Quinault Rain Forest, Washington State

The Olympic Mountains of Washington state are home to four rain forests. Located in its southwestern section, Quinault rain forest is one of them. It follows the path of the Quinault River as it winds its way to Quinault Lake. My husband and I visited on September 25th, 2022. We loved our rustic one room cabin facing Lake Quinault. Dinner was a delicious local salmon from the village’s on-site restaurant. After dinner, I enjoyed watching the sun as it slowly set over the lake.

The resort is home to the World’s Largest Spruce Tree. There is a sign at the base of the tree stating that it is a one-thousand-year-old Sitka Spruce currently standing at 191 ft. Can you spot me in at its base in the photo below?

The rain forest receives 10 to 15 feet of rainfall annually which ensures enough moisture for its variety of trees and vegetation to grow. The most prevalent trees are Douglas Fir, western red cedar, pacific silver fir, Sitka Spruce and western hemlock. Aside from abundant moss hanging down the trees, the forest floor is rich with fern, various wild berry bushes and a plethora of vegetations highlighted by rays of sunlight streaming through the foliage. We did not spot any animals, but I read that herds of Elk have made it their year-round home as well as black bears, cougar, deer, coyote, beavers, racoons in addition to eagles, ospreys, hawks. Lake Quinault provides an optimal habitat to various salmon species. The area the forest is located within, was established as a federal forest preserve in 1897. It was expanded and renamed to Olympic National Park in 1938.

We walked the nature trail which is just under a mile. It was easy and beautiful. Walking among the giant trees is a magical experience. If you must choose, I’d visit Quinault over Hoh rain forest, it is definitely lusher and more beautiful. It is documented as a very popular trail, but we had the trail to ourselves when we reached it after 5pm. I highly recommend this enchanting short and easy walk.

References Quinault nature trail on Alltrail, Quinault Big Sitka Spruce Tree Trail, Lake Quinault Rain Forest, National Park Service page

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