Backpacking Building Blocks Student-Only Backpack

Field trip: Backpacking Building Blocks (B3) Course

Backpacking Building Blocks Student-Only Backpack - Enchanted Valley

This field trip will give B3 students the opportunity to try out gear and new skills on a 3 day, 2 night backpack trip with experienced mentors. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, wildlife, flowers. This trail has everything! Come with us on this Labor Day weekend trip and follow the East Fork Quinault River through an ancient rainforest to a valley with views of peaks, waterfalls, and a historical chalet. Priority will be given to Luis' and Karla's mentor group.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 30.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,500 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 - 2.0 mph

Lake Quinault Wilderness Information Office at 8:00.

There is phone reception there and we can coordinate. After this, we will caravan 17 miles to the trailhead - Next to the Graves Creek Campground.

National Park Pass or Interagency Pass needed for parking within the Olympic National Park.

The elevation gain was listed on books and WTA at around 1800. However, GPX track on both CalTopo and GaiaGPS show an average accumulated gain of 3500 ft.

This 3-day trip has the two most strenuous days at the start and end (Longer distance and full pack), with a more mellow day in-between.

Saturday Sep 4 - Graves Creek Trailhead to Pyrites Creek. 9.2 mi 2400 ft of gain.

We will set up base camp here.

Sunday Sep 5 - Pyrites Creek to Enchanted Valley. 7.5 mi roundtrip. 920 ft of gain.

We will hike with a daypack to the Enchanted Valley, check out the chalet that was used as an aircraft warning station, and explore the upper valley at our leisure.

Monday Sep 6 - Pyrites Creek to Graves Creek Trailhead. 9.2 mi 1500 ft of gain.

We will break camp and walk back to the trailhead.


Camping permits are $16 per person. I purchased them beforehand. We can coordinate the fee payment upon sign up.

Elk, deer, and bear sightings are very common in the area. You need to be comfortable with the possibility of encountering these beautiful, but still dangerous creatures.

Bear canisters are mandatory in this area. The Wilderness Information Office will be loaning bear canisters on a limited basis, although due to COVID-19, the park is highly encouraging users to bring their own.

It is highly unlikely on those dates, but awful weather will cancel the trip. Things like constant precipitation that leads to 1 inch of rain per day; sustained high winds; or wind gusts that make it dangerous to be in a tent close to trees.

Weather information for the area can be found  here

It will be summer but being in the PNW, it is expected that you will bring rain gear.

  • Average high: 73F
  • Average low: 40F
  • Average precipitation: 0.05”

To have a successful and enjoyable trip, participants must have done similar trips, or carrying a heavy pack for ~10 miles. Another good way to self-assess if it will be enjoyable is to think of hikes with similar distances and/or big elevation gains and determine if you were exhausted or not.

We will follow all Mountaineers Protocols. Bring a face mask and hand sanitizer. We'll wear face masks most of the time and stay 6 feet apart from each other to the best of our abilities.


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

The Ten Essentials, plus overnight gear as specified by the trip leader

Rain gear.

The 11th essential: Face mask and hand sanitizer.

Trip Reports