The Olympic National Park's Enchanted Valley is famous among hikers, backpackers and explorers for its dense old-growth temperate rainforest, 4,000-foot high glacially-carved valley walls, and countless streams that are linked one after another in a daisy chain form. For those without the time for the more extensive trip that extends all the way to Anderson Pass or even the classic Enchanted Valley Chalet, this relatively moderate hike to Pony Bridge gives visitors to the peninsula's southwest corner a little taste of what the 18-mile long East Fork Quinault River "Enchanted" Valley is like.
Starting at the Graves Creek bridge crossing, the trail primarily follows an old road grade for most of it's gradual climb. Here the 2.5-mile trail is surrounded by massive stands of Sitka spruce, giant Douglas firs and western hemlocks. In fact, the East Fork of the Quinualt River Valley is home to the world's largest western hemlock and mountain hemlock. Eventually the trail will descend down to the river where Pony Bridge crosses a narrow box canyon with churning blue waters; in the spring the view is enhanced by the picturesque cascades that drop down the sides of the canyon. From here it is an additional 4.2 miles to O'Neil Creek Camp and 10.7 miles to the Enchanted Valley Chalet, but for most, the fern-lined canyon and bridge are a great spot to begin the return trip.
Note: The Enchanted Valley is notorious for black bear sightings, particularly in spring, so be sure to stay alert, cook your food away from where you sleep, and store your food well out of reach at night.