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. From the chalet, head to Lake LaCrosse or Anderson Glacier.

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 the Grave's Creek Trailhead (600 ft).

on the trail

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.

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



Anderson Glacier (5,100 ft)

37.8 miles round trip with 5,800 feet of elevation gain

From the Enchanted Valley Chalet, hike 3.2 miles to the junction with the O'Neil Pass Trail. Continue straight 1.9 miles to the junction with the spur trail to Anderson Glacier. From here turn left and hike 0.8 miles to the lake at the base of Anderson Glacier or continue straight and hike 0.5 mile to Camp Siberia.

Lake LaCrosse—O'Neil Pass (4,900 ft)

55 miles round trip with 4,000 feet of elevation gain

From the Enchanted Valley Chalet, hike 3.2 miles and turn right onto the O'Neil Pass Trail. Hike 7.4 miles to O'Neil Pass, then 1.2 miles to the Duckabush Trail Junction, 0.6 mile to the Marmot Lake spur trail, and finally 0.8 mile to Lake LaCrosse. Consider a side trip to Anderson Glacier from the junction of the Quinault Valley and O'Neil Pass Trails–it's 5.6 miles round trip with 2,000 feet of elevation gain.

O'Neil Pass, Anderson Pass & LaCrosse Pass Loop

56 miles round trip/loop with 18,000 feet of elevation gain

A challenging "lollipop loop" that travels up the East Fork Quinalut  River, through Enchanted Valley, over O'Neil Pass, along the Duckabush River, over LaCrosse Pass, over Anderson Pass, and back down the East Fork Quinault River. Consider side trips to Lake LaCrosse and Anderson Glacier.

Of all the wondrous places Ira and twin brother Bob were led to by their father in the 1930s, this is the one remembered well. A group of beautiful alpine lakes. Water sparkling amid the heather and huckleberries. Far away from the humdrum reality. A golden dream. Indeed, so far away, so deep in the heart of the Olympic wilderness, that Ira seldom found time to get back. Except, of course, in dreams. Other routes to the lakes are good, but the one described here is the 24-carat Classic on one of the most spectacular trails in the national park, traversing ridges high above the Enchanted Valley of the Quinault, in magnificent views and flower fields

from 100 Classic Hikes in Washington by Ira Spring & Harvey Manning

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
  • 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
Activities

Upcoming Activities

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
0 participants 0 chaperones
Registration closed Jun 24
Seattle Branch

Backpack - Enchanted Valley

Backpacking Trip
Visit one of the iconic destinations in Olympic National Park. The Quinault River’s Enchanted Valley
Difficulty: Easy
Sat, Jun 26, 2021 - Mon, Jun 28, 2021
No Prerequisites
4 participants
Registration closed Jun 21
Olympia 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
1 participant 0 instructors
Registration closed 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
1 participant on waitlist
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
  • Lake LaCrosse—O'Neil Pass
  • Lake LaCrosse
  • O'Neil Pass
  • Anderson Pass & Glacier
  • Anderson Pass
  • Anderson Glacier
  • O'Neil Pass, Anderson Pass & LaCrosse Pass Loop
  • O'Neil Pass, Anderson Pass & LaCrosse Pass Loop via Quinault River
  • O'Neil Pass, Anderson Pass & LaCrosse Pass Loop via Enchanted Valley
Resources

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