Olympic National Park Proposes Temporary Move of Enchanted Valley Chalet
Teetering on the bank of the East Fork Quinault River in Olympic National Park, the Enchanted Valley Chalet likely cannot withstand another harsh Olympic winter. Park officials want to temporarily move the chalet away from the river, a plan that WTA supports. Share your thoughts on the proposed move by midnight June 5.
Teetering on the bank of the East Fork Quinault River in Olympic National Park, the Enchanted Valley Chalet likely cannot withstand another harsh Olympic winter. Over the past winter, the river undercut the bank that the chalet calls home and now hangs eight feet over the East Fork Quinault’s riverbed.
Park officials want to temporarily move the chalet approximately 50-100 feet away from the river to protect the water quality of the East Fork Quinault River, which provides habitat for a variety of salmon and the endangered bull trout.
Your opinion: last day to send your comments to the park
Hikers are being asked for feedback about the park’s proposal to move the chalet away from the river. The deadline for adding your comments is today, Thursday, June 5 at 11:59 p.m.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the chalet was built in 1930-31 by the Olympic Recreation Company for use as a mountain retreat by weary hikers and horseback riders. During World War II the chalet was briefly used as an Aircraft Warning Station. The chalet is currently used as an emergency shelter and ranger station. 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.
Temporary move makes sense for the chalet
Washington Trails Association supports the park’s efforts to protect the river by temporarily moving the chalet. WTA also asked that impacts on hiker access to the Enchanted Valley be kept at a minimum during the busy summer hiking season.
In its letter to Olympic National Park, WTA also acknowledged that costs incurred by relocating the chalet should not deplete the budgets of other park functions, such as trail maintenance and recreation.
Next steps for Olympic National Park
Moving the chalet a short distance is a temporary solution. The park plans to start a longer planning process to determine the future of the building soon.