Forrest Glick

Enchanted Valley

Backpacking into the rainforest

Part of the Olympic National Park, the Enchanted Valley Trail is a 13-mile trek along the east fork of the Quinault River. I first heard about the hike while backpacking in New Zealand. How could I resist trekking into a place called the Enchanted Valley! Being a rainforest, it was expectedly wet, but this contributes to the lush green vegetation. Trees were growing off of trees, and everything was covered in a thick layer of moss and mushrooms. It felt as if I was going back to some prehistoric time as I moved my way up into the valley.
I didn't see a single person the entire way up into the valley. I did come upon a large bobcat as I turned a corner. It was maybe 20 feet away and took off as soon as we saw each other. I didn't manage to get a picture, but I did find its tracks in the muddy trail ahead.
There are bears in the area, so it was recommended that all food be suspended overhead using bear wires. I complied, hanging my food the night before, only to find the next morning that some critter had chewed through my bag. I commend his or her selection of my peanut butter crunch Clif bar. The NPS is initiating an investigation into the theft :)