Enchanted Valley Chalet via East Fork Quinault River Trail

HARD 67 reviews
#11 of 155 trails in

Enchanted Valley Chalet via East Fork Quinault River Trail is a 30.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Forks, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September.

DISTANCE
30.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,642 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

scramble

historic site

no dogs

From Forks, south on U.S. 101 to South Shore Road. Turn left and drive 18.5 miles to Graves Creek Ranger Station and the trailhead.

hiking
29 days ago

I did this trail on 6/14 to 6/16. Awesome scenery, full of green and water sources (the hike follows Quinalt River), so you don't have to take any water with you just the bottle with your filtration system. Bear canisters were required but available for free at the Ranger Station. We did 10 miles in the first day and
camped at Pyrite Campsite, by the river. Very pleasant site. It had a rock-fire-pit and some "tree-benches" to sit on. following day we hiked 4 miles to get to the valley. At the valley there are 2 very raw outpost restrooms around the chalet. didn't rain at all despite weather forecast saying it would. I really enjoyed this hike and recommend it

1 month ago

I've done this hike twice. It's an amazing backpacking trip, especially if you just sit at the Chalet and either enjoy a meal there or stay overnight. Beautiful views!

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked the East Fork Quinault River Trail from the Graves Creek Trailhead to Pyrites on day one (4-23-18). Then back to O'Neil Creek Camp for day two and out on day three. I wanted to go on to the Enchanted Valley on day one, but I could not make it with my 60 year old legs along with the challenging rocky trails, that test your ankles, and the many blow-downs on the trail. It is a beautiful forest trail with an amazing amount of coverage and shade. Many sounds, tracks and signs of wildlife. Although I saw many Elk on the way to the trail head driving in, I never saw any hiking, nor did I see any bear. Camping along the creek is fantastic with a deep sleep provided by the sound of the water. I will return with a lighter pack, stronger legs and a greater determination to make the Enchanted Valley.

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked mid-April 2018, camping at the Chalet. It's clearly early season as much trail maintenance is required at this point in time. Many blow downs and water running down and along the trail. Had to bushwack several sections or walk through a 3-inch deep stream that could be considered a trail on a dry day. The last two miles or so to the chalet is under snow, and luckily there were some footprints from previous hikers, from maybe a week ago, that indicated some kind of trail. We were completely alone up here. The last hiker we saw was still before Pony Creek, and we didn't see anyone else until the next day when we approached Fire Creek. The trail is washed out when you enter the valley, so be prepared to do some climbing until maintenance arrives. By this point we had given up on trying to stay dry because it seemed impossible no matter how hard we tried. Found some snow-free tent spots behind the chalet and promptly froze my ass off through the night. Thankfully it was so cold the bears didn't bother us up there, though we did see some around mile 10, along with lots of elk. In the morning the fog had cleared and we saw the mountain peaks that were obscured the previous evening. Hiked back down in the sunshine, enjoying the wild and gnarly landscape. Water is in abundance so you can keep a light pack, I never carried more than a Liter at a time. If I needed more I could stop anywhere to fill up and filter. Overall it was a very good and challenging hike and would definitely recommend to others, but prepare for wintery conditions higher up for the next few weeks.

backpacking
4 months ago

My college buddy and I did this hike in early May 2017. We drove from the Hoh Rainforest to the Quinault Wilderness Information center to get the permit and a bear canister (about an 1.5hr drive). We waited for about 20 minutes until a ranger showed up. After that we drove to Graves Creek Trailhead to park the car and begin the hike (50 min drive along some dirt roads through the rainforest). We most likely started the hike around 11:00AM and planned to hike to the valley in one day. The trail is amazing and passes glacial blue water and thick rainforests. We really were enjoying the hike however because we needed to get to the campground before dark (really darkness in the rainforest comes faster than the sunset due to the trees and mountains blocking the sun) we really only stopped a few times for no more than 10-20min. Due to this, our hike did feel somewhat tiring especially between O'Neill and Pyrites. From Pyrites to the Gate is probably when we were the most exhausted because we kept up a really fast pace for most of the day. During this part of the hike we did see three black bears, 2 out of the 3 were decently far from the trail wandering by the river. However probably about a 0.3 mile from the Gate where the bridge is we saw a large male black bear. This bear was no further than 15 yards from us and standing directly next to the trail. To say we were nervous was an understatement since this large male black bear never took his eyes off us, was super tense, and did walk towards us at some points. Once we passed the gate we felt a little calmer and we could see the valley ahead. This valley was one the most amazing locations either of us had been to before. In early May the waterfalls were rushing down from the mountains and the peaks were snow-capped. We were there on a Sunday and there were no campers anywhere so we had the whole valley to ourselves. We set up our campsite on a ridge next to the river near the chalet. We then saw some more bears wandering around the valley, one bear stayed with us all night but never looked up from eating the grass which was a relief. At some points the melting snow caused small avalanches to roar down the waterfalls which was something I had never witnessed before. A tip for anyone going to the valley in early May; make sure to bring some camp wood even though it will weigh down your pack because we are in a rainforest so much of the wood is very damp and hard to light. We set up our tent, lit a fire, and just marveled at this valley until the sun finally set in the distance. The next morning we rose a little before sunrise to get an early hike out of the valley. This was a great idea because when the sunrise hits Mount Anderson and the other snow covered peaks you are hit with a truly spectacular sight. After this we began the hike back (a little depressed to leave and definitely not looking forward to the 15 miles back with our packs on). On this hike we saw one more black bear and to top it off we saw a massive herd of Roosevelt elk grazing between Pyrites creek and O'neill camp. The hike back definitely didn't feel as tough as the hike there because we had a slower pace, I do have to say that by the end you will feel tired especially when you hike up the steep hill after Pony Bridge. Overall this was definitely our favorite hike in Olympic. You get rainforests, glacial rivers, waterfalls, mountains, elk and bear. If we were ever to do go back I'd say we would try to break the hike up into a three day hike instead of doing 30 miles in two days with all our gear on us! Definitely would recommend this hike to any backpacker.

backpacking
6 months ago

Very pleasant hike - we did this in July and the weather was just about perfect. We camped in Grave's Creek, hit the trail at around 8 or 9 in the morning and made it to the chalet by 4pm with no rush and a plenty of stops along the way. The hike starts with a little bit of a climb (not very steep or long, mind you) but beyond that, the going is quite easy. If you want to camp at the chalet (like we did), the trail is actually shorter than the advertised 15miles and you lose the steep climb at the very end, making this a fairly moderate hike with a wonderful valley at the end and some nice forest and river sections along the way. On the way back, heading out of the chalet campsite early, you have a great chance of seeing wildlife before other hikers scare it off. Never saw a bear though...
All in all, this is a lovely hike, very worth doing if you get the chance!

6 months ago

We just did a day hike just a bit past O’Neill Creek and turned back. There are a good amount of camp sites in the area, and a large one right by O’Neill Creek. We were there in July 2017 and there was a black bear and her cubs right on the trail!

hiking
9 months ago

Fantastic day hike! A very well-maintained trail ending with a nice overlook of the river. Scenic with some mild elevation on changes. Lots of little streams with frogs and slugs and woodpeckers to watch. Not too much traffic. Apparently there are pack animals allowed on some parts of the trail so expect to see massive amount of poo in some spots. Despite that -it was a great hike.

backpacking
10 months ago

Great trail! Took my girlfriend on her first backpacking trip ever. Over three days we were tired but it's definitely a good trail for the length. Not a ton of climbs except for the first bit before pony bridge.

At pyrites we stayed at the sites by the river (to the right as you approach the campground). Highly recommend. There's also some cool spots right before pyrites (probably a half mile).

Would highly recommend this trail! Wish they'd reopen the lodge.

backpacking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

My 14 year old daughter asked me to take her backpacking this summer. There's no better first trip than then valley. My 2 best friends, myself and my awesome kid had a great 5 days off the grid going in and out with a layover day for rest and exploration. Memory making for sure...this was one for the books!

backpacking
Thursday, July 13, 2017

The valley is a good trip just not on a holiday. Memorial weekend was so packed I couldn't get in the camp we had set out to. So my first night we parked it on the side of the trail just before it got to dark to see. With droves of people still coming we decided to head toward trail head and camp on the river. Making that decision was the best thing we could have done. All in all it was well worth the time in the woods. Just won't do it again on a holiday.

backpacking
Friday, July 07, 2017

A bit crowded (long weekend) and finding a spot was a little tricky, but we got an awesome site right on the water perfect for camping on the sand. Trails were in great condition. Very pretty river along most of the hike. Road from the lake was a little rough but passable in most vehicles.
Photo Album here: https://goo.gl/photos/DuEbCdKdaP7AnDzbA

backpacking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Great, straight forward trail. This was my first backpacking trip "solo" and it was perfect. There's ample resources available: water, tent spots, shade, bridges and even vault-toilets in the valley. I hiked mid week and roughly 8-10 other groups were staying in the valley on the same night, so you're not truly alone (could be a good or bad thing depending on preferences). With that being said there is ample room for privacy throughout the area. Views are extremely pretty during the hike but the Enchanted Valley itself was best. A fantastic, easygoing backpacking trip!

backpacking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Older, inexperienced backpacker here. We started prepping for this trip back in January and could cover 14 miles with ease locally by the start of June. Still, this trail turned out to be more difficult than expected. We did the "13.5" (I think it's more like 14) to the Chalet on Day 1 and that last section between Pyrites and the Valley was the toughest part of the trail to us. A pretty constant 3 mile uphill trek with several downed trees to go around, over, under, etc (not a "steep" climb but just a constant one). We were tired enough that we couldn't really appreciate the beauty of the valley until the next morning and even then all we could really think about was the hike back out which kind of put a damper on the weekend. Originally, we were going to spend Day 2 relaxing in the valley and hike back out on Day 3. We ended up deciding to hike back to O'Neil campground on Day 2 (~7 miles) and then from there back to the trail head on Day 3 (~7 miles) just to avoid having to do the whole trek in a single day again. It was definitely easier coming out than going in but if I had it to do over, I'd probably do Trail Head to Pyrites on Day 1 (~10.5 miles), a day hike up to the Chalet and back on Day 2 ( ~ 6 miles round trip), and hike out from Pyrites on Day 3. Saw lots of signs of bear activity (poop) but no wildlife other than one small squirrel and several Banana Slugs.

The trail didn't follow the river as much as I thought it would. There were lots of sections that were up the hills on the side and away from the river that would eventually work their way back to the river. There are lots of water sources on every section of the trail except for the 2.5 miles between the trail head and Pony Bridge. You come across streams often enough that you don't really need to add the weight of carrying water while hiking.

There are scenic views along the trail are completely breathtaking but the majority of the trail is "walking in the woods" (which is beautiful in itself but not nearly comparable to the times when you do get a view of snow capped peak as the backdrop in the sky or crossing the river which was a blue as I've ever seen water to be).

The trail itself is WELL traveled and I think it would be nearly impossible to get lost while following it. I think the longest we went without running into another group of hikers was 20-30 minutes tops. For us that was not a negative because, again, we're inexperienced and not feeling like we were completely alone out there was a positive for us.

Friday, June 23, 2017

l

Friday, June 23, 2017

zx

backpacking
Friday, June 02, 2017

I took 2 new backpackers with me. We hiked just past no name creek, roughly 10 miles in and it took about 6 or 7 hours. It was a little much for them. We wanted to get to enchanted valley in days time but that didn't work out. The trails were clear and I saw no bears, however we did get a lot of reports from hikers coming down of seeing many bears up in the valley. Gorgeous hike non the less.

Monday, May 29, 2017

really great hike. ..and yes you will see bears!

backpacking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

We started off at the Graves Creek Trailhead. The trailhead itself is closed to traffic. Due to a washout. We parked two miles down the road to plan that into your trip.

First night we got to Pyrites. Note: downed trees and a lot of scrambling between Camp Oneill and Pyrites. Drains your energy especially w a loaded pack. Noname Creek is a perfect place to load up on water before camping at Pyrites. Water access can be tricky there. Woke up to a herd of elk and their babies playing around the brush and downed trees. It was a beautiful way to start the day.

Second day we headed to Enchanted Valley from Pyrites where we encountered some rain, so took cover under the chalet shelter built for hikers. Rain subsided and off we went to Anderson Pass, spotting several herds of more elk and 3 bears. Anderson Pass is an ass kicker. That was a 9 hour day traveling 8.5 miles. 3700 elevation gain in what felt like the last 3 miles. Glad it was overcast skies and not scorching hot. Stayed on the pass and suffered thru and very rainy night. Only water source is a pond. Keep that in mind.

3rd day we woke to blue skies so decided to day hike to Anderson Glacier. Amazing!!! Should not miss, esp on a clear day. Breathtaking. Loaded up w our packs we headed to Enchanted Valley for the night where we camped along side the chalet. Water is tricky to get to, but once you do, it's an awesome way to end a day of all down hill hiking from the pass.

4th day headed to Pony Bridge. About a 10 mile day. Scrambling over the washout of trees was easier going back. Lighter load and stronger legs!! Spent the night at Pony Bridge right on the cliff of the Quinalt River. Water is again tricky to get, but can be done w a lot of climbing in/out of the canyon.

Woke up on the 5th day to a beautiful day. 4 mile hike to the truck. Including the extra 2 miles. Had a beer and toasted to a very memorable trip! Headed to Quinalt Lodge for the night. Shower!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Great time can't wait to go again
There is a lot for logs to go over , under or around it was a very slow trip with all log crossings

Thursday, May 19, 2016

awesome hike everyone should do once in a lifetime!

camping
Monday, June 22, 2015

Awesome!

hiking
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A-MAZING hike!
We did this hike in August. Camped at graves creek campground and hit the trail by 7:30 am. Many places along the river to stop for a break, water refill, snack or just to relax with feet in the clear cool water. We took our time and made it to Enchanted Valley by 5:30. I would say the hike is moderate for a somewhat ouy if shape person like me. There are many places to camp along the way that are not on the map. At Enchanted Valley you can pitch your tent almost anywhere; by the river, in the wide open field or in the trees. Be sure to use the bear wire to hang your food. The trail it's self was very nice. Wide variety of Washington scenery, trail well maintained with flat walks and some climbs. A little mud here and there, bridges, rocks, streams and fallen trees. The dirt road to the trail head is super long so be sure you have gas, parking is free, get your permits at the ranger station by the lodge. Plan to do this hike with lots of time to take it all in and enjoy, worth going back again and again!!

hiking
Saturday, June 28, 2014

This is a sweet hike. Elevation is easily manageable considering the 13 mile trek from East Fork. My girlfriend and I camped near the trailhead and started off in the morning. I would suggest, if you are not on the peninsula already, drive there, camp, and then get a fresh start. For a 13 mile hike why not get a headstart and not worry about the drive. This will get you ahead of everyone else at the campsites and you get your first pick. As the afternoon wore on, there were plenty of hikers coming in and getting desperate to find their own spot.

This is very doable as an out-and-back trek. We hiked in 6 hours to chalet with lunch and a couple rests. The hike out was completed in 5 hours. We don't have hundreds of trail miles in our boots a year, so we're not super trekkers or anything, just in relative fine shape and didn't pack the kitchen sink.

Spotted on the trail, one owl, chipmunks, a few snakes, elk, didn't see any bears, but there was a couple who saw one, all sorts of birds.

I would like to do the hike again particularly from the other side.

Friday, June 27, 2014

I cannot express how much I love this hike. I might be biased as it was my first backpacking trip but man, it is worth every ounce on energy. The Chalet was beautiful. We went the first weekend of June and the weather was perfect. So many waters coming off of each other into the start of the Quinault River. Our camp was right next to the river which was such a wonderful sight to wake up to. Good incline the whole way, not too harsh. We saw deer, a mama bear and some chipmunks. I can't wait to go up the the Glacier next time around.

hiking
Monday, May 05, 2014

Did this hike last labor day. Awesome hike 13 miles of steady incline to the chalet. Beautiful views of the valley and Anderson glacier. Ready to do it again. Lots of good camping in enchanted valley.

hiking
Thursday, May 30, 2013

There are many ways to get to the enchanted valley but by far the easiest, and shortest, way to hike to the enchanted valley is by taking the East Fork of the Quinault River located by the Quinault Lake as this site show. Beware though even taking the shortest route still requires a 13 miles journey just to get to the enchanted valley let alone the camp site so don’t plan on doing this as a day hike, this is definitely a multi-night journey. The elevation is pretty easy and is flat for the most part although you do go up and down at times but only in small increments, you never go up hill for long. Also be prepared to see a few bears and possibly some elk as the valley is teaming with life. Since there are bears most of the established camp sites provide bear wire to hang your food from but still make sure you know how to properly store and protect your food from bears before doing this hike.

Also there are many large blow downs along the trail especially when you get further in. I do not know the last time the trails been worked on but there are some considerably large trees that have fallen along the trail. While you can get around them they can still be a pain in the neck sometimes especially when your weighed down by a large pack. Also the first third of the trail can be quite muddy especially when it has been raining so it might be a good idea to wear some gaiters. All in all though this a beautiful hike and I highly recommend it just give yourself plenty of time and don’t rush yourself I would take at least three days to explore if not more.

One last note the forest road is dirt and pretty well maintained till the last half mile where you do come across pot holes finally. I did see a Prius drive up there so you should be fine with any car. However me personally I would not want to take a nice car over dirt, mud, and large pot holes but it is your car and you can do what you want. I just wanted to say the forest road is not in too bad of shape since I couldn’t find any review on the condition of the road myself prior to going.

hiking
Tuesday, March 05, 2013

This hike is long and there is some elevation gain, but it is super-mellow. If you are in shape, you can easily do this as a out-and-back overnighter, but if not, break up the trip with the campsites halfway. The other good news: this is one of the earliest hikes to open after the snow thaw. There are a few stream crossings (one of which needs some attention from the NPS because it's teetering on unsafe).

hiking
Thursday, May 03, 2012

Beautiful hike in the spring. The melting snow creates dozens of waterfalls coming off the rocks surrounding the valley. I did it as an overnight hike. 1 day in to the valley, spent the night with the bears and 1 day back out. That was pretty demanding for the first trip of the season! I'd recommend 2 nights!

hiking
Saturday, March 03, 2012

I've hiked the trail to Enchanted Valley three times, December, March, and June. The December hike required snow shoes. I've never made it to Anderson Pass due to snow. The hike into the valley is gorgeous. The valley is wonderful - lots of bear in June. March trip was sunny while the June trip was a mix of rain, snow, wind, and sunny days.

Load More