Pony Bridge, Graves Creek Trailhead, Olympic National Park, Washington
Pony Bridge - 5.5 Miles
Graves Creek Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||5.5 Miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||676' - 928' (1,271' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+252' net elevation gain (+958' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
The East Fork Quinault River Trail runs 13 miles through old growth rainforest to Enchanted Valley, and continues 21 miles over Anderson Pass to Dosewallips on the east side of Olympic National Park.
While few tackle the entirety of this multi-day trek, there are many worthwhile destinations for day hikers.
Pony Bridge is located 2.72 miles from the Graves Creek Trailhead. It spans a deep, scenic gorge along the Quinault River with terrific views and campsite access. Visitors will enjoy a short hike that samples the best of the rainforest en route to this idyllic bridge:
The trail crosses the river and climbs steadily away to a crest (2.1 miles : 1,271'), where it drops sharply to Pony Bridge (2.72 miles : 928').
The bridge leads to the north bank, up which the main trail runs nearly all the way to Enchanted Valley. Spurs lead to campsites and additional views of the river through the gorge.
GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84View these GPS points on a Google Map
- N47 34.364 W123 34.185 — 0.0 miles : Graves Creek Trailhead
- N47 35.011 W123 33.560 — 1.0 miles : Moderately steep climb away from river
- N47 35.502 W123 32.926 — 2.0 miles : Crest hill and begin steep descent
- N47 35.779 W123 32.457 — 2.72 miles : Pony Bridge
- N47 40.271 W123 23.365 — 13.05 miles : Enchanted Valley - Chalet
Trees of the Rainforest
- Sitka Spruce prefer moist, well-drained sites such as alluvial floodplains and marine headlands. Native Indians used its antiseptic properties to treat sores, wounds, and lung ailments. The inner bark was eaten fresh, or dried into cakes and eaten with berries.
- Red Cedar has been called the cornerstone of native northwest coast culture because of its widespread use and versatile application. Cedar is one of the lightest coniferous woods, making it easy to deploy without heavy equipment. Cedar wood can regulate temperature by trapping air in its pores, and has antimicrobial properties that combat mold.
- Western Hemlock thrive in full sun but are shade tolerant and reproduce well under a closed canopy. Its bark has a high tannin content that was used as a tanning agent, pigment, and cleansing solution by Native Americans. Hemlock pitch was ground into a liniment oil used to treat colds.
- Douglas fir is the largest tree in the forest. Its durable wood is used extensively in native and modern construction. While indispensable to man, its seeds and needles provide a critical food source to grouse, birds, deer, and squirrel.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in Olympic National Park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360.565.3100) for backcountry camping reservations, permits, and trail conditions. Visit the WIC: 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
- There's a $5 registration fee per group, plus $2 per person (children under 15 excluded). If you don't have access to a WIC, or plan to arrive early or late, call the WIC to arrange your permit ahead of time. Self-registration trailheads have forms, permits, and submission forms.
- There are no quotas or required reservations for Enchanted Valley. Campsites are not individually assigned, but are available to permit holders on a first come, first served basis.
- Camp only in established campsites, which are generally located and intuitively found along river access points and bottomlands. A number of sites are located at Pony Bridge, O'Neil Creek, Pyrites Creek, and Enchanted Valley. Pitch tents on bare ground or gravel bars. There are several bear wires in Enchanted Valley. Canisters are recommended but not required.
- Fires are permitted up to and through Enchanted Valley. Fires are not permitted over 3,500'.
- A Washington State Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore. No license is required to harvest surf smelt.
- A Washington State catch record card is required to fish for salmon or steelhead and they must be accounted for as if caught in state waters. Fishing regulations are specific to site, species, and season. Contact the Park before setting out.
- Recreational fishing in freshwater areas of Olympic National Park is restricted to artificial lures with single, barbless hooks (exceptions may apply).
- The use of seines, traps, drugs, explosives, and nets (except to land a legally hooked fish or dip-net smelt) are prohibited.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $15 fee to enter Olympic National Park ($30 annual pass).
- Pets are not permitted on trails. Pets are permitted in campgrounds and must be leashed at all times.
The Graves Creek - Enchanted Valley Trailhead is located 136.2 miles from Port Angeles in Olympic National Park.
From Port Angeles, head west on US 101 for 116 miles to Lake Quinault - North Shore Road. Follow North Shore Road 14 miles to the Graves Creek Road split. Turn right, cross the bridge, and bear left on Graves Creek Road. Continue 6 miles to the trailhead.
Portions of North Shore Road and all of Graves Creek Road are improved dirt roads passable to 2WD vehicles, but subject to flooding and mudslides.
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362-6798
Visitor Information: 360.565.3130
Road & Weather Hotline: 360.565.3131
Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort: 866.476.5382
Wilderness Information Center and Backcountry Permit Office (WIC)
Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center
Forks Information Station
360.374.7566 or 360.374.5877
Quinault Wilderness Information Office