Welcome to the Carbon River Temperate Rain Forest, located on the west side of Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. What makes this Pacific Northwest rain forest different is that it is an inland rain forest, something one does not get to see very often. Most temperate rain forests are located in coastal areas. But due to a very specific micro-climate close to Mount Rainier, this small sized rain forest flourishes. Rainfall here averages 70-90 inches per year, most of it falling during the winter and spring months. Persistent fog during the rest of the year provides moisture for the forest. The primary tree species in this forest are the Western Hemlock and Cedar. You’ll also see an abundance of Devil’s Club, a spiny shrub with large palmate type leaves.
Access to the rain forest is located at the end of a road and has limited parking. There is a short loop trail with boardwalk. But, watch your step! The boardwalk is very old and rotted in many areas. One of the foot bridges is out and you cannot complete the whole loop trail. Here are a few photos. It’s pretty hard to get clear shots with the limited lighting in the forest. It’s actually a bit eerie and spooky inside there!
Devil’s Club – Oplopanax horridus
All images property of Peggy A Thompson