Enchanted Valley via East Fork Quinault River Trail

HARD 35 reviews
#18 of 178 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
5744 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.

hiking
7 days ago

backpacking
1 month 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!

1 month ago

backpacking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

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backpacking
2 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.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

3 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

7 months ago

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!!!