Staying in the Chalet
Met a lot of the Rangers through the years of wandering the Olympic National Park. After in person conversations and email correspondence, I got invited to go on backcountry patrol in the East Fork Quinault drainage for 4 days, home of the Enchanted Valley Chalet. Once an old Hotel, the building is now a Backcountry Ranger Station and not open to the public.
How to Hike to Enchanted Valley (Chalet)
Starting at the Graves Creek Trailhead, a hiker must walk for 14 plus miles up the East Fork Quinault river valley. Some may decide to do this in several days, but a strong hiker can reach it in one; if the trail conditions are in good shape. Don't forget, the Olympic National Park now requires all campers to use bear canisters, while camping at the Chalet.
During spring or wet season months, the biggest obstacle to consider is the Pyrites Creek crossing. Fast moving water often destroys the foot bridge, so do not count on there being one. Crossing when the creek is raging is often impossible and hazardous. Want to learn more? Your detailed guides and maps to the Olympic Peninsula.
|Old growth tree windfall. Sad to see it go.|
Brief Story of Our Hike in Quinault
Being interested in Olympic Peninsula history, I got really excited for this trip. Wanting to photograph the Chalet, before the river destroys this man made structure; purifying the valley to its natural state once again.
There was also lots of critters in the surrounding area to keep the camera busy. 12 individual Black Bear and 50+ Olympic Elk. Cool to see the Bull Elk just getting their antlers back for the season. Magnificent creatures of the wilderness.
Comment: Special Thanks to the ONP for letting me be a guest in their RS. You can no longer stay in the Chalet, after they moved the building back away from the river, to a temporary location.
|1st of 12 individual Black Bear.|
|So where is the 'Boot People' supposto walk?|
|Home for 4 rainy days.|
|Traditional Pacific Northwest.|
|Abandoned Hotel upstairs hallway.|
|Friend or Foe?|
|Old Wood Stove Oven.|
|Quinault Black Bear|
|At one time, I'm sure someone thought this was a 'good idea'. As the river reclaims the valley has revealed an old landfill. Sad to see this.|
|We are just guests in the valley.|
|Enjoying morning coffee and watching a little Bear TV.|
|After 3 days of rain, the valley reveals its blessing of a fresh frosted Burke Range our last morning.|
|West Peak & Linsley Glacier of Mount Anderson.|
My Video Documentation of the Trip
Enchanted Valley is beautiful! There is more to this area than a building.
Updated in March 2017 by Barefoot Jake