Aberdeen, aberdeen, WA
Olympic Peninsula -- Pacific Coast
26.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 1700 ft.
PARKING PASS/ENTRY FEE National Park Pass
The famed Enchanted Valley chalet has been a destination for weary travelers since the early '30s, when it provided a mountain retreat for hikers and horseback riders. During World War II, the chalet served as an Aircraft Warning Station, and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's occasionally used as an emergency shelter and ranger station, but the precarious position over the Quinault River has caused it to be closed to hikers until it is moved. The East Fork Quinault River Trail is one of the most popular trails on the southeast portion of the park and hundreds of hikers visit Enchanted Valley to take in the tremendous views and see the chalet each year.
Begin at the Graves Creek Trailhead. At a signed junction, continue left on the wide, abandoned road through towering firs and cedar. Many animals inhabit the valley: bear, mountain lion, deer, elk, coyote, bobcat, beaver and river otter. Look for wildlife tracks in muddy sections along the trail.
Two miles in, the old road ends and you'll descend steeply through hemlock and fir to the East Fork Quinault. The Pony Bridge, at three miles crosses the river over a narrow, picturesque gorge lined with maidenhair ferns.
The trail continues over a series of ups and downs while paralleling the river. Large firs, spruce, alders and maples line the way. Be on alert for wildlife sightings in between the trees.
Just past O’Neil Creek, at 6.7 miles, is O’Neil Creek Camp. The trail ahead crosses numerous streams including No Name Creek and Pyrites Creek, at 8 and 9.5 miles respectively. There are a few campsites near Pyrites Creek. Use caution when crossing Pyrites Creek.
The trail continues climbing to the Quinault River Bridge at 12.5 miles. Once across, the trail meanders into the charming Enchanted Valley at 13 miles. In early summer, countless waterfalls stream down the sheer walls of valley. Bears are common in the valley area, so store your food properly at all times.
From Hoquiam, drive north on Hwy 101 for 35 miles and, one mile south of Amanda Park, turn east onto South Shore Road. Drive along Amanda Park for about 13.5 miles, then arrive at a junction at the Quinault River Bridge. Continue right, proceeding about six miles to the road's end and the trailhead.
THIS HIKE IS SELF GUIDED!! - There may or may not be a coordinator in attendance. Be responsible for yourself and those you hike with.
DISCLAIMER: HIKING IN THE WILDERNESS CAN PUT YOU IN DANGEROUS SITUATIONS, MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STRESS. I AM NOT A HIKING GUIDE. I AM ONLY A HIKER INVITING OTHER HIKERS TO JOIN IN THE FUN. WHEN YOU RSVP AND ATTEND THESE MEETUPS, YOU ARE ACKNOWLEDGING THAT YOU ARE FULLY AWARE THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.
Contact organizer to update wrong information.