Quinault, Queets, Hoh, Bogachiel
What's your favorite Olympic Rainforest Valley?
There are only three places on the planet where you can find temperate rainforests. Southern Chile, New Zealand and Washington-British Columbia. And nowhere is the temperate rainforest more ingrained in the identity of a region than in Washington's Olympic Peninsula.
I have explored tropical rainforests in Peru and Paraguay and they are lands of incredible bio-diversity. But in Washington's Olympic rainforests it's all about biomass! Nowhere on the planet is there so much living (and dying and decaying) matter than in these saturated valleys. You feel as if you're breathing biomass (you are!) and if you stay stationary for the shortest period of time, you'll sport mosses, lichens, ferns and other epiphytes (and you probably will!). And while the rainforest valleys of the Olympic Peninsula share the same characteristics when it comes to ecology and biology--their historic and cultural backgrounds, and aesthetics are unique. And a trip into each one will provide different experiences and perceptions. Of course, I love them all--but that doesn't stop me from favoring one valley over the other. What's your favorite Olympic Rainforest and why?
(photo-mossy maple along the East Fork Quinault River)