331 Things to Do – #93 Size Up 8 Gargantuan Trees in the “Valley of the Rainforest Giants” & Around the Olympic Peninsula
If lollygagging to giant trees is on your bucket list, then head to the Olympic Peninsula where you’ll find the highest number of gargantuan trees contained into the smallest area in the whole wide world. The Olympic Peninsula’s rainforests are hiding some straight up giants among the moss, ferns, verdant valleys and swirling streams. See a “Forest of Giants” in the Olympic National Park where champion trees believed to be over a 1,000 years-old still stand today.
The Quinault Rain Forest and Lake Quinault are home to 6 of our 8 giant trees which makes for an easy day trip from Port Angeles, Washington. These trees are recognized by the National Forestry Association as the largest living trees of their kind. So throw on your rain boots and get exploring some of the largest trees outside of the Redwoods and Sequoias in California.
View the trail map and driving directions to each of these trees here.
1. See the Largest Western Red Cedar in the World
TREE STATS: 174 feet tall / 63.5 feet circumference / 19.5 feet Diameter
FUN FACTS: Largest tree in Washington state & the largest tree in the World outside of California
DIRECTIONS: Start at the Lake Quinault Resort and head down a short trail off the North Shore Rd.
2. See the Largest Sitka Spruce in the World
TREE STATS: 191 feet tall / 55 feet 7 inches circumference /17.68 feet diameter
FUN FACTS: This is the third largest tree in Washington state and is estimated to be over 1,000 years-old
DIRECTIONS: Start at Rain Forest Resort Village in Quinault off South Shore Rd. This large tree is only a five-minute stroll down 1200 Foot Trail
3. See the Largest Douglas Fir in the World
TREE STATS: 302 feet tall /40 feet 10 inches circumference /13 feet diameter
FUN FACTS: See some of this Doug Fir’s giant cousins in the same area
DIRECTIONS: This behemoth tree is located away from developed trails in the Quinault Research Natural Area
4. See the Largest Yellow Cedar in the U.S.
TREE STATS: 129 feet tall / 37 feet 7 inches circumference /11.96 feet diameter
DIRECTIONS: An 8-mile hike in, one-mile east of Three Lakes and 40 feet north of the Big Creek Trail
5. See the Largest Western Hemlock in the U.S.
TREE STATS: 171 feet / 27 feet 11 inches circumference /8.89 feet diameter
DIRECTIONS: 14 miles up trail in the Enchanted Valley area
6. See the Largest Mountain Hemlock in the U.S.
TREE STATS: 152 feet tall / 6 feet Diameter
FUN FACTS: Largest Mountain Hemlock by volume
DIRECTIONS: 13 miles up trail at the head of the Enchanted Valley
7. See the Largest Engelmann Spruce in the U.S.
TREE STATS: 179 feet tall / 265 inches circumference / 23.58 feet diameter
DIRECTIONS: Upper Cameron Creek Trail
8. See the Largest Tree in the Olympic National Park, a Grand Fir
TREE STATS: 251 feet tall / 229 inches circumference / 19.08 feet Diameter
DIRECTIONS: Southeast side Duckabush Trail, 1.5 miles inside park, 100 yards past second park stream crossing
Bonus: See the Largest Pacific Silver Fir
TREE STATS: 220 feet tall / 216 inches circumference
FUN FACTS: The quest to see this tree is best done by a bushwhacking backpacker (not a casual day hike)
DIRECTIONS: Bogachiel Valley (east of Hades Creek)
Big tree photos by Nate Wyeth Photography