Revel in the mossy Endor-like vibe on this mellow out-and-back to Five Mile Island.
Features: Birding — River/Creek — Views — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
The Hoh's major hiking trail is the Hoh River Trail
, which leads 17.3 miles to Glacier Meadows and Blue Glacier, on the shoulder of Mount Olympus. This featured hike describes the out-and back on the initial 5 miles of this beautiful trail. The number of other users drops off after the first few miles, even though this is one of the most heavily used trails in the park.
From the Hoh Rainforest
Visitor Center area, take the paved loop east for just 0.2 miles to the junction with Hoh River Trail
. This well groomed, easy trail ascends the lush river valley along the north bank of the braided Hoh River. The heavily wooded and mossy trail is mostly flat with only a few gentle undulations.
The first good view of the river comes around 1 mile, although you'll likely have heard the rush of its waters over the birdsong much earlier. Spot Mount Tom and the High Divide from here. Pass campsites, two small falls and the impressive Cougar Creek cedar grove. After about 5 miles, you arrive at Five Mile Island, a meadow-like spot formed by a huge gravel bar. Elk often can be found here and there are good views up valley. After enjoying this worthwhile destination, turn around and retrace your steps back to the trailhead. Note: no bikes allowed on this trail.
Ferns, moss and huge trees. Elk, deer, bear.