A path through the Hoh Rain Forest is filled with old temperate trees covered in green and brown moss.

©Roman Khomlyak/Shutterstock

Olympic Peninsula & Washington Coast

The Olympic Peninsula is an unblemished wilderness of the highest order, with an interior that brings to mind a unicorn fantasy novel and an end-of-the-continent coastline that makes Big Sur look positively calm. Then there's the precipitation. While Seattleites whine about a little winter drizzle, the Hoh Rain Forest is drowning in up to 200in of rain a year. There's an upside to all this water, of course: it's green here, a thousand verdant shades of it, if you stare hard enough. And it's virgin, too. Untouched in over a millennium are sapphire lakes, rarely climbed mountains, and ancient cedar and spruce trees older than most of Europe's medieval castles. It took a lucrative series of vampire novels to put the Olympic Peninsula on the world's radar, but Twilight is only 1% of what this wild, fog-shrouded landmass is about.


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