Hoh Rain Forest and Lake Quinault, WA

Monday morning at the Oceanside RV Park in La Push WA was cold and overcast with some fog and drizzle.  We felt that there wasn’t much more to see here, pun intended, so we pulled in the slides, put up the jacks and hit the road before noon.  We didn’t have a final destination in mind for the day, we figured that once we got further South, we would just consult our iPhone apps and the Rand-McNally database.  We did want to stop and see the Hoh Rain Forest which is part of the  Olympic National Park.  We had to turn East off Hwy 101 and go about 19 miles to get to the Visitor’s Center.  This is another of those “one way in and one way out” type of tourist attractions.  Before we made the turn to Hoh Rain Forest, we stopped at one of the many turn-outs to view the beach.


The Hoh Rain Forest is one of the largest temperate rain forests in the US.  It gets an average of 140 inches of annual rainfall.


I was concerned, as I often am, that the roads and parking lot(s) in this tourist attraction were going to be big-rig friendly.  So I was glad to see a large parking area at the Hard Rain Cafe and RV Park which was a few miles before the ranger pay station.  We pulled into the parking lot and I went into the cafe / RV Park office to ask if we could leave the Motorhome there while we toured the rainforest.  The nice lady behind the counter was more than helpful and directed us to an empty RV site right up front.  We disconnected the Silverado and headed on to the entrance where I presented my Access Pass for another savings of $15 🙂

Picture of the Hard Rain Cafe and RV Park Office.
Picture of the free temporary RV site we scored while we toured the rain forest.

Our first stop after leaving the Motorhome behind was to see yet another huge tree at one of the pull-off’s.


We joined other couples in front of this huge tree to take turns taking pictures of each other.


This was one fat tree.  Pretty impressive.


Here we are parked at the Visitor Center.


I was glad we found a spot to park the Motorhome for this side-trip.  The entrance to the Visitor Center parking lot would have been tough to maneuver while towing the truck… it was a pretty tight corner as you can see from this picture.


The Visitor Center was undergoing renovation so we had to visit the mobile trailer they had brought in on-site to get information.  It turns out that this park, like all the National Parks we’ve visited so far, is not dog friendly.  They don’t allow pets outside the parking lot.  We had to leave Coach in the Silverado with the windows cracked.  We chose one of the shorter trails to hike.


This is the informational placard on the trail we took.


The trail was well maintained and marked.  We meandered through the forest and took lots of pictures.  It warmed up nicely and the sun peeked out a few times during our hike.


At one spot, there were even fallen trees that were left in place.  We didn’t even have to duck to pass under.


Evidence that they get a lot of rain here… who would have guessed?


Stilla posed under a natural archway.


Got Moss?


Here I am taking a quick break.


Some of the trees had some exposed roots that were pretty interesting.



This was one long log that the trail followed along beside… you can see that it even continues down the hill  out of view if you look at the path below.


This place was definitely worth the stop.  Wish we had more time to check out one of the longer trail loops, but we had to get back to Coach who was waiting in the truck and the temperature was definitely going up.

When we got back to the Motorhome, we went back inside the cafe to get some lunch.  We figured it was the least we could do to show our appreciation for the free temporary parking.  I don’t know how Stilla does it, but she always seems to find the Germans.  It turns out the owner was originally from Germany as you can see from the Bavarian flags next to our table.


We hooked the truck back up to the Coach and motored on after finishing lunch.  We ended up choosing an RV Park next to Lake Quinault.  Our travel distance for the day ended up being around 75 miles.  The Rain Forest Resort Village ended up costing $39 for the night 🙁  They didn’t offer any discounts for Passport America, Escapees, FMCA, Good Sam, or Military Veterans unfortunately.  Here’s a picture of the Resort Office / General Store.


The RV spots were nicely spaced and were all on nice green grass.  There were only maybe 5 other rigs in the whole park.  Except for the price, this is one nice park!  The only other drawback was that we didn’t have satellite because of all the tall trees or phone signal (AT&T).  And only one bar on the Verizon JetPack, but we survived.


We had supper at the restaurant and lounge that was at the top of the hill on the same side of the road as our RV site.

Front view of the restaurant and lounge.
Side view of the restaurant and lounge.

Here is a view of the lake just a few moment’s walk from our site.


On Tuesday morning we found out that the World’s Largest Spruce Tree was located within the loop of the RV park, just around the corner from where we were parked.

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Stilla posed with her morning coffee in front of the huge tree.


And now Coach has marked his spot on the world’s largest Sitka Spruce… his new claim to fame 😉

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After checking out the world’s largest Sitka Spruce this morning (Tuesday), we got an early start and headed on down to the Long Beach Peninsula… we got here early enough to get out on the bikes to explore the beach and downtown area.  Here’s a preview below.  I’ll save the rest for my next post.  Stay tuned:)

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