Friday, 4 November 2011

Olympic National Park: Rainforest

The Olympic National Park (ONP) in Washington is made up of three different zones: alpine, rainforest and coast. I did not have the opportunity to get a look at the alpine area (except glimpses of the mountains while on the road) but I stayed two nights each in the rainforest and coastal areas so I will give a bit of a spiel on these areas.

My two rainforest nights were spent in the Sol Duc and Hoh Valleys. I cycled up both the valleys in gorgeous autumn sunshine and back down them in the pouring rain. Man it can RAIN!!!! Lucky the area looks gorgeous in both types of weather. The rainforest areas are characterised by huge green trees, rain, swathes of moss covering everything, steamy vapour, red and gold leaves, the kind of darkness you get in a dense forest and silence except for the hiss of rain.

The Sol Duc Valley has a hot spring resort that is closed in the winter (go figure?!) and the Sol Duc Falls, which I visited in the pouring rain before I left.

The Hoh Valley is known for its herd of Roosevelt Elk and the huge green drapes of moss that hang from the trees. Was definitely missing Jane and her photographic skills because my little point and shoot camera just cannot capture the intense greens mixed with the autumn colours.

I really enjoyed the rainforest areas and the ride up the quiet roads that lead off Highway 101. However, I was always happy to leave and head back to the coast for some sea views and sunshine.
Lake Crescent.

Sheltering in the amphitheatre at the Sol Duc Campground for breakfast.

Sol Duc Falls.

Hoh River.

Road up the Hoh Valley.

Sunset at the Hoh Valley campground.

Attempt to take photo of moss - marginal success.

The author amongst the mossy trees sporting the latest in wet weather cycling fashions.

Ann Elk? an Elk. Roosevelt Elk, Hoh Valley.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh it's soooo prettty! *reaches out to stroke moss on screen* It's a real forest, because it has an elk.