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Trip Report    

Backpack - Enchanted Valley

Wet, wonderful 3-day backpack into the valley. Not too many humans. No bears.

  • Road rough but passable
  • The trail is in great shape, having had some real improvements made in the last couple years. There is a new bridge over Pyrite Creek, which would have been a sketchy crossing otherwise. The bridge into the valley is sketch - just very thin and slippery, and a 30-ft fall if you slip. But it's bomber engineering. 

The chalet is about to be eaten by the Quinault River, but still standing. Creek crossing to the big hemlock a mile into the valley is high. We didn't cross it.

Only one of our group saw a bear. Other parties said they saw a couple. Lots of elk - and lots of elk scat. Everything we owned stunk by the time we were done. Make sure to hose down your shoes when you get home.

The whole trail is magical. From moss-covered maple savannas to deep Olympic rainforest, to sweeping views of the Quinault River and mountains, and slot canyons where the river funnels through in a turquoise rush. The Valley is magical too. Waterfalls everywhere, meadows and forest, and the cool chalet. Understand why they call it Enchanted. There is also an outhouse in the valley. 

We got 1.5" rain in 24hrs and had some gear failures, and each of us went through 2 rainshells/overpants to keep our base layers dry. A couple had tent failures. We were pretty soggy by the end, but it was serious fun!

The Salmon House is the best place for a post-backpacking meal. They operate 4-9pm. Lake Quinault Lodge is great for atmosphere, but 2nd best for food. They operate 5-9pm.

Total mileage was about 30. Elevation gain and loss around 3600 with all the up and down.

Day 1: 9.5mi in to Pyrite Creek camp

Day 2: 10mi RT into the Valley. 

Day 3: 9.5 out

 

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