Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Hoh comes alive (with elk and raindrops) in fall

September 29, 2011, 1:24 pm

Tourists rush to the Hoh Rain Forest during the summer, but they don't see the best of this natural wonder.

The fall season seems more ethereal. The bugle of Roosevelt elk echoes throughout this lush landscape of giant hemlock and spruce. There's the slow drip, drip, drip from soaked tapestries of moss above and the cascade of scarlet and amber-color leaves.

There's no fall foliage in the state quite like what you'll see at the Hoh, says National Park Ranger Jon Preston. "You'll be standing, and all of the sudden, a little puff of autumn wind and a million leaves fall. Each bump on the way down makes a little noise. It only lasts for 10 to 15 seconds. It's poetry," he said. "I live for those moments."

My hike with Preston occurred in July, when he gave me a personal tour of the most unusual order. He pointed to all the glories of the Hoh that I would miss by not visiting in October.

This tease was mostly my doing, because I was in Olympic National Park this summer and had heard what a best-kept secret this rain forest is in autumn. I wanted a preview.

Read more at seattletimes.com.