ferry of course, and getting home well after 9. But it was worth it.


  1. Stunning. I hiked to Silver Snag or something like that a number of years ago in the Olympics and have hiked the beach north out of La Push. I can no longer hike so double thanks.


  2. Oh Lynn it looks like an impressionist painting… you are channeling Monet here! Love, love the images and your story of your trip. I just HAVE to come back out to WA. Love hiking and exploring! I could just print off your posts and all your suggestions of places to go will keep us busy for weeks! 🙂 Thanks for being so inspiring! And positive!


  3. your trip sounds exhausting – and rich! looking forward to more photos in the future. hope to visit this corner of the planet sometime, too. i have heard and seen lots of good things about it!


  4. I didn’t ever make it to the Hoh, in 20 years of living in Seattle. Olympic Peninsula, plenty, but not any further than Port Angeles and Hurricane Ridge. I want a mulligan!

    Very good work by you.


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