Hoh Rainforest

Hoh Rainforest is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S., located on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington state.[1] It includes 24 miles (39 km) of low elevation forest 394 to 2,493 feet (120 to 760 m) along the Hoh River. The Hoh River valley was formed thousands of years ago by glaciers.

Bigleaf maples in the Hoh Rainforest

Within Olympic National Park, the forest is protected from commercial exploitation. Between the park boundary and the Pacific Ocean, 48 km (30 mi) of river, much of the forest has been logged within the last century, although many pockets of forest remain.

ClimateEdit

Hoh Rainforest is the wettest forest in the Contiguous United States, receiving over 200 inches of rain per year. It is an Oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb).

Climate data for Hoh Ranger Station, Olympic National Park, Washington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 12
(−11)
100
(38)
10
(−12)
86
(30)
99
(37)
93
(34)
90
(32)
95
(35)
00
(−18)
71
(22)
51
(11)
53
(12)
100
(38)
Average high °F (°C) 40.8
(4.9)
44.3
(6.8)
47.1
(8.4)
54.8
(12.7)
61.1
(16.2)
63.9
(17.7)
71.6
(22.0)
71.5
(21.9)
66.6
(19.2)
55.2
(12.9)
46.3
(7.9)
40.2
(4.6)
55.3
(12.9)
Average low °F (°C) 33.5
(0.8)
33.0
(0.6)
34.0
(1.1)
37.1
(2.8)
42.6
(5.9)
47.4
(8.6)
50.7
(10.4)
51.2
(10.7)
47.4
(8.6)
41.2
(5.1)
36.0
(2.2)
32.7
(0.4)
40.6
(4.8)
Record low °F (°C) 12
(−11)
20
(−7)
23
(−5)
28
(−2)
26
(−3)
31
(−1)
39
(4)
38
(3)
37
(3)
27
(−3)
18
(−8)
17
(−8)
12
(−11)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 24.86
(631)
11.70
(297)
14.45
(367)
10.27
(261)
5.80
(147)
3.72
(94)
2.23
(57)
3.14
(80)
6.37
(162)
10.12
(257)
20.88
(530)
14.27
(362)
127.81
(3,245)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 7.7
(20)
7.6
(19)
2.7
(6.9)
0.7
(1.8)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
2.3
(5.8)
6.5
(17)
27.5
(70.5)
Source: [2]
Hoh Rainforest, Washington (U.S. State)
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
631
 
 
5
1
 
 
297
 
 
7
1
 
 
367
 
 
8
1
 
 
261
 
 
13
3
 
 
147
 
 
16
6
 
 
94
 
 
18
9
 
 
57
 
 
22
10
 
 
80
 
 
22
11
 
 
162
 
 
19
9
 
 
257
 
 
13
5
 
 
530
 
 
8
2
 
 
362
 
 
5
0
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: [1]

FloraEdit

 
Young western hemlock growing as an epiphyte on an older tree in the Hoh Rainforest
 
Lobaria oregana on the forest floor

The dominant species in the rainforest are Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla); some grow to tremendous size, reaching 95 meters (312 ft) in height and 7 m (23 ft) in diameter. Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii), western red cedar (Thuja plicata), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), red alder (Alnus rubra), vine maple (Acer circinatum), and black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) are also found throughout the forest.

Many unique mosses and lichens are also present in the rainforest, such as lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana), which "requires the cool, moist conditions found under the canopy of old-growth forests" and is consumed by deer, elk, and other animals.[3]

FaunaEdit

Many native fauna also make the Hoh Rainforest their home, including the Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla), northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina), bobcat (Lynx rufus), cougar (Puma concolor cougar), raccoon (Procyon lotor), Olympic black bear (Ursus americanus altifrontalis), Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti), and black-tailed deer (Odocoileus columbianus).

The area is also home to the banana slug (Ariolimax columbianus), which has recently been threatened by the encroachment of a new species of slug, the black slug (Arion ater), an invasive species from Northern Europe.[4]

SightsEdit

 
National Park Service sign at the entrance of the park.

The Hoh Rainforest is home to a National Park Service ranger station, from which backcountry trails extend deeper into the national park.

Near the visitor center is the Hall of Mosses Trail, a short trail—0.8 miles (1.3 km)—which gives visitors a feel for the local ecosystem and views of maples draped with large growths of spikemoss. There is also the Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 miles (1.9 km)), which includes signs that identify various trailside trees and plants.

GalleryEdit

See also   Media related to Hoh Rainforest at Wikimedia Commons

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Visiting the Hoh Rain Forest". Olympic National Park. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2013-09-30. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
  2. ^ "HOH RS, WASHINGTON (453710)". Western Regional Climate Center. Archived from the original on February 13, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  3. ^ Bolen, E.G. (1998). Ecology of North America. John Wiley & Sons. p. 346. ISBN 0-471-13156-3.
  4. ^ Cowie R. H., Dillon R. T., Robinson D. G. & Smith J. W. (2009). "Alien non-marine snails and slugs of priority quarantine importance in the United States: A preliminary risk assessment". American Malacological Bulletin 27: 113–132. PDF.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 47°51′41.2″N 123°55′28.8″W / 47.861444°N 123.924667°W / 47.861444; -123.924667