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Hoh River Trail: Full Trail Out-and-Back

The iconic Washington rainforest hike in its full glory!

Hiking Difficult

54 km
1.7 km
1.7 km
1 day +
Low Point
178 m
High Point
1.3 km
Hoh River Trail: Full Trail Out-and-Back Map

The Hoh River Trail begins in the heart of the Hoh Rainforest—one of the most incredible rainforests in the world! "You can’t escape a sense of magic at the Hoh,” writes Susan Elderkin on WTA.org. "The huge trees, the cascading moss, the birds and Roosevelt elk, the Olympic Mountains rising above and the broad river valley extending up and downstream all add up to make this a hike that must be done at least once in a lifetime.”


The Hoh River Trail begins as an easy hike, with a low grade and well-maintained trail tread. This mellow hiking trail runs through the rainforest and along the banks of the Hoh River. This otherworldly landscape makes the Hoh River Trail one of the most renowned hikes in Washington State.

Along the river, backpackers will enjoy a number of easily-accessible campsites, including the option to camp on sand bars in the wide river. Five Mile Island is a popular spot to camp for the night.

“After Five Mile Island, the trail becomes much wilder and less maintained,” according to Samantha Larson on RootsRated.com. The next section of the trail continues to follow the river, so the grade remains mellow. Olympus Guard Station is another popular spot to camp, located further along at 9.1 miles from the start.

Eventually, the trail leaves the river and begins climbing into the mountains, and from this point, the hike only gets more adventurous! The mellow grades are replaced by steep climbs on a little-maintained, narrow singletrack trail.

For hikers, the turn around point for the route is located near Glacier Meadows at the Blue Glacier Overlook. However, mountaineers often use the Hoh River Trail as an approach to the glaciers in the area, and then ascend the glaciers while making for nearby mountain peaks.

Sources: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/hoh-river-trail-to-five-mile-island https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/hoh-river-trail.htm https://rootsrated.com/stories/the-hoh-river-trail-seattle-s-most-epic-backpacking-trip



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

between April and November


  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Water features
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area