You know that feeling you get on the trail where time and space seem to fade into oblivion, and you begin to feel in harmony with the world around you? That feeling you chase down every time you step onto the trail?
Sometimes it seems like arriving at this sense of calm can take weeks. But, in the Olympic Peninsula, it can take just hours.
We recently linked up with Gossamer Gear Brand Ambassador, Michelle Zhang, in Washington's Olympic Peninsula for a weekend jaunt through the Enchanted Valley.
Here's what she had to say about it.
Being outdoors is a huge priority for me, and a big part of who I am. So, I was stoked to be escaping the emails and iCals of Silicon Valley and heading to one of my favorite places–the Pacific Northwest.
While my typical weekend recharge involves alpine starts, boulder fields, and summit views high up in the mountains, the fern-covered corridors of Olympic National Park's forest floors were nothing short of a magical "change of scenery" for me.
Walking through the Enchanted Valley is a hiker's dream. It starts out along the Quinault River, covered in ferns and fallen trees. Next, a little bit of cliff jumping and swimming in the mossy gorge easily work their way into the itinerary while stopping for a quick snack. A few miles in, we're then transported to a forest full of towering cedar and maple trees, engulfed in every shade of green imaginable.
After miles of hearing flowing creeks and feeling the soothing forest ground vibrating underneath my feet, the mountain girl in me squealed with happiness as we came up to jagged peaks and ridges that drew out the skyline above Enchanted Valley. The granite slopes were littered with trees and tall waterfalls, and we could see the snow and ice of Anderson Glacier peaking through the clouds. This was my happy place.
Plus, I hadn't taken Gossamer Gear's The One shelter through pouring rain yet, so imagine my excitement when I woke to the sound of pouring rain, and nothing had soaked through! Maybe next time, however, I'll pack some waterproof shoes.
We recommend visiting the Enchanted Valley in mid to late summer, and planning for a couple low mileage days to take it slow and explore the wilderness deeply.
If you're planning to backpack here, note that permits are required from the bear canisters are recommended.