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Hoh Rain Forest to Glacier Meadows

Hike Name: Hoh Rain Forest to Glacier Meadows
Location: Northwest WA
Length: 36
Submitted by: Matt C. Goldbach
Date Submitted: 0/0/00
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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This is a 3 to 5 day trip along the Hoh River on the western side of Olympic National Park in Washington State.

The first 10-11 miles are relatively easy. You will proceed through a dense, lush old-growth forest with towering trees alongside a river. You begin to climb after that first 10 miles to a lake at about 2200 feet in elevation. You should be able to get to the lake, which is about 15 miles from the trailhead, in one day if you are in good shape and your pack is not too heavy. If not, there are plenty of places to camp along the river the first night.

After reaching the lake, it is another moderately steep 2.3 miles to Glacier Meadows. On the way there, the close-up views of large glaciers on the Olympic Mountains are great. You can camp at Glacier Meadows campsite and take a day hike to the Blue Glacier, but make sure you bring crampons and ice axe (and know what you are doing!) if you plan on taking a glacier climb. The return trip is simply going back out on the same trail you took in.

Overall, this is a great hike in one of America's finest national parks. The best time for avoiding crowds and still have decent weather conditions is mid-September through October. This is the Pacific Northwest and very close to the ocean, so bring rain gear as precipitation here is a constant factor.

Bottom line: this is definitely a worthwhile trip.

Directions to Hike
From Interstate 5 in the city of Olympia, Washington take the turnoff for U.S. 101 West towards Aberdeen.

Once you get off I-5 and start heading west, stay in the lanes going to Aberdeen. If by mistake you get in the lanes going north to Port Angeles, the trip to the western side of Olympic National Park will be longer but you will still get there (consult a state road map).

Once you reach Aberdeen, look for signs saying "101 Northbound-Forks" and stay in that lane. Continue on, going north, and eventually you will be driving along the Pacific coast.

As the 101 leaves the coast, you will soon be looking for the turnoff road leading to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center (about 15 miles south of Forks).

Take this road east into the park. At the end of the road you will see the campground and Vistor Center. There are several parking lots here. The trailhead for the Hoh River Trail is a short walk from the Visitor Center.

Contact Information
Olympic National Park 360-452-0330

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