Watch: Aquatic life at the Hoh Rain Forest

Captured on the trail to the Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rain Forest at Olympic National Park, this video shows flowing aquatic life dance as a swift current pushes life forward in the only rain forest located in the Lower 48.

THE HALL OF MOSSES IS the name of a distinct hiking trail in Washington's Olympic National Park, located in the Hoh Rain Forest. Plucked straight from a storybook, the trail is filled with old trees—a mixture of temperate bigleaf maples and Sitka spruces—draped in green and brown mosses. The Hoh Rain Forest is named for the ever-flowing Hoh River that carves its way from Mount Olympus towards the Pacific Coast.  In the winter, the forest receives most of its yearly average of 140 inches (3.55 meters) of precipitation. All that water results in a lush, green canopy above and a blanket of mosses and ferns blanket below. Along the main trail, there is an otherworldly 200-foot side path that leads to an enchanting grove of giant maple trees cloaked in hanging moss. One visitor to the trail wrote that "the trees stand like green-robed figures of eld."

Hall of Mosses | Atlas Obscura
Image: Andrew Yi

The Hoh Rain Forest, pronounced "Hoe", earns its name from the ever-flowing Hoh River that carves its way from Mount Olympus towards the Pacific Coast. However, where the name originates, is up for debate. The word "Hoh" undoubtedly comes from Native American languages; possibly the Quileute word "Ohalet" which means "fast moving water" or "snow water." Since the river itself forms from glacial runoff, that origin seems straight forward. Other explanations state that the Quinault word "Qu," meaning "boundary," could be the root of the name as a river as massive as the Hoh certainly forms a formidable boundary across the landscape. A third consideration claims that the word "Hoh" translates to "man with quarreling wives." What the actual history behind the name is appears to be lost to time.

Visiting the Hoh Rain Forest – National Park Service