Washington Is Home To The Largest Rainforest In The U.S. And It’s Nothing Short Of Magical

When we say “rainforest,” you are imagining somewhere deep within Central America or across the globe in Southeast Asia, right? Well, not all rainforests hug the equator, and the largest rainforest in America is right here in Washington!

The Hoh Rainforest, which is in Olympic National Park, runs for 24 miles along the Hoh River, and it’s almost too beautiful to describe. Words like “stunning,” “magical,” and “oh my god, is this real life?” come to mind, but really, you have to see this place in person to fully appreciate how amazing it is. It’s like stepping into a lush, misty fairy tale. It’s like waking up in a pristine natural utopia. Ok, we’ll stop trying to put words to it… just see for yourself in this wonderful video:

Even this beautiful footage doesn’t capture the truly magical experience of standing on these trails, surrounded by the awe-inspiring fantasy-like landscape.

Unlike the more commonly known rainforests, such as the Amazon or the Congo, the Hoh is a temperate rainforest, meaning simply that it exists in cooler regions, but still sees an incredible amount of rainfall each year. We learned that there are actually quite specific requirements that differentiate between a normal temperate forest and a temperate rainforest: it must see more than 55 inches of rainfall each year, have an average temperature of between 39° and 54° F, and have a closed tree canopy that obscures at least 70% of the sky! The Hoh has no problem fulfilling these requirements – it receives more than 12 to 14 feet of rain each year (that’s 140 – 170 inches).

The Hoh is home to many unique (and some threatened or endangered) species, and the entire forest is a protected natural area. The incredible mosses and lichens that drape over tree branches here just adds to the magical aura.

If you are planning a visit, make sure to check out the short Hall of Mosses Trail (0.8 miles) and the Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 miles), but if you are up for a longer adventure (or you just never want to leave this fairy tale forest), we suggest hitting the Hoh River Trail. This one is definitely not for a day trip; the trail is 17.4 miles long, with primitive campsites along the way. The extra effort is definitely worth it, as you will be treated to amazing views of Mt. Olympus and Blue Glacier, tons of opportunities to see wildlife, and, of course, be surrounded by the indescribable natural beauty of the Hoh Rainforest.

This video was shared by Amazing Places on Our Planet on YouTube. This is one channel you definitely need to check out – there are hundreds of other videos from the most beautiful places around the globe!