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How Accessible Is Accessible: Hoh Rain forest

Updated: 1 day ago


Disabled Photographer Project & How Accessible Is Accessible Series

Founder Denise Vasquez Photographed by Randy Martinez


The Hoh Rain Forest, got its name from the Hoh River itself, which constantly flows from glacial runoff from Mount Olympus to the Pacific Coast.


Located on the west side of Olympic National Park, you'll find Accessible Parking, Accessible restrooms, and The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, which is Accessible as well.


Be sure to stop by The visitor Center. They offer information, a bookstore, exhibits, and if you require a wheelchair, they have one for checkout.


During my trip, I had time to do one trail while visiting Hoh Rain Forest. When I inquired about Accessibility, told the rangers I spoke with that I was a disabled photographer, and asked about the best trail for my abilities with good photo locations, they recommended the Spruce Nature Trail. They also informed me that the trail has so many photo opportunities along the way to a beautiful scenic view at the Hoh River, and explained that although the trail is not ADA Accessible, the 1.2 mile Spruce Nature Trail has compacted gravel, which was suitable for my ability as I was walking.


You can get a feel for this trail by watching my video on TikTok by clicking the link below:


Everyone has different abilities, so I always recommend checking with the Visitor Center or a Ranger to learn which trails are best for your needs. Knowing your abilities and what you are capable of is important when doing any trail! The length of this trail is 6,645 feet. There are slopes that fluctuate along the trail, some having steep grades. The trail gets narrow at some locations, and be on the lookout for rocks, trees, roots, uneven terrain and mud along the trail.

Denise Vasquez Photography ©2024


From time to time, I checked the mud to see if I spotted any animal tracks, but it was challenging to tell as there were too many footprints left by people in the mud, usually where the trails narrowed. We saw a woodpecker and a Yellow Spotted Millipede. Don’t touch the millipedes! These critters protect themselves by exuding cyanide that can burn or stain your skin! We didn’t see any big mammals, but I had the feeling that we were being watched & we probably had some wildlife around us being camouflaged by the forest.

Denise Vasquez Photography ©2024


It’s so important to be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are entering an environment where there is wildlife! Prior to doing the trail, I made it a point to stop and read every bulletin board or sign that was posted! Years ago when I decided I wanted to photograph wildlife, I invested in a good telephoto lens so I can photograph moments from a safe distance. Never approach wildlife & keep a safe distance of at least 150 feet.


The Hoh Rainforest is home to wildlife like bears, elk, mountain lions, birds, as well as some of North Americas giant trees. The forest is filled with ferns, mosses, Vine Maple Trees, Leaf Maple Trees, Red Cedar Trees, Sitka Spruce, Douglas fir and more!

Denise Vasquez Photography ©2024


Make sure to be mindful, stop, take some deep breaths, and feel the warm embrace of the rain forest all around you! I don’t know how you feel when you are outdoors, but being one with nature makes me so happy!


If you plan on visiting Hoh National Forest, visit the National Park Serivce website to plan your visit. The websites are not always updated, or precise, which is one of the many reasons I started my project, but it’s a good start.


When writing about my project, I make sure to mention the FREE Lifetime ACCESS PASS every chance I get, because too many people that I've mentioned it to over the years, did not know about it! The ACCESS PASS is available to disabled people, you can learn about it in my blog here https://www.denisevasquezphotography.com/post/the-national-park-access-pass and inquire about it at the entry gate or at the visitor center.

Denise Vasquez Photography ©2024


I started my project over six years ago while I was in a wheelchair, using rolling walker and from time to time I’m still using my walking sticks, because personally I’ve discovered while visiting the parks, that many places that are rated accessible or “Easy”, are usually not for me!


Rather than be discouraged, angry or frustrated, I’ve discovered over the years that sharing updated information not only helps me, other disabled or elderly people with limited mobility like me, it helps bring awareness to people working at the parks and on the trails.


How do I know, because many people at the parks have reached out to me over the years, have continued to consult me over the years, and have thanked me for what I’ve been doing over the years!

Founder Denise Vasquez Photographed by Randy Martinez ©2024


It takes a lot of time, money and energy for me to keep this project going, I have put my heART, soul and everything I have into it, and knowing that what I’ve been doing has been making a difference inspires me to keep it going.


✅ If you would like to support my project, by making a contribution, Pay what you can! Donations are accepted in any amount because any contribution is never too small! Donations help support my time, research, planning, travels, gas, accommodations, scouting, photography, memory cards, hard drives, content created & info shared in Captioned YouTube videos, blogs, instagram posts, tiktoks & so much more.


Thank you for supporting The Disabled Photographer Project! If you’d like to make a contribution, you can DONATE here:



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