Enchanted Valley via East Fork Quinault River — Friday, Apr. 17, 2015
We camped at Pyrites Creek the first night and Enchanted Valley the second. Only one of the half dozen blowdowns poses a serious obstacle, and you'll encounter it within the first mile. This was my first time along the Quinalt and in the Enchanted Valley, and I can't recommend it enough. The 13.5 miles along the Quinalt River dips up and down through hilly forest and big leaf maple and alder flats along the river. There are multiple bridges and foot logs, all of which survived the winter, and none of the creek crossings pose an issue at this time. Some of the trees are starting to leaf along the way, but it won't be green for two or three weeks in the valley it seems. We hiked mostly in the afternoon and evening the first day and saw one group of about 70 elk in the forest between the Pony Bridge and O'neil Creek, and another group of 20 or 30 a little farther down the trail. There is a large black bear presiding over Enchanted Valley itself, and while he was mindful of the humans in the area, he didn't seem aggressive or threatened. In fact he appeared quite habituated to human presence, so be cautious. The rangers said that someone was reported feeding him spaghetti recently. Yikes. This is one of the prettiest backcountry spots I've visited recently. Enjoy!