Backpack - Enchanted Valley


Backpack - Enchanted Valley

Backpack with us to the Valley of Ten Thousand Waterfalls! Preference to Tacoma Introduction to Backpacking students. Trip will open to all Mountaineers to register on April 30.

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 26.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,700 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 to 2 mph depending on terrain

Graves Creek Trailhead at 9:15am, America the Beautiful pass required for drivers.

Preference to Tacoma Branch Introduction to Backpacking Students. Trip will open to all Mountaineers on April 30.

This is one of my absolute favorite early season trips because it's not too hot, not too cold, and the wildlife and scenery is the most amazing in the spring. They don't call it the Valley of Ten Thousand Waterfalls for nothing. Hike with us and explore the grandeur of Olympic National Park! 

Day 1: We anticipate starting early on Friday to beat the crowds on this popular route. Expect to hike 9.5 miles and 2000 ft gain to reach Pyrites Creek camp where we'll camp for two nights. This will take most of the day. We will stop for a short break approximately once per hour to keep ourselves hydrated and fueled and take a longer break for lunch. Expect several small bridged and unbridged water crossings, some mud, and beautiful meadows adorned with large mossy big leaf maples. Bears, elk, deer, and grouse are common sights on the hike in. 

Day 2: We will leave our heavy gear behind with a later start and day hike to Enchanted Valley to enjoy the surroundings. Along the way you'll marvel at the size of the trees and we'll take a group photo inside one of the trees. When we reach the valley, we'll spend some time exploring the many camps, the chalet, and take in the surroundings of this beautiful place. On this day we will hike approximately 7 miles and gain about 700 ft gain round trip.

Day 3: Our last day we will hike out. Expect to return to your vehicles by late afternoon.

A fee of $16 per person will be paid to the leader on the first day of the trip for the backcountry permit. Bear canister required for food storage and wildlife safety. America the Beautiful pass required for drivers.

Completion of this trip may satisfy one of several iconic backpacking routes listed in the Gold, Silver, or Bronze Backpack badges. Award badges are open to any member to earn.  

Special considerations

Before requesting leaders' permission to join this trip, be sure you are comfortable with the following travel and hiking conditions expected to be encountered on this trip:

Travel Considerations

  • The drive to the trailhead is about 3 hours from south Tacoma and may be longer for those coming from farther north.
  • Participants traveling via ferry from the Seattle Metro area should review ferry sailing times to ensure that they can make the meet up time at the trailhead.
  • From the town of Quinault the trailhead is only 17 miles but it will take close to an hour drive on a gravel road with potholes. Most passenger cars are capable of traveling the road but backpackers usually choose a 4WD or AWD vehicle for transportation.
  • The Graves Creek Campground, a first come, first serve campground, is located near the trailhead and could be a good opportunity to car camp the night before to avoid the long drive the morning of the trip.

Hiking considerations

  • While this is a less strenuous trip in terms of elevation gain, our group will need to be in generally good shape and capable of carrying the full weight of their packs over the longer distance of the first and third days.  
  • We can expect to see many bears on this trip. Some participants may feel safer carrying bear spray.
  • Bear canisters are required beyond Pyrites Camp, however, I have camped here several times and each evening bears frequent the meadows adjacent to our camp. To be good stewards and protect the wildlife, I am requiring bear canisters for everyone on this trip.
  • Plan for several shallow water crossings where poles will be very helpful. All of these should be do-able in hiking boots. Those that choose to wear trail runners may find their feet wet. 
  • It will still be early season and there may be some blowdowns to navigate. This will mean we may need to take our packs off and crawl under or over trees that are obstructing the trail. 
  • On our second day we will need to cross a log bridge with a single handrail that spans an airy canyon over the Quinault River to enter Enchanted Valley. See photo below. Participants should be comfortable crossing high bridges. This may not be the trip for you if you struggle with heights. Enchanted Valley Log Bridge.jpg

This trip requires the leader's permission before you register

Prospective participants should reach out to the leader to join this trip. This includes prospective participants for the waitlist. Leader will remove participants from the roster or waitlist that do not request permission before registering.


Enchanted Valley

  • Green Trails Mt Christie No. 166

    Green Trails Mt Steel No. 167

    Trails Illustrated Olympic National Park

    Custom Correct Quinault-Colonel Bob

    Custom Correct Enchanted Valley - Skokomish

    Custom Correct Brothers - Mt Anderson
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

To be discussed at lecture for Introduction to Backpacking course students.

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports