Photos: Hoh rain forest turns into the Hoh "snow" forest

What does it look like when it snows in a rain forest?

Don Jensen has the answer. He spent Tuesday running around the rain forest getting stunning photos of the moss-covered trees covered in a blanket of snow!

"I headed up there specifically because the forecast had called for several inches of snow (3-7 depending on the pinpoint location) and knew it would be a great opportunity to capture something unique," Jensen said. "Driving the road to the visitor center was interesting because I went through multiple locations of snow on the ground and then none and back and fourth a few times. Also driving up 101, there was snow around the Quinault valley, the Queets valley, and the Hoh valley, but no snow on the ground between these valleys. There were some real micro-climate events occurring."

These photos were taken near the visitor center on the Hoh River Trail and the Trail of Mosses.

Jensen also managed to capture a herd of Roosevelt Elk walking around in what must have been a confusing scene for them.

The Hoh Rain Forest inside the Olympic National Park is one of the wettest spots in North America, getting on average 140-170 inches of rain per year.

Its position along the southwestern side of the Olympic Mountains puts it front and center to our multiple storms that blow into the state during the fall and winter. The moist air rises up the Olympic Mountains and the process wrings out the rainfall like a sponge, creating the vast rain forests on that side of the mountains. (The opposite effect is seen on the northeastern side of the Olympics, where sinking air dries it out, leaving Sequim, Washington as one of the driest cities in Washington at just about 18 inches of rain per year, despite being only 40 miles away "as the crow flies."

Speaking of storms, Jensen was there on the coast as one rolled in. Here's a short time lapse:

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off