The Quinault Rainforest is a temperate rainforest in the Olympic National Forest. There are very few temperate rainforests left in the U.S. so this a great Olympic National Park site that you should definitely check out.
The Quinault Rainforest is located in the Olympic National Forest in the Olympic Peninsula. It is about a 3 hour drive from Seattle and makes for a perfect first stop if you are driving around the South part of the Olympic Peninsula. There are so many beautiful hiking options nearby, you can spend a whole weekend just in this area.
Hike a Rainforest
There are lots of different parking lots around the Quinault Rainforest Trailhead. This area is run by the Forest Service and you will have to pay around $5 (cash/check only) to park and hike.
At the Trailhead they have maps posted of all different hikes. We took the quick 0.5 mile Rain Forest Nature Trail Loop. It was absolutely beautiful and a super easy hike.
This hike is an interpretive hike, which means there are lots of educational signs posted along the trail giving tons of information about the rainforest. We had a lot more places to stop, so we took the short trail, but everything in this area was so gorgeous we definitely want to come back.
World’s Largest Spruce
Just down South Shore Road is the World’s Largest Sitka Spruce (Google Maps calls it Big Spruce Tree). There was some parking by this, but you could always walk from the Trailhead. There will be a sign off the road “World’s Record Sitka Spruce,” follow the Big Spruce Trailhead by the sign and you will come to the Sitka Spruce. Tall is an understatement, over 191 feet tall and 1000 years old!
Make sure to stop and enjoy the serenity of Lake Quinault. You can see it from the road and driving through to the trailhead. There are also a few lodging and restaurant stops around here if you would like to spend more time.