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Everything You Need to Know and to Pack for a Hike in the Rainforest


When venturing to Olympic National Park, you must not overlook hiking in the Hoh Rainforest. Nestled in the southwest corner of the park, a mere hour drive from Forks, this temperate rainforest is one of the most desirable destinations in the United States. The Hoh Rainforest is one of four rainforests on the Olympic Peninsula, but it stands apart boasting a unique ecosystem and a total of 140 to 170 inches, (12-14 feet) of precipitation each year! Visitors from all over the world make their way to this little slice of heaven. We’ve outlined every detail you could want when planning your day or week long adventure to America’s favorite rainforest. From where to stay, details about Hoh’s hiking trails and what to pack, we’ve got you covered. Check out the details below.


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Kalaloch Campground
Located on a high bluff adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, this campground is desirable for both its proximity to the Hoh Rainforest and its natural beauty. This campground fills up quickly so make your reservation online for the summer season and during the rest of the year, come early in the morning as campsites are first-come, first-served. Max number of days you can stay is seven. Cash or check only to pay for your site.
Open: Year round
Number of campsites: 168
Reservations available: Only in the summer
Group sites: Yes
Recreation sites: Standard nonelectric and RV nonelectric.
Amenities: Dump station, parking area, flush toilets, picnic tables, trash collection, grills, and fire rings.
Rate: $22/night

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Campground
This campground sits on the edge of the back country and has quick access to hot springs as well as many hiking trails. Campers have access to the resort’s facilities, including three hot mineral pools, freshwater pool, gift shop, and restaurant.
Open: Year round
Number of RV campsites: 17
Reservations available: Summer and fall seasons
Group sites: Yes
Recreation sites: Standard nonelectric and RV electric.
Amenities: Drinking water, flush toilets, dump station, general store, gift shop, fire pit, picnic tables, grills, fire rings, food locker, water hookup, and electricity hook up.
Rate: $34 – 48/night


best hikes in Olympic National Forest
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Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM daily
Phone: (360) 374 – 6925
Closed: January and February
Details: The Hoh Visitor center is your go-to for trail information, exhibits, passport stamps, self-guided nature trails, souvenirs, wilderness camping permits, water, snacks, bathroom breaks and general information concerning Olympic National Park. The park rangers are filled with a wealth of knowledge, so don’t be shy when it comes to asking questions about the Hoh Rainforest and surrounding areas!


best hikes in a rainforest
best hikes in Olympic National Park, packing for a hike in a rainforest


From the parking lot you will see a sign for the three trailheads that guide you into Hoh Rainforest. Follow the arrow left to begin a leisure stroll through the stunning canopy of old-growth greenery. This easy, short loop snakes through gorgeous, lush rainforest and is perfect for the elderly and children.
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.8 miles
Elevation gain: 100 feet
Pet friendly: No
Keep an eye out for: Roosevelt elk and banana slugs!


best gear for hiking in the Hoh Rainforest
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Details: Hoh River Trail is a heavily trafficked out and back route that is most frequently enjoyed during the summer and fall seasons, (April until October). This trail is spectacular, meandering through Glacier Meadow on to Mount Olympus Blue Glacier, but is not for the faint of heart! If you plan to hike the entire 32.8 miles, be sure to have sufficient food, water, clothing, and camping equipment.  This trail is also perfect for a 5-10 mile day hike option with little elevation gain.
Difficulty: Moderate to hard
Length: 32.8 miles
Elevation gain: 5,114 feet
Pet friendly: No
Keep an eye out for: Yellowjackets! They are active in the summer and fall months. If you have an allergy, be extremely cautions, or avoid all together.


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Details:  If you finish Hall of Mosses and are looking for a little more adventure, make your way to Spruce Nature Trail. This easy 1.2 mile loop near the visitor center is perfect for the whole family. You’ll hike right by a river, make your way through spectacular old-growth and see a few stunning features that we don’t want to spoil but we’ll give you a hint – there may or may not be an uprooted Sitka Spruce that has ferns growing on the bottom of the uprooted tree!
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.2 miles
Elevation gain: 135 feet
Pet friendly: No
Keep an eye out for: Elk and big-leaf maples.


gear for hiking in a rainforest
hiking gear, pack for a hike in the rainforest


– Sturdy hiking boots: Preferably waterproof
– Rain gear: Waterproof backpack, poncho, rain jacket, and a waterproof camera!
– Guides: Animal tracks pamphlet, Hoh rainforest map, flora and fauna guide, postcard (to write to your beloved while in the wilderness).
– Provisions: Water, snacks, and energy packs.
– Walking stick: for the slippery parts of the trail.
– Extras: binoculars, cameras, video recorder, portable phone charger, and first aid kit.

Looking for the best places to eat when you’re visiting the Olympic peninsula? Check out our La Mesa RV Food Guide to Four Days in Olympic National Park. Be sure to leave us a comment in the section below telling us your favorite hike in the national park!


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