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Autumn among the maples in the Hoh Rainforest, one of the gems of Olympic National Park in Washington state.
The Hoh Rainforest is located on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington state, USA. It is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S. Within Olympic National Park, the forest is protected from commercial exploitation. This includes 24 miles (39 km) of low elevation forest (394 to 2,493 feet) along the Hoh River. The Hoh River valley was formed thousands of years ago by glaciers. 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.
The dominant species in the rainforest are Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla); some grow to tremendous size, reaching 95 metres (312 ft) in height and 7 metres (23 ft) in diameter. Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), red alder, 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.
The Hoh Rainforest is home to a National Park Service ranger station, from which backcountry trails extend deeper into the national park. A short, popular, 0.8 mile trail near the visitor center is the Hall of Mosses Trail, which gives visitors a feel for the local ecosystem and views of maples draped with large growths of spikemoss. In addition, there is the Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 miles), which conveniently displays information on various trailside trees and plants
Captured with a Canon 5D Mk II and a Canon EF 28-70/2.8L lens.
October 31st, 2011
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