Return to Enchanted Valley/Olympic National Park

Enchanted Valley chalet rests on new spotA topic of discussion last year was the migrating Quinault River and how it had undercut the foundation of the historic Enchanted Valley Chalet. Read my trip report here on that April 7th, 2014 trip. The chalet was moved about a hundred feet from that position and is now safe from toppling into the river, at least temporarily. With still warm temps and a sunny Sunday (2/22/15) forecast, I decided to pop out to the Olympics and revisit the Enchanted Valley and snap some pix. This classic rain forest hike is longish in distance (26 miles roundtrip) but benign in elevation gain and loss, but what makes it a bear is the almost 4 hour drive, one way, to the trailhead from my house. Just like last year, I had to put in a 20 hour day. However, I further complicated matters by noticing that some critical items were missing from my pack when I stopped to adjust things about a mile into the hike. Worrying that I had left these items back at the trailhead or the vehicle, I backtracked to check, to no avail. Turns out I had left them at home while repacking, so with now a 28 mile day ahead of me I set off once again. The lack of snow on the trail is not unusual because of the lower elevation, but I enjoyed a 2 layer day on an uncrowded trail (saw 2 hikers all day), stopping to snap shots of ferns growing out of moss covered trees and occasional blow down scrambling and mud hopping, the usual results of winter rains and winds before annual trail maintenance. When I arrived at the Chalet I lingered for maybe 30 minutes snapping pix and enjoying the day, but cognizant of the remaining 13 miles back to the vehicle and another 4 hour drive home. The chalet is resting on its moving accoutrements of steel beams and wooden blocks, waiting for a more permanent resting spot, if indeed one is available on this ever shifting eroding flood plain. The river is running straight again rather than the turn it took by the chalet to undercut the foundation, but who knows what future path it will take? Now it seems I rather enjoy coming here on off season times and perhaps might even spend a night sometime, if I can sit still long enough.

steel beams and wooden blocksthe eroding Enchanted Valleytypical moss covered tree on trailjolly green giant