Enchanted Valley

Hike along the East Fork Quinault River, one of Olympic National Park's grandest rivers, through a towering mossy rainforest to a deep green valley. It's an easy hike to Pony Bride that spans the river and a very strenuous day hike or easy backpack thru a cathedral-like forest to a meadow in a large alpine cirque surrounded by 3000-foot cliffs and the historic Enchanted Valley Chalet.

getting there

From US-101 38 miles north of Hoquiam, turn east onto South Shore Road. Drive 12.9 miles, bear right and continue 6.2 miles to the road's end and trailhead (600 ft).

on the trail

Follow the East Fork Quinault River through ancient and towering cathedral rain forest to a deep open valley in the heart of the Olympics, where waterfalls plunge down sheer walls and turn to hanging ice in winter.  Watch for harlequin ducks riding river rapids and elk and bears foraging the forest floor.  Explore cascades, river flats, maple glades, spruce groves, a thundering chasm, and a historical chalet.  This trip is an Olympic classic – the Enchanted valley's low elevation allows exploring late and early season, adding to its popularity.

from Backpacking Washington by Craig Romano

pony bridge (1,250 ft)

5 miles round trip, 1,000 feet of elevation gain

Hike 2.5 miles on the Quinault River Trail to Pony Bridge (900 ft). Continue on up the river valley as far as desired to extend your trip.

enchanted valley chalet (2,000 ft)

26 miles round trip, 2,700 feet of elevation gain

Since the 1930s, the famed Enchanted Valley chalet has been a destination and safe haven for travelers in the Olympics. During World War II, the chalet served as an Aircraft Warning Station, and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the spring, numerous waterfalls flowing down into the valley from the peaks above make this area especially enchanting. The hike to the chalet ranges from an easy backpacking trip to a very strenuous day hike.

notes

  • Bear canisters are recommended for overnight trips and can be borrowed from the ranger station—call ahead to reserve one.

Information for Leaders

scheduling

This route allows multiple bookings. Please check scheduled trips listed below in the "Activities" tab to see if there is another group already booked on the same day. Leaders are expected to contact the leader(s) of existing trips to ensure there are no concerns or conflicts, according to The Mountaineers Outdoor Ethics Policy.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 26.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,800 ft
  • 2,004 ft
  • Land Manager: Olympic National Park
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
Map
  • Custom Correct Enchanted Valley - Skokomish
  • Green Trails Mt Christie No. 166
  • Green Trails Mt Steel No. 167
  • Trails Illustrated Olympic National Park
Activities

Upcoming Activities

Backpacking Building Blocks Student-Only Backpack - Enchanted Valley

Backpacking Field trip: Backpacking Building Blocks (B3) Course
Hike an easy 26 miles round trip through towering mossy rainforest along one of the
Difficulty: Easy
Fri, May 21, 2021 - Sun, May 23, 2021
No Prerequisites
0 participants
Registration closes May 14
Foothills Branch

Seattle Junior MAC Backpack - Enchanted Valley

Backpacking Youth activity: Junior MAC
[ORCA POD] Phase 3 trip for Jr. MAC. Join for two nights of backpacking in
Difficulty: Easy
Sat, May 29, 2021 - Mon, May 31, 2021
Prerequisites
0 participants 0 chaperones
Registration closes May 10
Seattle Branch

Backpack - Enchanted Valley

Backpacking Trip
Two nights at Pyrites Creek and on the off day, day hiking into the Enchanted
Difficulty: Easy
Fri, Jun 4, 2021 - Sun, Jun 6, 2021
No Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
7 participants on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration closes Jun 2
Seattle Branch

Seattle Explorers Backpack - Enchanted Valley

Youth Youth activity: Explorers
[MOUNTAIN GOAT POD] Phase 3 trip for Explorers. Join for two nights of backpacking through
Difficulty: Easy
Sat, Jun 26, 2021 - Mon, Jun 28, 2021
Prerequisites
1 participant on waitlist 1 chaperone on waitlist
Registration closes Jun 24
Seattle Branch

Backpacking Building Blocks Student-Only Backpack - Enchanted Valley

Backpacking Field trip: Backpacking Building Blocks (B3) Course
This field trip will give B3 students the opportunity to try out gear and new
Difficulty: Easy
Sun, Jun 27, 2021 - Wed, Jun 30, 2021
No Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
2 participants 0 instructors
Registration closes Jun 24
Foothills Branch

Backpacking Building Blocks Student-Only Backpack - Enchanted Valley

Backpacking Field trip: Backpacking Building Blocks (B3) Course
This field trip will give B3 students the opportunity to try out gear and new
Difficulty: Easy
Sat, Sep 4, 2021 - Mon, Sep 6, 2021
No Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
0 participants
Registration closes Sep 1
Foothills Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • East Fork Quinault River
  • Enchanted Valley Chalet
  • Pony Bridge
  • East Fork Quinault River & Pony Bridge
  • East Fork Quinault River to Pony Bridge
Resources

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.