Camping in the Enchanted Valley can be difficult to come by. The area is incredibly popular and, despite having multiple camping options, is often impossible to get a permit for. If you're hoping to hike to the Enchanted Valley and camp along the way, learn everything you need to know here!
What is the Enchanted Valley?
The Enchanted Valley is an area of Olympic National Park that's a popular backpacking destination with people around the country. The hike requires a total of 27 miles, out and back, and around 1,400 feet of elevation gain.
It's a difficult hike, but the elevation is not as hard as it could be.
Getting to the Enchanted Valley
The out-and-back hike to the Enchanted Valley starts at the Graves Creek Trailhead. Use the map below to navigate to the start of your hike:
Best Camping in the Enchanted Valley
If you're planning a visit to Olympic National Park's Enchanted Valley, camping is a must. It's one of the best backpacking trips in the state (and perhaps the country?), so you're not going to want to race through it. The campground you stay at depends on the permit you're able to get beforehand. There are permits for each of the areas mentioned below.
There are four main campsites in the Enchanted Valley.
Pony Bridge is home to three small campsites. It's the first camping area you come to after departing Graves Creek Trailhead. It's only 2.5 miles from the start of the trail, so you may want to skip it in favor of O'Neil Creek. But keep in mind that O'Neil Creek is another 4.4 miles into the park!
Pony Bridge Campground is accessed by taking the East Fork Trail from Graves Creek Trail Junction until it drops low to Pony Bridge. There are 3 sites on the north side of the bridge just off the trail.
O'Neil Creek is one of the most popular camping areas in Enchanted Valley. It's around 7 miles into the park and a great overnight point if you're feeling strong enough to hike all the way in with your gear in one day.
The campground includes 6 sites and a wilderness toilet.
To get there, take the trail from Pony Bridge to Fire Creek's foot-log bridge. There is a sign that points out O'Neil Creek Camp Junction. You'll need to be on the lookout for about 3.5 miles later. This campground is right along the side of the creek, so water is no problem.
The next campground you'll come to is Pyrites Creek. From Graves Creek Trailhead, it's a total of 10 miles into the hike. You'll take the trail crossing No Name and Pyrites Creeks before finding the Pyrites Creek Campground with 12 total sites. There are six on either side of the river, and is the largest campground so far along the trail. There's also a small sign to indicate you're in the right spot.
To get there, You'll need to hike from O'Neil Creek Camp Junction along the river. Cross the Quinault River, and you'll see Enchanted Valley Chalet. It's been there since the 1930s and was used as an Aircraft Warning Station during World War II. Today, it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The chalet is located at: 47.6718° N, 123.3879° W.
There are established campsites in this area with fire pits. You're also likely to see a ranger there checking for bear canisters and permits.
In total, you'll need to hike in 13.5 miles to get to the Enchanted Valley and 13.5 miles to get back to your car. But this doesn't include hiking to the campsites or beyond the chalet. Most backpackers end up with closer to 30 miles round trip.
Need to Know - Enchanted Valley Camping
Here's what you need to know if you're planning on camping in the Enchanted Valley!
Bear canisters are required to camp in the valley.
You need to get a permit to camp in Enchanted Valley.
You do not need a permit if you're just day hiking.
Dogs are not allowed in Olympic National Park.