Hoh Campground Overview
The Hoh Rain Forest, pronounced "Hoe", earns its name from the ever-flowing Hoh River that carves its way from Mount Olympus towards the Pacific Coast. However, where the name originates, is up for debate. The word "Hoh" undoubtedly comes from Native American languages; possibly the Quileute word "Ohalet" which means "fast moving water" or "snow water." Since the river itself forms from glacial runoff, that origin seems straightforward. Other explanations state that the Quinault word "Qu," meaning "boundary," could be the root of the name as a river as massive as the Hoh certainly forms a formidable boundary across the landscape. A third consideration claims that the word "Hoh" translates to "man with quarreling wives." What the actual history behind the name is, appears to be lost to time.
Regardless of the name, there's no question as to the allure that draws visitors back to the rainforest year after year. Throughout the winter season, rain falls frequently in the Hoh Rain Forest, contributing to the yearly average of 140 inches (3.55 meters) of precipitation each year. The result is a lush, green canopy of both coniferous and deciduous species. Mosses and ferns that blanket the surfaces add another dimension to the enchantment of the rainforest.
The trailhead for this area is located next to the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center, which is a great place for more information. The staff there can give you ideas for your visit and exhibits will help explain what makes this area so special. The visitor center is open daily during the summer, closed January through early March, and generally open Friday through Sunday during the spring and fall seasons (hours may vary according to season).
The area offers two short loop trails as well as an out-and-back trail through the forest near the Visitor Center.
The Hall of Mosses Trail (.8 miles/ 1.2 km) is an iconic loop that takes you through old growth forest and features a grove of maples trees draped with abundant club moss.
The Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 miles/ 1.9 km) is a diverse trail that loops through both old and new growth forest as you walk alongside Taft Creek and the Hoh River.
The Hoh River trail is the area's main hiking trail. This out-and-back trail can be taken as far as one desires. Taken all the way, it leads past multiple camping areas, the last being Glacier Meadows at 17.3 miles (27.8 km), and ultimately ends 18.5 miles/ 30 km out at the Blue Glacier moraine looking up at Mt. Olympus. The Hoh Lake trail branches off from the Hoh River trail just after the ranger station and ascends to Bogachiel Peak between the Hoh and the Sol Duc Valley. For those wanting to explore this area as a day hike, there are additional popular turn-around points along the trail.
First River access (0.9 miles/ 2.9 km one way)
Mineral Creek Falls (2.7 miles/ 4.3 one way)
Cedar Grove (4.0 miles/ 6.4 km one way)
5 mile Island (5.0 miles/ 8.0 km one way)
All backcountry permits must be reserved online. To get permits and more information on backpacking along the Hoh River Trail and throughout Olympic National Park, visit the Wilderness (Backcountry) Reservations page: https://www.recreation.gov/permits/4098362
Pets are not allowed on trails in the Hoh Rain Forest. Pets are allowed on leash in developed areas such as the campground, picnic areas, and parking lots. Visit our Pets page for more information on where you can take your pet in the park: https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/pets.htm
Hoh Campground is a large facility with 72 campsites, including one group site and one ADA accessible site. Each site has a campfire ring and picnic table. Food lockers and drinking water are available at campground loop restrooms. There are no RV hookups at this facility. The dump station and fill station are closed indefinitely. The nearest shower facility is Bogachiel State Park (23 miles one way) and payment is required. The nearest dump and fill stations are Bogachiel State Park (23 miles north) or Kalaloch campground (33 miles south), and payment is required. Campers can purchase firewood in the B-loop near the campground host sites (June through September only), however firewood supplies are limited and are first-come, first-serve.
The Hoh Rain Forest is located in the stretch of the Pacific Northwest rainforest which once spanned the Pacific coast from southeastern Alaska to the central coast of California. The Hoh is one of the finest remaining examples of temperate rainforest in the United States and is one of the park's most popular destinations.
Olympic National Park has much to explore, including temperate rain forests, ocean shores, sub-alpine mountains, lakes and more. The towns of Queets, Quinault, and Forks are within a 45 minute to a 90 minute drive.
Directions to Campground
Access the Upper Hoh Road from Highway 101.