Location: Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park, Washington
Level: easy / Beginner Level: challenging
Round trip/Gain: 5.8 miles/300-ish ft
Type: round trip
Permit: Olympic National Park entrance fee or America the Beautiful pass
Brie and I arrived after about four hours of sleep and four hours of driving. I know how popular this place is and I thought I was ready for the onslaught, but my depleted resources could hardly handle the amount of people around the ranger station, especially on the Hall of Mosses trail which we did first as it’s right next to the Hoh River trailhead.
The Hall of Mosses is famous for a reason. It’s less than a mile, mostly flat and while I live in mossy, wet rain forested Portland, it truly is remarkable.
While beautiful, I couldn’t wait to get away from the crowds camped out with fancy cameras totally unconcerned with the people around them wanting to get by or take their own pictures. We began the Hoh River trail and the crowds immediately thinned.
It’s a popular backpacking trail, like so many on the Olympic Peninsula. I hope to come back another time to do just that. Our endpoint at Mt. Tom Creek was sooner than we’d like, making about 5.8 miles total, but we were exhausted and I’m still dealing with a lot of body pain. Just getting on the trail felt like a major feat and totally worth it.