The town of Forks is known for many things—timber, sport fishing, hunting, beaches, Olympic National Park and Forest, and Twilight. What makes us unique are not those things listed above, but rather what comes from above—our rain! We get an average of 10 feet of rain annually which gives us the distinction for being the rainiest town in the contiguous United States. The lowest rainfall recorded in Forks was in 1985 with only 70.25” of rain and the highest was in 1997 with 162”. Here, we embrace the rain in Forks! We even have people that travel here and get upset when it’s not raining. What other tourist destination in the “lower forty-eight” can say that?
Outdoor recreation in Forks
Surrounded by rain forest valleys and within minutes of the rugged Pacific Coast, Forks is a friendly little town, located in the heart of the Olympic Peninsula, where over 200 miles of wild rivers crisscross the region. Full of outdoor recreation opportunities, and within an hour’s drive of Forks, one can be hiking or biking a rain forest trail, kayaking a tidal estuary, surfing a wilderness beach or canoeing a glacier-carved lake. And bring your four-legged best friend because there are many pet-friendly walking and hiking trails nearby.
Savor the relaxed atmosphere
Twilight fans will want to take the self-guided Twilight Sites Tour. Or you can simply enjoy exploring our many restaurants, shops, adventure outfitters and lodgings in Forks. Savor the relaxed atmosphere of this town where folks still chat in grocery lines and stop for pedestrians. Bring a lightweight hooded jacket and a smile…though this town gets 10 or 12 feet of rain a year, we embrace the rain. No one carries an umbrella!
When it’s raining, check out the museums
If it’s raining, which it often is, take advantage of our indoor activities, and visit our three unique museums. The Forks Timber Museum houses historical items from our logging heritage, along with native American pieces and local artifacts. In the summer, you can go to the beach then take a tour of John’s Beachcombing Museum. You will never look at the beach the same way again. John has spent over 40 years gathering things found on the beaches here in Washington, and other coastal areas around the world. And finally, take a few minutes to tour the Forever Twilight in Forks Collection, a gallery of actual props and costumes from worldwide phenomenon “Twilight Saga” movies.
Forest industry—past and present
The Forks Chamber of Commerce hosts a seasonal educational and entertaining Logging & Mill Tour from mid-May through August. Participants get to visit an actual logging site, various stages of regrowth and a working mill. Our volunteer guides share their knowledge of the forest industry from many different perspectives, past and present, including both the forestry and the logging sides.
La Push and nearby tribal culture
Fourteen miles west of Forks is La Push, home of the Quileute People, where you will find gorgeous coastlines and warm hospitality. “Welcoming the Whales” and “Quileute Days” are annual events that celebrate language and culture and are open for all to enjoy. The Quileute Oceanside Resort, River’s Edge Restaurant and Lonesome Creek Store welcome you year-round. Depending on the time of year you can see whales (including Orcas), seals, otters, eagles, and other wildlife right out your window or as you walk along the beach. And speaking of embracing the rain, storm watching is a must in the off-season. The Quileute Oceanside Resort cabins even have wood burning fireplaces!
Recently, the Quileute Tribal School completed construction, so look for their beautiful new school as you enter La Push. Since the lower village is in the tsunami danger zone, the tribe has created the “Move to Higher Ground” campaign and the new school is part of that process.
Seasons in the rainiest town in the contiguous United States
With so many destinations within easy reach of Forks, it’s the ideal place to stay. You’ll find it conveniently located to Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and the Olympic Discovery Trail, all offering unique experiences for every level of adventure.
Forks is incredible in the summer, with long, warm days, remarkable sunsets and bioluminescent beach nights. However, the other seasons are equally as charming with peaceful rains, cozy fires, exciting storm watching on the coast, and the greenest greens you will ever see plus far fewer people. Picture yourself walking through a rain forest trail, viewing waterfalls not reachable by car, and relishing the sound of silence except for the raindrops. Then later, imagine sipping a hot chocolate or cinnamon toasty by a roaring fire while enjoying your evening and thinking about tomorrow’s adventure. That’s Forks, WA and we welcome you!
By guest blogger, Lissy Andros, Executive Director, Forks Chamber of Commerce