Forest photo gallery: Explore the rainforests of America

Come explore three of the rainforests in the United States with us. These photos capture some of the beauty and natural diversity of these forests, which are among the reasons these places deserve protection.

Hoh rainforest

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Rainforests cover just 6% of the world’s surface, yet they’re home to half of the world’s plant and animal species. And these lush forests aren’t just found in the heart of South America or Southeast Asia or Madagascar.

There are even rainforests right here in the United States. Come explore three of these forests with us in this gallery of photos.

Hoh Rainforest, Washington

In Olympic National Park, the Hoh Rainforest is a mythical place full of giant trees including Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir. From Mount Olympus flows the Hoh River, which runs fast through the forest where it rains most of the year. Blanketing the forest floor are hundreds of ferns and mosses. Everything is deeply green in the Hoh Rainforest — it’s like stepping into Oz.

Black bears, Roosevelt elk, river otters, and the endangered northern spotted owl all call this forest home. Because this old-growth forest is part of a National Park, it is protected from logging and other destructive activities, unlike many other old-growth forests in America.

A bobcat at night.

Photo by NPS Photo | Public Domain

Trees are robed in ferns and moss.

Photo by NPS MJuran | Public Domain

An elk in Autumn in the Hoh rainforest.

Photo by NPS Photo | Public Domain

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El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico

Our only tropical rainforest is found in Puerto Rico. El Yunque National Forest is a hotspot for many unique tropical bird species. In 1971, the Elfin Woods Warbler was discovered for the first time high up in the mountains of El Yunque. This forests is one of the only remaining habitats for the endangered Puerto Rican parrot, and an ongoing recovery program to save the parrots continues today.

The tropical forest is also home for tiny coqui tree frogs, rare fruit bats and colorful orchids. After logging in 1800s Puerto Rico destroyed much of the island’s original forests, reforestation has been successful in restoring the splendor of this tropical ecosystem.

The rainforest is home to the endangered Puerto Rican parrot.

Photo by Tom MacKenzie, USFWS via Flickr | CC-BY-2.0

Water flowing down Coco Falls.

Photo by USDA Forest Service photo by Preston Keres via Flickr | Public Domain

The spiral shell of a giant tree snail.

Photo by Björn Söderqvist via Flickr | CC-BY-SA-2.0

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Forest Service Alaska Region, USDA via Flickr | Public Domain

Tongass National Forest, Alaska

The beautiful and largely untouched Tongass National Forest is also a temperate rainforest. Salmon swim in the streams, eagles fly through the treetops, and wolves make dens for their families in the old-growth forest. The forest is about the size of West Virginia and it’s the largest intact temperate rainforest left in the world.

For decades, we’ve worked to defend the 9.2 million acres of roadless, wild areas in the Tongass from logging. Earlier this year, we helped convince the Biden administration to restore roadless area protections to the Tongass National Forest, helping preserve this rainforest and the wildlife that depend on its oldest trees.

A mother bear and her trio of cubs.

Photo by USFS Alaska Region via Flickr | CC-BY-2.0

A toad in a bed of moss.

Photo by U.S. Forest Service photo by Adam Pietro via Flickr | Public Domain

A whale leaps in the waters along the Tongass.

Photo by Harvey Hergett/USFS via Flickr | Public Domain

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We love our forests — from our lush temperate rainforests to the mature and old-growth forests across America. Environment America is working to defend our oldest forests and preserve these incredible ecosystems for generations to come.


Ellen Montgomery

Director, Public Lands Campaign, Environment America

Ellen runs campaigns to protect America's beautiful places, from local beachfronts to remote mountain peaks. Prior to her current role, Ellen worked as the organizing director for Environment America’s Climate Defenders campaign. Ellen lives in Denver, where she likes to hike in Colorado's mountains.

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