This pristine tract of old growth, temperate rain forest is one of the most popular attractions at the Olympic National Park, with an easy 3/4 mile loop trail that takes an hour.
The trail starts at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, and is mostly flat, but can get very muddy in cooler months. It's advisable to bring a rain jacket and dress in warm clothes, even in summer.
Getting there: To get to the Hall of Mosses, take the exit off highway 101, then drive 18 miles east along the Upper Hoh Road to the Visitor Center (always check if there are any road closures). The nearest town is one hour away at Forks, which has lots of motels, cabins and comfort food. No food or drink is sold at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, and there's no gas station out here, so stop at Forks to get everything you need.
Arrive very early in summer, because the parking lot fills up quickly. Don't forget an entrance pass is required to visit the Olympic National Park.
5 best things to do at the Hall of Mosses
1. Start at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center.
The trailhead for the Hall of Mosses is right next to the Visitor Center, so this is a great place to start. The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is closed during some winter months, and operating hours can change, so check their website for opening times.
The Visitor Center has a bookshop, maps, wilderness permits, and some fascinating information about the flora and fauna of the Hoh Rain Forest. There's also ranger guided tours, providing a more in-depth look at the area.
This moss laden phone box is directly outside the Visitor Center, and perfect for a photo!
2. Walk the 3/4 mile Hall of Mosses trail loop.
The Hall of Mosses is a mostly flat 3/4 mile loop trail, that usually takes an hour. There are some other short trails that start at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, but this is by far the best.
This breathtaking trail along the Hall of Mosses takes you deep beneath the eerie canopy of a temperate rain forest, that looks much like it did thousands of year ago. It's a rare example of a temperate rainforest with old growth trees, somehow spared from the ravages of logging. This rainforest is so unique, that it has received both a World Heritage and International Biosphere designation from UNESCO.
3. Walk through the Maple Grove in the Hall of Mosses.
The Maple Grove is the highlight of the Hall of Mosses trail, where maple trees are draped in surreal curtains of club moss.The Hoh Rain Forest receives 12 to 14 feet of precipitation each year, creating the perfect conditions for all types of moss, algae and lichen to thrive, including 100 varieties of moss.
4. Walk beneath an archway along the Hall of Mosses.
A tree that has split in two, has created a beautiful archway along The Hall of Mosses trail. The archway is now a nurse log, nurturing saplings for the next generation of trees.
5. Look up at some of North America's most giant trees!
Don't forget to look up at the incredible forest canopy along the Hall of Mosses! Here you can see old growth Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir and Western Hemlock, up to 200 feet in height! These treetops are also home to American Robbins and Northern Spotted Owls.
See 10 BEST Attractions at Olympic National Park, including the Hall of Mosses!