Restoring nature, community

It’s happening in the Hoh River Rain Forest

The mossy Hoh River is among Washington’s most iconic places. Clear and undammed, the river hosts one of the healthiest wild salmon runs in the Lower 48 states. Downstream of Olympic National Park, people come to the Hoh River valley to fish, hunt and gather plants. The Hoh Tribe lives at the river’s mouth, with profound cultural ties to resources and places in the watershed.

Roosevelt Elk in the Hoh River valley. Photo by Keith Lazelle.

The Conservancy welcomes visitors to enjoy the Hoh River Recreation and Conservation Area. Our goals: restore a natural, mature forest and keep forest and resource management local.

The Hoh offers an opportunity for a high-profile test case for temperate rain forest restoration that benefits the local community. It also fits right into the Conservancy’s Emerald Edge program, which aims to conserve and restore the world’s largest temperate rain forest, stretching from Southeast Alaska through coastal British Columbia and into Washington’s coast.

Did you know?
750 miles of tributaries flow in the Hoh River below Olympic National Park.

Restoration includes thinning and planting trees to increase natural diversity, adding log jams and repairing culverts to create more salmon habitat, and fixing forest roads, which can wash out and deliver damaging sediment to streams. Local residents already benefit, with jobs related to the restoration. Two hundred years from now, big trees will once again thrive, along with the local communities that will be the stewards of this treasured valley.

Exploring the bigleaf maples of the Hoh Valley. Photo © Nikolaj Lasbo/TNC

In addition to this 10,000 acres on the Hoh, the Conservancy also owns and manages about 5,835 acres along the Clearwater River, a major tributary to the Queets River south of the Hoh. These are some of the most important salmon rivers in Washington and indeed on the whole west coast of the United States.

Ideal for the Olympic region could be a community forest, owned and managed locally, with sustainable forestry and income flowing back into the community.

What to see and do:

Logging roads wind through acres that were once managed for timber production producing a patchwork of stand ages and ecosystem types. From lingering small pockets of old growth to young hearty stands of regeneration, from boggy wetlands to  bigleaf maples spreading their shade along the river, there’s a little bit of everything.

We keep this property open to outdoor recreation such as hunting, fishing, hiking, and bird-watching access. However, this is a working forest and an active restoration site so you may encounter crews at work. Please do not block roads or gates, and steer clear of logging or construction activities.

  • Access beyond the gates is by foot only; motorized use is prohibited.

  • Hunting and fishing are allowed with all applicable state licenses.

  • Pets are allowed—please pick up after them and leash when wildlife is present.

  • Pack out any litter. Camping or campfires are not allowed.


The Olympic National Park Hoh Rain Forest Visitors Center offers wheelchair -access interpretive trails as well as trails leading up into the backcountry.

Kalaloch and Ruby Beach, South Beach campground


The Conservancy owns land both east and west of Highway 101. Easiest to find is to take Highway 101 south from Forks and turn east on the Upper Hoh Road.

Read More About Our Work in this Region