|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – May 2009
Tick off these life list hikes in Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska.
Hoh River Trail, WA 18 miles (Difficult) Everything is simply bigger in Olympic National Park's Hoh Rainforest. With more than 12 feet of rain annually, the Hoh's Sitka spruce, cedar, and fir reach supersize heights, and even the gardens of moss and fern look like they benefit from Miracle-Gro. The nine-mile hike to the Olympus Guard Station (your turnaround point) is relatively gentle as the trail climbs gradually along its namesake river through a soggy haven that's home to northern spotted owls, giant banana slugs, and Roosevelt elk.
Indian River Trail, AK 11 miles (Moderate)
Trees, grizzlies, and even the views in this temperate rainforest are Alaska-scale: Sitka spruce top 200 feet, and yellow cedars and western hemlock are also XXL. Look for killer views of the Sisters Mountains at a grassy bog half of a mile in, then dive into the forest; you'll gain 700 feet in the last mile to reach 70-foot Indian River Falls (turn back here).
Info (907) 225-3101