Enchanted Valley via East Fork Quinault River Trail

HARD 38 reviews
#19 of 181 trails in

Enchanted Valley via East Fork Quinault River Trail is a 30.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Forks, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September.

DISTANCE
30.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4655 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

backpacking
3 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
4 months ago

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
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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5 months ago

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backpacking
6 months ago

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.

6 months ago

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
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!

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