the hoh rainforest in washington’s olympic national park receives around fourteen feet of rain throughout the winter season, resulting in the lush, green canopy of both coniferous and deciduous trees seen here.
and because of the abundance of water and nutrients in the soil, many of the trees have short roots that are unable to hold onto the wet soil and topple over. mosses and ferns cover the surfaces of both living and fallen trees, adding an otherworldly feel of this temperate rainforest.
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The Olympic National Park is located northwest of Washington State; the diversity in the park is spectacular. Within the park are three ecosystems from the wild and mostly foggy pacific coastline to the snow covered alpine peaks of the Olympic Mountains with its fabulous wild flower meadows to the temperate rain forests with its lush and green moss covered conifer trees and wildlife. We started our trip in Forks Wa near the Hoh Rainforest the idea of having a rainforest in the US that far north is something you would never expect. It is one of the world’s largest stands of virgin temperate rainforest, and includes many of the largest coniferous tree species on earth. The Hoh Rain Forest is one of four rain forests on the Olympic Peninsula.
It was a beautiful morning in the Hoh Rainforest. We woke up and had oatmeal with peanut butter for breakfast, then we quickly packed up our backpacks to hike out. As we wandered slowly through the forest we heard some noises in the bushes. Alix was the first to notice him. It was what I had been wanting to see for years, a Bull Elk about 50 yards off in the distance. He was partially obstructed by humungous trees but as he pranced away we could see his enormous size. The moment was too precious and I didn’t bother taking out my camera. I was just happy to be here. We waited about five or so minutes to see if he would reappear but he never did. We continued our stroll through the forest admiring the trees, mushrooms, banana slugs and droplets of rain. At this moment we were clueless to the fact that we were surrounded by a herd of Roosevelt elk. They slowly revealed themselves to us as we hiked through the forest. We were ever so quiet, moving in slow motion and rather delicately. If you weren’t paying attention to your surroundings you could easily not see a single elk at least until they were completely blocking the trail. When we finally realized that we were completely surrounded by we were in complete shock. It was just too cool. Leaning just a little to your left or to your right could reveal dozens of elk, that’s how hidden most of them were. We stood there in awe surrounded by babies, youngins and females. Then a massive bull elk lifted his head right in front of us, we were twenty feet away. It took my wife about a minute to even notice him because just one tree blocked her entire view of him. I slowly inched her over until she could clearly see him, then I took a few photos as he checked us out. As he slowly wandered away the elk bugling began. It was magical, a moment in time that I will never want to forget.